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Pilot Turned Manufacturer

Aircraft lover and commercial pilot Dick Suderman started his bi-fold door manufacturing company after building hangar doors for his boss, friends, and neighbors.

Growing up Suderman was fascinated by flight. During adolescence, he was determined to complete his private pilot certificate. Eventually, Suderman was successful and along with a few of his brothers, split the cost to purchase a Cessna 150.

Suderman worked for years in steel manufacturing, and when he was not working, he was in the cockpit. Eventually he traded a welding helmet for wings and became a commercial pilot. However, being employed as an aerial applicator, the off seasons were times without work.

That is until his boss asked him to help him build a door for his new hangar. Suderman was able to consistently build hangar doors during the winter off season. By 1998, he was manufacturing full time, having built doors for Quonset huts, wood buildings, steel structures, and both general aviation and commercial hangars.

The Diamond Doors main office backs onto the local airport. One of the hangars on premises is home to yet another Cessna 150, reminiscent to Suderman’s first airplane. The aircraft is available for staff to use to work toward their pilot certificate or to build time.

Now, with eight pilots on staff, this family business has created hangar doors that embody the love of aviation. “Background knowledge and learned experience is highly beneficial when serving your customers. We understand the aviators’ unique needs because we have been where they have,” said Suderman.

Diamond Doors have many industry-leading features like greaseless hinges, remote opener and auto-lock, cantilevered rollers, and a unique Underwriters’ Laboratories-approved electrical box with onboard diagnostics for troubleshooting. The door is also easy to install, arriving onsite completely assembled, pre-wired, and painted.

For over 20 years Diamond Doors has been serving its customers. Suderman says customer service is his number one priority: “Our measure of success has always been customer satisfaction. We serve our customers long after the sale is made.”

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