20th Anniversary Celebration

(June 14, 2024) Sand Creek Post and Beam, Inc., now known as Timberlyne, celebrated its 20th anniversary on June 7, 2024, with an Open House at their Wayne, Nebraska showroom. The event offered a warm and welcoming environment where guests could experience the tangible impact of the beautiful timber that the company has brought to life for thousands of customers across the United States over the past 20 years.

The story of Sand Creek Post & Beam, Inc., is a living testament to the power of a dream. It all began when Len Dickinson and his wife, Jule Goeller, embarked on a mission to share their rural heritage and it’s rich history with the rest of the nation.

"Farming, the rural way of life, is important to me, so we decided we would like to do something that would carry on that heritage," Goeller says.

20th Anniversary Open House Photos

With an interest in timber, Len and Jule began researching kit barns—the kind once marketed by Sears and Montgomery Ward—and conceived of a way to create modern barn kits that could be shipped far and wide. On March 1, 2004, their vision took shape with the official name Sand Creek Post & Beam, Inc., marking the start of a personal journey that would shape the company's identity.

"Until we came along, homeowners only had two choices: build a metal building or rebuild an old barn, which is very expensive and difficult. There was no one offering a structure that had the traditional look of turn-of-the-century barns," said Dickinson.

Dickinson and Goeller both had a BS in business, but they were taking a risk. "We were over 50 when we moved to this area from Lincoln. We started a company in a town where nobody knew us, and we were going to try to sell products that nobody had used in over a generation," said Goeller. Their first barn kit was sold a few months later, in July 2004, to a customer in White Lake, Michigan. The barn, a Great Plains Gambrel, was assembled in Len and Jule's driveway.

The couple quickly learned that many others shared their sentiment and desired sturdy, custom-built wood barns and homes. Len and Jule had identified a unique market and launched their company when the baby boomer generation, much like themselves, was moving to the countryside. The idea took off.

Many customers were excited to find a company that could create the building they dreamt of having on their property. At the 20th Anniversary Open House, a few customers spoke about their journey building a barn with Sand Creek Post & Beam, Inc.

"I was very sad to see all the barns falling down across America. I had fond memories of growing up and spending a lot of quality time on our farm, and the barn was always kind of our playground," shared customer Natalie Peetz. "I was always determined, as was my husband Jack, to build a barn." The Peetz family now enjoys using their finished barn home as a gathering place to spend lots of quality time with family and friends.

John and Bronwyn Spain, owners of Spain Ranch, a premier wedding destination in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have constructed two barns that are the center of their business. They shared about the barns' impact on their customers and their gratitude for Timberlyne's expertise. "Our guests always want to know about the barns, and that is due to the amazing construction and quality," said Bronwyn.

"We were met with great customer service along the way. I mean, we stumbled upon a gold mine," said John. "Everyone that we worked with in this entire company along the way was completely transparent, professional, quick, and easy to get ahold of."

The Sand Creek Post & Beam, Inc. employees worked hard to create positive experiences for every customer, just as the Spains had. This dedication resulted in the company being recognized with many awards over the past two decades. The impressive growth was not a stroke of luck but a result of strategic decisions, as demonstrated by a consistent presence on the INC 500 Fastest Growing Companies list from 2009 to 2012. In 2011, Sand Creek was honored as the SBA Nebraska Business of the Year, a testament to the leader's business acumen. This forward-thinking approach was further validated when Len and Jule received the NBDC Sustainability of the Year Award in 2015, highlighting their unwavering commitment to sustainable business practices.

These awards, featured articles, and a detailed history were on display at the Open House so guests could learn more about the significant milestones from the past twenty years.

The visuals shared how Dickinson and Goeller's business grew quickly, expanding their footprint at their headquarters in Wayne, Nebraska. In the following years, they expanded operations outside of Nebraska by acquiring Texas Timber Frames in San Antonio, TX. In 2017, they added a sawmill in Kelliher, Minnesota and another at Cass Lake, Minnesota in 2022 to their operations. But their journey came with challenges. On October 4, 2013, an EF-4 tornado destroyed their production facility in Nebraska, and the experience proved to be one of the most defining moments of the company. Fortunately, rural Americans are known for their determination, and within a month, the company was back to full production in rented buildings.

Loren Kucera, retired director of the Nebraska Business Development Center, spoke next at the event, applauding Len and Jule for their positive impact on the Wayne area and Nebraska. He also touched on the various awards received by the couple and attributed their success to how they work together. "I want to compliment both Len and Jule. Very seldom do I see spouses work so well together in a business," shared Kucera.

Rewarded for their perseverance through the years, Len and Jule have seen a significant increase in the size and scope of Timberlyne projects and capabilities since 2004. Customers can still purchase traditional post-and-beam structures, including the popular pre-designed barns and homes. However, timber framing is also an option for someone looking for a fully custom showstopping structure. Most recently, the Timberlyne team has taken on the increasingly popular mass timber solution for large commercial projects.

"When we first started, we didn't imagine that people would be building homes, wedding venues, or commercial buildings," commented Jule. But, never settling, Timberlyne experts partnered with Joeris General Contractors last year to construct the Victory Capital Performance Center, the training facility for the NBA Team, the San Antonio Spurs. The 134,000-square-foot facility is the largest mass-timber-constructed training facility in U.S. professional sports.

Timberlyne is currently working with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture to construct the new north wing addition to Architecture Hall, which sits just South of Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. "Len and Jule are such a dynamic duo and have been incredibly generous to the College of Architecture at UNL.," Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, Dean of UNL College of Architecture. "What an awesome opportunity to inherit this relationship and work together to see where we can take it next." The world needs this (mass timber) to work, and it works really well."

More than one of the guest speakers indicated their desire to be a first-time or return customer for Timberlyne. There's no limit to what the Timberlyne team might do next in the state of Nebraska and beyond.

U.S. Senator Deb Fisher attended the event and spoke about her love for the State of Nebraska and community spirit. “We were founded by people who had a vision. They came to this state to build a family, communities, and a future. We are seeing it come to life here in Wayne, Nebraska. Thank you (Len and Jule) for doing that. It’s extremely important when we all see the dreams that can happen in this state."

Both Len and Jule are retired from the day-to-day operations of Timberlyne but remain active in directing the company. "Even though we're not here (in the office) every day, we believe our employees strive for excellence, and we are so grateful for that," said Goeller.

The dream continues with Jack Dickinson, Len's son, and Timberlyne's current CEO. He now carries the torch and guides the employees in their mission to deliver the strength and beauty of wood to customers. "We provide people with an opportunity to create spaces that inspire, and we provide a canvas for people to express themselves," said Jack. "And whether that's a home or a wedding venue, we need to take real pride in that."

Jack spoke fondly of his Dad and stepmother, noting their strengths that, once combined, resulted in a company he now proudly represents. “Jule has an incredible moral compass and is quite literally brilliant. That, paired with Dad’s tenaciousness and courage, are the underpinning factors of our company. Their resilience is an inspiration to me,” said Jack.

In closing, Len credited the partners and employees who played a significant role in getting Timberlyne to where it is today. "Thanks to the great people we encountered, many of whom still work for us, who helped us make this work. Business is fun, and creating Sand Creek Post & Beam, Inc. is a dream come true."