Mesic Vale was conceived, in part, to broaden our product base and address changes in consumer demand. It reflects years of intensive internal development and a refinement of the understanding we have of ourselves as a team, and how we best serve our clients and community through The Craft.
The core of what we really do, is cultivate connection and foster growth and stewardship. The name Mesic Vale comes from this new understanding.
Mesic refers to an ecological balance and fertility which supports dynamic and often rapid growth– therefore continually transitioning and changing.
Vale speaks of our own place in the world, and the connection we have to “home”. A nod to the beautiful dell in the back of our woods, and all of the others that grace the landscape in our part of Knox County.
where we live
We invest in the revitalization of the economy, the urban structure of “downtown” and the community around us.
Our beautiful offices are located in the heart of the city of Galesburg, in the grand old City Hall Building. Designed by architect William E. Wolf, and constructed in 1905, Old City Hall’s details are classical. Stone columns, textured brick, and detailed copper create an impressive entry and main facade. Decorative mosaic floor tiles sourced from the famous American Encaustic Tiling Company, and marble wainscot line the halls. 15 and 25 foot tall pressed tin ceilings with 4 distinct patterns finish the space overhead. This building, once in danger of being demolished, was saved by a passionate group of citizens. We’re so grateful to be part of its renaissance now, as we restore this work in progress.
Mesic Vale’s shop space is contained in another incredible historic downtown structure just a few blocks away. Finished in 1915, the Illinois National Guard Armory Building once seated close to 1,400 people gathering for public events. Gorgeous clear span trusses, a fallout shelter and a shooting range, are just a few of the unique qualities that have endeared us to the space. The natural light that pours into our workspace from a wall of south-facing windows is another. This building, so important to our community, sat vacant for a decade, and has had an uncertain future since the early 2000s. We’re so honored to reinvent the space while maintaining and restoring the building’s historic fabric for future generations.
The sawmill operation we utilize is part of a different revitalization effort. Located on our farm in rural Knoxville, 11 miles east of our offices and shop, we’ve practiced sustainable and closed-loop system management for two decades. Prairie restoration, forest management, native hardwood regeneration and planting have always been a prime directive as well. It feels good to see the signs of soil health and wildlife habitat grow and diversify as a result of our observation and practices.
Our company is led by a brilliant team, that shares a passion for timber, and a strong awareness of the transformative power the built and natural environments have on community, economy and health. Through our work, we facilitate building connections and stewardship in both the local and global sense.
These are the individuals that make Mesic Vale matter–
An insaiable interest in preservation, learning, and thoughtful building runs deeply throughout Will’s life. The second member of our team, and one of only 20 people in North America to carry the certification of Journeyworker Timber Framer, Will was part of the first graduating class of the American College of the Building Arts. This makes him also one of a handful in the country that hold a Bachelors of Applied Science with a Major in Timber Framing degree. Will is passionate about structural timber, education, and teaching. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Timber Framers Guild and organizes and leads complex volunteer-based projects and raisings all over the US and Canada for the education focused non-profit. He is a vocal member of the Apprentice Training Program, the Professional Development Program, the Projects Committee, and the Education Committee. Will speaks to groups regarding project management concerns specific to our industry and the art of heavy timber construction. He acts as a technical expert, teacher and supervisor on our team.
Dixit brings our team a wealth of technical knowledge and experience in the construction of residential and commercial buildings. After receiving a Bachelors of Technology in Civil Engineering from Shri U.S.B College of Engineering and Management in Rajasthan, India, Dixit broadened his knowledge with a Masters Degree in Construction Management from Bradley University. Dixit’s practiced leadership, attention to detail, and sense of humor ensure both efficiency in our work, and thoughtful communication throughout the projects he coordinates.
design team manager, draftsman
A profound interest in Building and Design was sparked in Michael at an early age through the influence of his father and grandfather. In his professional life, he’s worked in timber and building from many angles: Project Manager, Arborist, Carpenter, and Timber Framer, to name a few. The nature of the work experience Michael has engaged in, brings an intangible quality and wholistic rationality to his work that is uniquely suited to exactly what our clients need. An active member of the Timber Framers Guild, Michael can often be found on Guild Community Raisings and Workshops, teaching and learning alongside the best Framers in the nation.
technical consultant, master carpenter, timber framer, sawmill manager
Jeff likes to say that he became interested in Timber Framing from “the moment I saw it”. He is trained as a gunsmith; an artisan of the highest degree. He also has a BS in equine management, is skilled in timber conversion, has operated as a rancher, sawmiller, and entrepreneur. Jeff finds continuing inspiration from, and is a proud member of, the Timber Framer’s Guild. What Jeff really loves about his work, is that nothing is ever truly repetitive when it comes to the joinery connections of structural timber. Laying them out, cutting the pieces, and putting it all together brings him a sense of accomplishment.
sales and project planning
Randy has managed Heavy & Mass Timber construction projects throughout North America, and has the depth of experience to calmly guide any size project to a successful conclusion. Drawing upon his great knowledge base, Randy supports our Sales and Project Planning operations. Solving technical problems to increase quality and control cost is his forte. When not coordinating proposals and projects, Randy keeps his tactile skills sharp in the shop, taking on special building projects of interest directly, or providing extra training and quality control as needed. Randy is active in heightening the knowledge and quality of the Timber Frame Craft in the US and Canada through his service, in the past, as both president and an active member on the Timber Framers Guild’s Board of Directors. He’s also served as a project manager on numerous Guild community workshops and raisings– where he’s created safe job sites and tremendously educational environments for mixed groups of professionals, novices and enthusiasts who frame together, and Build Community.
administrative sales assistant
Katy is integral in fostering and maintaining the most important part of the work that we do– the relationships we have with our clients. She ensures there is organization and clarity in communication throughout all of the initial planning stages. A graduate of Bradley University, Katy possesses more than ten years of administrative sales experience. She is also a proponent of the Arts and Community. Katy co-owns a thriving children’s theatre company, and devotes her voice, wit, and skills to local stages and the development of the same in hundreds of children in our community.
After graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, Lori went on to serve in the accounting department of a nationally established software company for 23 years. Her years of expertise in accounting and business have proven to be an irreplaceable asset to our team’s organization and productivity. Lori works closely with our Project Management Team to ensure the flow of our projects and handles all billing and invoicing.
technical consultant, master carpenter
Building is in John P Becker’s DNA. He was recruited into his family’s construction business, doing everything he could, as soon as he could walk. At the age of 18 he joined the laborer’s union and remained
for nearly 16 years. His main focuses were in concrete and carpentry. The depth of his life-long training, and interest in doing work really well, make it natural that part of his role on our team is teaching and mentoring our the less experienced craftspeople on our crew. JP enjoys working with different species of wood, and watching projects develop into completed homes, barns, businesses, etc. He says the best part of his job for him, is watching a customer see their finished project for the first time. He also enjoys traveling to new places and meeting all of the different people involved in the projects our team takes on. JP contin-ues to spend much of his time cultivating The Craft and learning about the history and traditions of Timber Framing.