From the early days when Benny Byler began to sell storage sheds in 1971, his son Steve was a part of the family business. Benny tells the story of how as a lad, Steve wrote up his first order for a storage shed--a mini-salesman all of six years old. Eight years later, he built his first two buildings by himself, from start to finish. Never one to hang back from a challenge, Steve delivered his first storage shed at 15 (with a learners’ permit--he had to invite an adult friend to sit in the passenger seat!). From working in sales to sweeping up sawdust with a push broom, from hand-painting trim to developing the company-wide accounting system, Steve has been involved in almost every facet of the company operation.
Nearly 40 years after he wrote up that first order, Steve purchased Byler Barns and Backyards from his dad, officially taking leadership in 2009. As CEO, Steve’s vision for the company goes far beyond getting sheds out the door and cash in the drawer. He wants every client to have a quality shed, but also a great experience in getting it. That happens initially through the design-consultation process, in which clients are personally and professionally led to discover what they really need, in order to create exactly what they want. It continues through the follow-up communications, through the timely and courteous delivery of the building, all the way to a decade down the road when the building needs service.
Building a company that does more than build buildings is a challenge. Steve coaches his management team for the strategic implementing of the company’s vision, so that in every facet of the process--from sale to delivery--serving each client is the goal. He acknowledges that in spite of the highest aspirations, Byler employees are human and will sometimes make mistakes. When this happens, the commitment of the company is to do everything they can to put it to rights, so that every client comes out of it happy with both their shed and their Byler experience.
Outside the company, Steve is the lead pastor of his church. A father of seven, he enjoys little more than dinner with his wife and family. And travel: he’s been in all 50 states, in 29 countries, and is far from finished. Steve cares deeply about community development, and has been personally involved serving in a number of non-profits, focusing particularly on education and the arts.
Vice President of Operations
Jerrel‘s history with Byler Barns goes well back into his boyhood. By the time he was 10 or 11 he was going along periodically on storage shed deliveries. Benny (the founder of what was then Byler’s Storage Buildings) would call to see if Jerrel was available to keep him company and to carry concrete blocks for setting the sheds. Once he was finished with school, he began to work in the shop full time. A few years later, at the age of 18, he became Shop Foreman. For a number of years, he alternated between building sheds in the shop, and delivering them. He gradually kept picking up more pieces of the entire process until 2012, when he became Vice President of Operations.
Jerrel knows Byler Barns through and through. In production, he understands the construction of the buildings literally inside and out. In operations, the buck stops and sits squarely on his shoulders: Once the contract is signed on a building, it‘s his responsibility to make sure it gets built to spec’s and delivered on time. But it‘s not just about getting buildings out the door. Jerrel’s vision for Byler is to be at the cutting edge of the industry, and to provide top-notch customer service. Jerrel states his vision emphatically: "Everything we do has to be the best."
That passion for the best accompanies Jerrel into his own home. He has a dream of going to culinary school, but since he can’t do that right now he finds ways to learn on his own. Each weekend his wife lets him take ownership of the kitchen, and there he experiments with all kinds of food--after he has finished doing the family grocery shopping. His inspiration comes from watching cooking shows, or experiencing the creations of other chefs in top restaurants in Virginia. (His four daughters still love McDonalds, so he happily gives them their own version of fine dining.)
VP of Finance, Rentashed General Manager
Jason has been a valuable member of the Byler management team since he signed on as CFO in 2012. He is crunching numbers now, but his training and experience are much broader. His father had a small feedmill, and as a boy, Jason rode along on deliveries. As he grew older, he took increasing responsibility for many different components of feedmill operation. Jason had always been interested in airplanes, prompting him to train to get his pilot’s license. His appetite whetted, he left the feedmill to study at Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, where he earned a degree in Aviation Electronics. Jason worked in that field nine years, installing and repairing communication and navigation radios in the cockpits of planes. But he had also had an ongoing interest in accounting, and when the opportunity for a full-time accounting position came up, he jumped for it.
As VP of Finance, Jason oversees the finances of the company. Fortunately, he enjoys working with numbers, and so the invoicing and bills, payroll and sales tax are a great fit for him. As the General Manager of Rentashed, Jason manages the Rent-To-Own contracts, and personally answers questions from clients. It is important to him (as you will find if you speak to him on the phone) that each client receives personal and personable treatment.
Jason married his wife, Barb, in 2008. They live with their two young sons in Broadway. Jason and Barb love reading and traveling, although for now the demands of a young family are redirecting those loves in other directions.
Director of Marketing
Wendell came to Bylers after having spent most of his life in academia. From the time he began kindergarten to the time he stopped teaching over 35 years later, he was in the classroom for all but 5 years. Standing on the threshold of his college career, he vacillated between majoring in English or music. He swerved into music, and has never looked back. He and his wife, Jeanene, moved to Harrisonburg from Kansas in 2005, where both took music courses at JMU. Wendell graduated with a masters in choral conducting, and then went back into the high school classroom full-time.
Coming to Bylers has been a significant switch in career direction, and yet there is also significant overlap. Wendell brings interest in research and writing, both of which are useful for his work in marketing and website content writing. He greatly enjoys the culture at Bylers. In his own words: "Bylers nurtures a culture of camaraderie and teamwork, where vision and goals are clearly laid out but where there is lots of room for independent innovation. When things don‘t go well, frank dialogue is welcome around the issues, but respect for each other is emphasized. And I appreciate that serving our clients well is emphasized over our own convenience. That is a culture that is worth noting." Wendell’s vision is that as Bylers comes increasingly into the public eye, they will not only sell great sheds, but also bring a wholesomeness into the local community through their interactions here.
Wendell and Jeanene greatly enjoy working together in the arts. Wendell is the administrator of and an instructor at Shenandoah Christian Music Camp, and conducts Oasis Chorale, a summer touring choir. Jeanene is involved in both organizations as well, and is treasurer of a local community choir that Wendell directs.
Director of Sales
Loren has worked in the storage shed industry for many years, but his career path has wound through a variety of scenic byways. Before he began to work in shed sales at Bylers, he had a growing business of selling and delivering--brace yourself--peanut skins (not the hulls, but the brown papery wrapping around the nut). These were leftovers from the Hershey factory in Stuarts Draft, and Loren sold them to farmers who valued them as a high-fat, high-protein feed supplement. A fire at the factory shut that down for a few months, and Loren came to Bylers to work in shed delivery and installation. He was hired to help with sales in 2013, working as a salesman before becoming Director of Sales in 2015.
Loren‘s current position is a bit of a juggling act; it includes recruiting and hiring sales people, managing five retail lots across central Virginia, and overseeing detached garage design and sales. He is frankly excited about the Byler culture, and is glad to be part of a business that nurtures innovation while maintaining a high commitment to friendly, personal interaction with each and every client. Loren says, "Quality is a big issue--very important--but at the end of the day anyone can brag their quality, and tell you why they’re better. But it’s the customer experience that will set you apart."
One of Loren‘s great joys in life is being a husband and father. He, his wife Marcia, and their four children enjoy anything outdoors. His definition of camping? Real camping: tent, and a camp fire. They don’t even always go away to do their camping. You might just find the six of them occasionally (although they‘d probably rather you wouldn’t) tenting at night in their back yard, roasting marshmallows around a fire. He deeply enjoys his "church family," as well; on the weekends, one of his delights is studying and teaching in the church the family attends.
Director of Administration and Information
Dan came to Byler Barns in March, 2013, after having worked with a private equity firm for over five years. Dan‘s long and impressive job title can be reduced to a two-word description: the hub. Dan says this is the most interesting job he’s had up to this point, and it’s not difficult to see why--from the time a customer orders a building to the time the building is delivered, Dan is at the center of the action. He keeps information flowing smoothly between every department of the company, from sales to production to finance. Dan interacts with customers to schedule delivery times, and to address the many questions that surround the delivery of the building.
One of Dan‘s favorite aspects of his work at Bylers is that his job is constantly changing. Every customer’s situation, needs, and concerns are different, and he enjoys the challenge of making sure they are each guided through the process (he is the only one in the company who talks to every single customer) and served to complete satisfaction.
When he‘s not at Byler’s, you might find him around the Chesapeake Bay. He learned to crab from his dad when he was a boy, and still enjoys crabbing at Kent Island, off the eastern shore of Maryland (his bait of choice is chicken). If he‘s not in the boat, he’ll be in the water. He recently completed his fourth time swimming in the annual Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, a 4.4 mile jaunt that benefits the March of Dimes.
Dan married Francie in September, 2014. They (and their three dogs) live in Harrisonburg.
Design Consultant, Sales Manager
Mark’s expertise in sales comes from many years of experience. Before he ever got into sales, however, he held a cutting-edge position in the technology industry. He attended Blue Ridge Community College for electronics, then began to work as a cable tech, and later began working for an international satellite communications company. Eventually he started a company of his own, traveling nationwide doing satellite earth station installations and repairs, along with the sale of many home satellite systems in the Rockbridge county area. After seven years, Mark made the move into full-time sales, working first for an electronics company, and later in sales management for an office equipment company.
Mark bought his first Byler Barn from Benny some 25 years ago, never dreaming that he would someday sell those very storage buildings himself. But that is what he has been doing since 2011, and he has become an advocate of the Bylers experience. Mark has seen every kind of sales approach around. He comments about Bylers, “Big difference is here, we are not simply going to set buildings on the lot and expect you to choose from what you see. We are going to ask you questions that will cause you to actually think about what problem you are trying to solve. We are then going to point out options which may provide you with a long term solution that will not only solve your storage needs but also look great. That is something a big box store or many dealers will not take the time to do.”
Design Consultant, Sales Manager
Bo has found a blending of different career streams in his present position at Bylers. As a youth he learned construction from his grandfather, so he understands the building of storage sheds. He has been in management, and knows what it takes to oversee a retail lot. Sales is familiar turf, as well--he crisscrossed the entire state of Louisiana for 8 years selling large equipment for Vermeer. And as an artist at heart (he was, after all, a professional cake decorator for 10 years), he gets the concept of beauty and the barn.
Bo came to the Valley from from Louisiana, hoping to escape the heat, an 8-days-a-week job, and the aggressive water moccasins that periodically came after him. Being in the area has removed him from all that, and given him much more in return.
Bo knows, admires, and sells Bylers’ standard lines of storage buildings. But he is also delighted for the opportunity to get back into the artistry and drawing that he enjoys. People will bring him a dream and ask him, "Can you do this?" With a pencil and ruler, he will start sketching until they see their dream on paper in front of them. And that is his goal: helping people find solutions.
Bo says of Byler Barns, "I’m selling the best shed out there." The quality of the shed, however, is only part of what he loves about Bylers. The culture of the company is special to him as well. The annual company picnic, where all the employees sat down around the table and ate together, was a truly amazing experience for him. Throughout the day, even down to the corn hole tournament, he noted that "Nobody talks evil of each other."
With his wife and son, along with numerous other Cleveland Browns fans, Bo lives in Harrisonburg.
Design Consultant, Sales Manager
Sandy has always been in touch with the public, but her work at Byler Barns is her first go at sales. She‘s a local in Orange County, and she knows her people. "Pretty much everybody knows everybody," she says--and she really is one who knows about everybody. That makes sense, considering her history: she’s been in customer service all her life, including running a convenience store for 15 years. Born in Madison County, she‘s been a resident in Orange for over three decades, and she raised her three kids here. She’s happy to be in touch with them frequently. (And it probably doesn’t hurt that there are nine grandchildren.)
Sandy loves the sales process, talking with people, and introducing them to the Byler line of sheds. She is convinced about her product, and for those who are interested, she can talk for a while about 2x4‘s, double-plates, and tar paper. She advises potential buyers, "When you go in buildings, check materials and workmanship. You want to buy a building that’s going to last, and not six months from now it starts falling apart. I’ve heard and seen that."
Sandy has been with Bylers in sales and design since 2012. It‘s more than just a job for her; Sandy loves teaming up with Bylers. She says, "I’ve worked since I was 16, and this is honestly the best company I‘ve ever worked for. They’re great people to work for, they stand behind what they say. Even though I’m not family, it feels like family."
She and her husband love to go riding on their Harley Sportster. In her spare time, Sandy enjoys refurbishing antiques. If you stop by her retail lot in Orange, she‘ll be happy to show you what she’s been working on lately.
Design Consultant, Sales Manager
AJ White grew up in Maryland not too far from the old Memorial Stadium where the Orioles used to play. He loved listening to baseball with his granddad, loved school, and even started programming computers in 8th grade.
Just before high school, he moved to Virginia to the Richmond area. AJ was a basketball fiend. He played a little in school, but he played a lot of neighborhood ball, and league ball as well. His position was guard, and sometimes short forward. But not being the tallest guy on the team didn‘t keep him down. He could stand under the goal, and jump and grab the rim with both hands. AJ tells the story of the highest he ever jumped ... he and his brother Eric stole the ball. Eric took off with the ball down to his end of the court, and laid it up. AJ was trailing behind him to cover. Just after Eric shot, when AJ jumped, he was high enough to see the ball going down into the cylinder. He could dunk on a 10’ goal. That, AJ recounts a little wistfully, was back before knee surgery.
In Richmond AJ met Angelina, took her to the prom -- and married her. They raised two children in Richmond, and then moved to Charlotte, NC. There he spent seven years at CarMax doing sales consulting and training.
At Bylers, AJ has enjoyed bringing the sales lot up to a new level of order and beauty. He enjoys the folks he works with, and loves the family environment. Everyone is willing to help each other, and he really likes that.
AJ has brought to Mechanicsville his love of helping people, along with the consulting skills he developed at CarMax. His goal is still to walk with people through the entire process, and get to know them. He’s not interested in getting them to fit into the box, but to take great care of his clients, until they are completely satisfied.
We deliver storage shed solutions to customers across the state of Virginia and parts of West Virginia. We make shed buying easy!