Picture yourself in the United Kingdom and Europe, focused on your career in teaching and performing classical music, married to a European and following your dream.
Then imagine receiving a call from your mother, asking you to return to Lincoln to help run the family business. Oh, and that business has nothing to do with music … it’s a high-tech metal manufacturing company.
Seem improbable? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Dr. Diane Temme Stinton, a Lincoln native who boomeranged back home.
Temme Stinton received a bachelor’s degree in German from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; a master’s degree in International Studies from Bangor University in North Wales, United Kingdom; and her doctorate in Renaissance Music from Bangor as well. It helps to know that her father has German heritage and her mother is Japanese. Her love for music was fostered by the appreciation both parents have for music, participating in a small string group at Lincoln Lutheran and the Lincoln Youth Symphony.
And, a bit about that family business. It’s known as TMCO, or Total Manufacturing Company. Dad Roland Temme started the business in a shack about the size of a two-car garage nearly 50 years ago. Along the way he built a one-stop, concept-to-completion metal manufacturing company.
Today, TMCO is a high-tech, incredibly busy company that makes a wide variety of things, from the cab of a combine to high-pressure natural gas shipping containers. TMCO even made the iconic dome of the gazebo at Lincoln’s Sunken Gardens. If you drive along Sixth Street just north of Park Middle School, you’ll find TMCO. It’s hard to miss.
So, back to Diane. There she was in England, doing what she loved, performing and teaching violin, piano and French horn. Now and then, she’d buzz over to Europe to perform. She was also pulling a part-time gig as a barista in a coffee shop in Birmingham, U.K. That’s where she met Stuart Stinton, the fellow who came in every day wearing a headset and ordered the same thing. Something about him fascinated Diane. There’s a whole lot more to that story, so when you encounter Diane at The Mill buying coffee or elsewhere around town, ask her.
Eventually Diane and Stuart married, and when that fateful call came from mom, he said he’d follow Diane anywhere. That was in 2016, and since they’ve returned, they’ve been blessed with a daughter and some exciting challenges in life.
“We packed up, moved to Lincoln and I showed up at the plant,” Diane said. “They didn’t know I was coming. I had no job description. I just showed up.”
Since returning, Diane has helped grow the wellness program at TMCO and provided input to the overall operation. Meanwhile, she runs around the buildings waving and talking with everyone. She’s plugged into a number of organizations in Lincoln including Rotary 14, the Chamber of Commerce and Prosper Lincoln. And to foster her love of music, she’s helped establish the Crossroads Music Festival.
Asked what it was like moving back to Lincoln, British husband and all, Diane replied: “I was very surprised at the international diversity of the population. My Dad has always hired a number of immigrants and refugees, and it’s a thrill to be able to help them support their families.”
Diane also commented on what a dramatic change the Pinnacle Bank Arena has made in the city, saying it has injected energy into the city and helps give us a bright future.
Next time you fly in or out of LNK, notice the metal sculptures along Cornhusker Highway. TMCO made them. Or when you see that three-dimensional ZOO sculpture at the Children’s Zoo … yep, it’s from TMCO. Oh, and that beautiful piece in front of the International Quilt Study Center at 33rd and Holdrege streets – TMCO made that as well.
So, if you’re reading this and you have a son or daughter who has moved away and is chasing their dream, don’t be afraid to call them and invite them to return. Or, perhaps you’re a Nebraska native somewhere on another continent doing wonderful things. There’s probably something fascinating and wonderful you could do right here in Lincoln. Join the boomerang movement and rediscover Nebraska.