The building supply company TAMKO has long garnered attention for its products and services. With a long history of producing quality roofing shingles, the company has been a resource for contractors and building professionals for years. However, in addition to its success in business pursuits, the company has built a name for itself through its focus on family and giving back to the community. To better acquaint readers with this multifaceted organization, we dove into TAMKO’s history and values. Read on to see how the company stands out from others in the field.
From Past to Present
TAMKO was founded in 1944 by E.L. Craig. At the start, the company had a single manufacturing location in Joplin, Missouri, that focused on the production of asphalt shingles. Since that time, it has expanded into a nationwide manufacturer with locations spanning the entire country. This expansion has coincided with an increase in the range of products manufactured by the company, which now includes roofing accessories, waterproofing supplies, and more. This growth has been part of an ongoing effort to build upon the company’s offerings to best meet the needs of industry professionals.
That effort has partly been the result of a push beginning in the 1980s, when the company formally launched its first continuous improvement program. The program was based on the work of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a statistician famous for helping rebuild the Japanese industrial economy after WWII. The work with Deming’s theories allowed the company to develop a greater degree of efficiency, removing waste and other undesirable byproducts of manufacturing processes. This work not only helped the company better serve its customers, but it also supported its core values of honesty, integrity, and compliance.
One of the manifestations of the company’s focus on strong values is its ongoing status as a family-led organization. When E.L. Craig founded the company at the age of 69, he’d already had a vast degree of experience running companies in many different fields. When it came time to transition the leadership of the company, Craig opted to keep the business in his family and hand the reins over to his wife, Mary Ethel Craig. In addition to serving as a capable head of the company, Mary Ethel’s tenure also established a tradition of family leadership that has continued to this day.E.L. and Mary Ethel Craig’s grandson, David Humphreys, now serves as the president and CEO of the organization. In that role, Humphreys continues the tradition of relying on a culture of strong values to improve the work that TAMKO does. These values help the company hire and develop thousands of committed and hardworking professionals at its locations across the country. This focus comes alongside the CEO’s desire to use the resources at his disposal to benefit the communities where the company operates. One of his primary pursuits in this area is making educational opportunities available to young people.
One example of how TAMKO’s leadership supports education is through annual grants to public and private schools in the Joplin-area, as well as supporting many academic teams and their activities. TAMKO also sponsors the area’s annual spelling bee through its support of Newspapers In Education. And the company stepped up to support its local public school district by donating $500,000 and inspiring another $250,000 gift towards rebuilding, after the company’s hometown was hit by an EF-5 tornado in 2011 and many of its school buildings were damaged or destroyed.
The company’s focus on giving back to the community extends beyond education and touches many other aspects of life in Joplin and beyond. One area that the company prioritizes is athletics, maintaining a firm belief that engagement in sports builds character early in life. This work goes all the way back to 1947, when the company sponsored the “TAMKO Roofers” basketball team as part of the YMCA Open League. Not only was the team successful, but it also got the opportunity to play against the Harlem Globetrotters. To this day, the company continues to sponsor teams across a number of different sports and places particular emphasis on supporting young women in their athletic pursuits.
TAMKO also prides itself on supporting employees in their lives both inside and outside of work. Not only is the company known for providing well-paying jobs with an excellent array of benefits, but it has also put in place numerous professional development programs to help employees realize their full potential. These efforts all serve to underscore the family-oriented culture at the company, with employees being valued as contributing members of a larger team.
The company also places emphasis on honoring military veterans and hiring them whenever possible. These efforts stem from a deep recognition of the character and skills that veterans possess and has led to 15 percent of the company’s nationwide workforce being made up of those who have served in the armed forces. The company also seeks to support veterans through charitable initiatives of its own, such as a program to help transport wounded veterans for treatment via the use of corporate jets. The company also supports a number of veteran-related initiatives such as races, honor ceremonies, and philanthropic drives.
While TAMKO is widely known for the quality of its building supplies – especially its extensive line of roofing shingles and related products – it has also distinguished itself over its long history for a variety of other initiatives. The company’s focus on family values and leadership has seen it remain a family-led operation since it was founded in 1944. It has extended this focus on values to the work that it does in its community and in supporting veterans throughout the country. By understanding how the company works to go beyond its goals in business, it becomes increasingly apparent how it hasmaintained its high level of success for so many years.