A History of TAMKO’s Leadership

Founded in 1944, TAMKO Building Products, Inc. has provided building products for the professional for more than 70 years. The company, which started out as a small shingle manufacturer in a streetcar barn in Joplin, Missouri, has grown into one of the largest privately-owned manufacturers of building products in the United States. Today, TAMKO has manufacturing plants and offices located across the country, with a product line that has expanded to include commercial and residential roofing products, composite decking and railings, waterproofing, and cements and coatings. Read on to learn about TAMKO’s leadership, which has made the company what it is today.

E.L. Craig founded TAMKO in 1944 in an old streetcar barn on High Street in Joplin, Missouri. The company began production with a single shingle line. When it was founded, TAMKO employed 35 people but was already planning to employ up to 75 people. By 1946, the company started to expand when E.L. purchased Joe Jones Refinery to produce asphalt for the High Street plant.  That location quickly expanded into a felt mill to produce the other major raw material used in shingles at the time.

E.L.’s wife, Mary Ethel Craig, is responsible for naming the company TAMKO. The name came from the first letters of the five states the couple anticipated as the company’s sales territory— Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. In 1954, Mary Ethel assumed the leadership of TAMKO due to E.L’s health. The couple’s daughter, Ethelmae, led TAMKO’s operations in the 1950s and continues today as the company’s chairman.

In 1960, Ethelmae’s husband, Jay Humphreys, became president of TAMKO and led the company for the next 33 years. Under his leadership, TAMKO added manufacturing plants in Phillipsburg, Kansas; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Knoxville, Tennessee; Frederick, Maryland; and Dallas, Texas, as well as expanding its product line.

After Jay’s death in 1993, David Humphreys, Jay and Ethelmae’s oldest son, was named President and CEO of TAMKO. Under David’s leadership, TAMKO continues to grow at a rapid pace and expand its production capabilities for additional products.

To learn more about TAMKO Building Products, please visit www.tamko.com.

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