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NOTE TO EDITORS: The correct capitalization of the company name is TAMKO, due to the fact that it is an acronym. The letters stand for Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma — the company’s original trade area when founded in 1944. TAMKO’s trade area is now all 50 states.

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Kim Eckerman, Director of Communications
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TAMKO Kicks Off 75th Anniversary in Business at 75th International Builders’ Show

Milestone Builders’ Show leads into TAMKO’s first of two important anniversary dates in 2019
What started as one small location in an old streetcar barn in southwest Missouri, has grown to one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of roofing. Today, TAMKO Building Products, Inc. celebrates that history by officially kicking off its 75th year in business at the 75th NAHB International Builders' Show® (IBS) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

75th Anniversary - colorDuring 2019, TAMKO will celebrate two important anniversary dates:

  • March 9 — The day in 1944 that TAMKO-founders E.L. and Mary Ethel Craig bought an old streetcar barn and shingle-making equipment in Joplin, Missouri for the business that would eventually become TAMKO Building Products.
  • September 5 — The day the Craigs officially named their new roofing company TAMKO, an acronym of the first letters of the states they believed would be their sales territory – Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

But the story of how TAMKO got from those dates to today is one of perseverance, entrepreneurialism and the American dream, and the company’s longevity in the industry is inextricably tied to its unconventional history. Founder E.L. Craig was a self-made man who started working at age 12 and went on to own a series of successful businesses. He was 69 years old when he started his final business venture – TAMKO.

Craig was a deeply-principled man and TAMKO continues to be guided by those same core values, under the leadership of the third generation of the same founding family. TAMKO continues to be entirely privately owned and operated, giving it the freedom to operate in a way that ensures the company can maneuver the changing economic tides to “stay in business for the long-haul” as late TAMKO President J.P. Humphreys often said.

J.P. was the one who introduced TAMKO to the principles of Continuous Improvement and the work of famed statistician Dr. W. Edwards Deming in 1981, a defining moment for the company, driving much of TAMKO’s progress since then in vertical integration, product development and manufacturing processes.

And all that time, TAMKO Chairman Ethelmae Humphreys, 92, daughter of the company’s founders and a TAMKO employee for more than 70 years, graciously led the company in a variety of leadership positions, acting as a steadying influence during times of transition.

“TAMKO is more than a business – it’s a family,” said TAMKO President and CEO David Humphreys, the third generation of the Craig-Humphreys leadership. “Over the years, my mother (Ethelmae) has compared the business to having a younger sibling – we care for it, we love it, we do whatever is necessary for it to thrive. And TAMKO’s success would not be possible without the thousands of employees and customers we’ve had over that history who felt, in some part, the same way about the business. And for that, we are immensely grateful.”

Today, that one small TAMKO location has grown to more than 20 facilities across the U.S. and its products are available nationwide. The company expanded into a variety of building products, including new styles of asphalt shingles, steel shingles, composite decking and railing, roofing underlayments, waterproofing products and cements and coatings.

To learn more about TAMKO’s 75th anniversary and our new building products and contractor programs, visit booth #N527, February 19-21, at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, Nevada or go to www.TAMKO.com to learn more.

Old TAMKO Building (barn)

About TAMKO


TAMKO Building Products is one of the nation’s largest independent manufacturers of residential and commercial roofing products. For more information about TAMKO, visit our website at www.tamko.com.