Joplin Globe Newspaper — Born Into Business: Ethelmae Humphreys is 70-year "matriarch" of roofing industry

Ethelmae Humphreys - 1955 Corporate office and High Street staff photo
Ethelmae Humphreys (2nd row, 3rd from left) in a 1955 staff photo

At 91 years old, Ethelmae Humphreys feels lucky.

Most mornings, she drives herself to the TAMKO Building Products corporate offices in downtown Joplin and is greeted by portraits of her late father and husband as she walks through the doors on her way to the job she’s held for 70 years.

“Some of us are very lucky,” said Ethelmae, TAMKO’s longtime chairman of the board, just a week after she was honored for her 70th anniversary with the company her father founded. “I’ve always said that when it’s not fun anymore — if it gets to be a burden — it’s time to be done. But so far, it’s never felt like a burden. I feel no obligation. I do it for the pleasure of it.”

Ethelmae may feel lucky, but most of the people who know her say luck has very little to do with her success, tenure or the respect afforded her in almost any room she walks into.

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David Humphreys and Ethelmae Humphreys (2018)

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