Home  >  Blog  >  TAMKO News

TAMKO says ‘final goodbye’ to longtime executive Leland Browne

TAMKO - Early Executive Team
Standing, left to right: Vice President of Sales Roy Plummer, President Jay Humphreys and Executive Vice President Leland Browne. Seated, left to right: Mary Ethel Craig and Ethelmae Humphreys.

In July, TAMKO said a final goodbye to one of its most influential team members in company history.

TAMKO executive and friend Leland Browne died at the age of 90 of natural causes, surrounded by his family on July 6 in Joplin, Missouri.

Through many years of faithful service, Leland became not only a trusted advisor to longtime TAMKO President Jay Humphreys, but also a family friend.

“Leland was my father’s [Jay] right-hand man during those transitional years,” said David Humphreys, TAMKO Chairman and CEO. “The total quality culture foundation that Leland helped build at TAMKO, along with his leadership in manufacturing, helped us become the successful roofing business that we are known for today.”


Leland moved to Joplin in 1962 after accepting the position of Controller and Assistant to the President at TAMKO. He served on the TAMKO Board of Directors and earned successive promotions throughout his career to Vice President of Finance, Vice President of Manufacturing and eventually the role of Executive Vice President.

Leland’s impact on the company was also increased through his advocacy of Deming Total Quality Management (“TQM”) methodology in the 1980s. Leland attended a series of Deming seminars and visited Japan to see how manufacturers there used Deming’s philosophies to be more successful. Eventually, Leland began teaching the industrial quality control techniques at TAMKO, even working as a private consultant later, teaching Deming philosophy to other companies such as Weyerhaeuser, 3M and Campbell Soup. Leland helped design and lead TAMKO’s first formal TQM Continuous Improvement trainings, where he held a series of conferences on Deming’s methodology for TAMKO’s leadership team. Even today, company culture is built upon the foundation of Deming and TQM Continuous Improvement that Leland helped establish during that influential time in TAMKO history.

After Jay Humphreys began experiencing some health problems in 1985, Leland took on additional leadership responsibilities to assist during the difficult time. Leland retired from TAMKO in 1988.


In addition to the respect that he earned at TAMKO, Leland was also a well-known leader in the Joplin community. Leland served as President and Chairman of the Board of Freeman Hospital during the critical four-year period spanning the initial planning, financing and construction of the new Freeman Hospital. He also served for 20 years as a member of the Board of Directors of Commerce Bank of Joplin, was a former member of the Board of Trustees of Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, a former member of the Joplin Airport Board, a former Board Member of Twin Hills Country Club and served as community member on the Editorial Board of the Joplin Globe.

Leland was also an Eagle Scout and military veteran who took great pride in his country.


TAMKO, the Humphreys family, and all those who had the privilege of working with Leland over the course of his long and distinguished career at TAMKO, gratefully recognize his service and lasting contribution to TAMKO and the Joplin community.

Leland Brown - TAMKO Executive Vice President 1980s
Leland Browne, TAMKO Executive Vice President in the 1980s.

Sign Up to Stay Connected