All posts by admin

TAMKO Invests in Innovative Technology



TAMKO Building Products, Inc. has invested heavily in the technology and innovation to stay at the forefront of the industry. By integrating new technologies into the company’s operations, TAMKO has been able to boost efficiency and profits, while producing quality products for its customers.

Here are some of the innovations TAMKO has implemented throughout the years:

Conversion to Glass Mat

During the time that Jay Humphreys was president of TAMKO, the market share of fiberglass mat began to grow. When it made up just 30 percent of the market share, Jay decided to covert TAMKO’s operations to produce fiberglass mat. A small fiberglass mat mill was built at TAMKO’s Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant in 1972. Another, larger one was established at the Rangeline-Joplin, Missouri plant in 1982. Roofing manufacturers that didn’t switch to fiberglass mat went out of business. By the early 1980s, 70 roofing companies had closed their doors.

Office Automation

In the 1970s, before digitizing documents was the norm, Jay acknowledged the need to minimize paperwork and developed a system of scanning files to microfilm. In the mid-1980s, the company automated its payroll, freight tracking, and customer ordering processes. Several of the computer systems formed at this time were very advanced and were still used until the mid-2000s.


When he took the reins of TAMKO, David Humphreys continued to automate TAMKO’s processes. He upgraded TAMKO’s plants with machines and technology and further improved efficiency by introducing a method call anti-tampering.  Anti-tampering involved removing variables in operations. Some of the advancements implemented under David’s leadership include “Dolly and Jake” automated, guided vehicles used as forklifts at the Ennis, Texas plant, and “Tamra”, a state-of-the-art stacking robot used on the Tam-Rail composite railing line at the Lamar, Missouri facility.

Heritage® Shingles

TAMKO was the first company in the roofing industry to develop a line of specialty shingles based on the colors found in nature. The Heritage® shingles line combined the natural beauty of wood or slate with the strength and durability of asphalt shingles. TAMKO added unique cuts and granule shadowing to enhance the natural colors.

To learn more about TAMKO Building Products, Inc. visit

TAMKO Roofers Basketball Team

Close up shot of a basketball on a hardwood gym floor


TAMKO Building Products has always been actively involved in community sports and has sponsored a variety of teams and sporting events. The most notable of the TAMKO teams is the company’s basketball team, the TAMKO Roofers, that competed for five seasons in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The TAMKO Roofers were formed at a time when teams consisting of men from companies and other organizations would compete against each other at the local and national level. This was prior to the formation of the National Basketball Association. The TAMKO Roofers formed in 1947 as part of the YMCA Open League. The TAMKO Roofers soon became the team to beat, and their most memorable game was their victory against the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters.

On January 6, 1948, approximately 850 spectators filled the Memorial Hall in Joplin, Missouri, where the two teams faced off. At the end of a close game, the TAMKO Roofers defeated the Globetrotters in a stunning 34-33 victory.

As reported by the Joplin Globe at the time:

“A free throw by Lester Cooper, who was fouled at the final buzzer, decided the game after a seesaw struggle in which neither team was able to muster a comfortable lead. At one stretch during the second half, the lead changed hands 10 times and once was deadlocked at 33-33. It was at that point that Cooper made good his free shot for the victory.

The contest became rough in the final minutes and at one time seemed almost out of hand, as the players of both sides battled for possession of the ball and for every advantage, and at one stage of the mix-up, Coach Gene Cookerly of the Joplin team appeared ready to pull his quintet from the floor.”

During the team’s five seasons of play, they won 81 out of 92 games, including this momentous victory. In honor of their achievements, the team was inducted into the Joplin Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

The team dissolved in 1951 after several members went into the military. Though the team played just five seasons, they created a great legacy that TAMKO and the people of Joplin can take pride in.

TAMKO Founding Family Strategic in Creation of Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School

David Humphreys, the President and CEO of TAMKO Building Products and grandson of its founder, and his wife Debra, were strategic in the creation of a private school in Joplin in 1993 to provide the community’s students with the chance to earn a first-class education. The 35,000-square-foot school was built on a 26-acre site donated by TAMKO and located just east of Rangeline and Newman Road. The school cost approximately $2 million to build.

In 2010, David and Debra helped fund the school’s new 45,000-square-foot addition for the Performing Arts and Student Life Complex. Their donation prompted other families to donate a total of $2.1 million. The construction was finished in 2012. By that year, the school’s enrollment reached almost 300 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12.

Enrollment is open to all students, with financial aid available to qualifying students. More than half of the student body receives financial assistance or scholarships. The school awards more than $600,000 in financial aid each year to almost half of the student population. Another $600,000 is funded by the Humphreys family annually in the form of academic and need-based student scholarships. The merit-based E.L. Craig Scholarship (named after the founder of TAMKO) gives full tuition to up to 12 students. The Humphreys need-based scholarships cover 50% of tuition costs for up to 50 students. Children of TAMKO employees are automatically eligible for these scholarships.

“We feel that having a community with a lot of vibrant educational opportunities for kids is a key to the community being successful,” said Debra Humphreys. “We’re invested in Joplin as a community, and we’re invested in Thomas Jefferson as a school.”

Since the school opened, it has graduated 20 classes and 100 percent of its graduates go to college.

“The Humphreys are involved in the school. They take pride in it and they spend lots of hours of hard work in it. It’s a huge devotion of their time and effort and they’ve never relented since day one,” said Ivan Crossland, CEO of Crossland Construction, the company that built the school.


TAMKO Offers the EverClip™ Hidden Fastener

TAMKO Building Products – one of the largest privately-owned EverClipmanufacturers of residential and low-sloping roofing products, decking and railing products, waterproofing and cements and coatings in the country –now offers the EverClip hidden fastener for its EverGrain and EverGrain Envision grooved composite deck boards. The EverClip hidden fastener is another fastening option to install TAMKO’s Evergrain products.

TAMKO’s EverClip hidden fastener features a serrated-edged stainless steel plate and the screw and clip come pre-assembled. The vertical 90-degree installation of the clip allows two board edges to be installed together and single boards can be removed when necessary.

EverClip from TAMKO Building Products is available in two package options. The first option is a 900 count bucket which covers approximately 500 square feet. The second option is a 90 count box that covers about 50 square feet. With the purchase of the EverClip hidden fastener, you will also receive a 20-year limited warranty against corrosion. See the entire limited warranty at for complete details and restrictions.

How to Install the EverClip Hidden Fasteners

Follow these 5 simple steps to install the EverClip hidden fasteners:

  1. Start by securing the clip outside the starter board.
  2. Hold the clip in place and partially drive the screw into the joist.
  3. Repeat step two on all the joists until each clip has been partially driven in.
  4. Slide the next board against the clips and allow provision for ¼” spacing between the boards.
  5. Firmly fasten the clips into place by completely driving in each screw.

To see the complete installation instructions and to learn more about TAMKO’s EverClip hidden fasteners, its limited warranty and other great TAMKO products, visit

Joplin Company Contracts Author to Write TAMKO History

JOPLIN, Mo. – December 22, 2014 – Several people are familiar with how TAMKO Building Products got its start, but Jeff Rodengen believes the world deserves to know. As a History Channel historian, Rodengen has undertaken the task of writing the history of TAMKO celebration of its 70th anniversary this year.

Rodengen covers nearly a century’s worth of information, which has taken a great deal of investigating to prepare. He began with an intense series interviews with over 60 retired and current employees, ranging from new hires to company leadership. Each of these stories can be found in the book. Rodengen informs his readers that the TAMKO story is one centered on families, and not just the founding family.

“It will be a comprehensive history that starts before the founding of this company by E.L. Craig in 1944,” Rodengen said. “It will look at the family behind this company, the growth, the innovation and adaptation of the company, and the continuity of the culture that has put TAMKO in the top tier in its industry.”

One of the many employees who were interviewed was George Hosp Jr., whose father spent 41 years and grandfather spent 20 years happily employed by TAMKO. George himself has worked for 36 years at TAMKO, holding various positions in producing roofing and building products.

“If I can live three more years, we will have worked a combined 100 years at TAMKO,” Hosp said. “It’s a family business for a lot of folks.”

By the age of 61, Hosp has worked in many fields, including warehousing, sales and customer service. His current position is in the quality improvement department, where his primary task is to “managing intentional culture change” within the company.

“Culture change” will play a large role in the production of the book. In 1981, J.P. “Jay” Humphreys, president of TAMKO, was learned about the concepts of W. Edwards Deming’s “total quality” management. Deming helped to completely change the means in which industrial production was undertaken in Japan after World War II. His major belief was that improving quality had the power to reduce expenses while simultaneously increasing productivity and market share.

Humphreys found Deming’s concept of “continual process improvement” insightful, choosing to implement it throughout TAMKO. The Deming methodology remains as the foundation of all of TAMKO’s improvement efforts to this day.

Rodengen, who is no stranger to the history of business having written 149 books about industry and technology, said successful companies typically maintain certain similar qualities He said his research indicates that TAMKO has succeeded, in part, because of its concern for customer relations and its respect for its employees. He believes that the company has prospered because its primary focus has not been influenced by “blind ambition and greed. The companies that make a lot of money quick don’t make it.”

The book

THE TAMKO ANNIVERSARY BOOK will be coming out in approximately six months. It will be a full color, hard cover book done in traditional coffee table style. There will also be an electronic version produced for iPads. Images found within the book will include photos, documents, and other historical items that have made an impact on TAMKO’s history. If you are a Joplin-area resident, you can help by providing stories about TAMKO and its employees, as well as items related to the company. These include photos, newspaper articles, documents, ads, telegrams, letters, signs and marketing materials for use in the book.


TAMKO® Building Products, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest independent manufacturers of residential and commercial roofing products (including Heritage® Asphalt Shingles and MetalWorks® Steel Shingles), decking and railing products, waterproofing, cements, and coatings. Since 1944, TAMKO’s success is the direct result of teamwork and enduring relationships with customers, suppliers and employees. Privately owned, TAMKO is committed to producing top-quality products with excellent product support. For more information about TAMKO, visit our Web site at