Metal Roofing Hall of Fame 2007: Tem McElroy

Tem McElroy, McElroy Metal, joined the family business in 1970. McElroy Metal was founded by his father in 1963.

Q. What are you doing nowadays?

“My son, Ian, recently became president of the company. As chairman, I am still actively involved in the business. However, my wife and I enjoy traveling, so we do take advantage of any opportunity to get away.”

Q. How did you get involved in the metal roofing industry?

“My father started the company in 1963. With his encouragement, I joined the business in 1970.”

Q. How has the industry changed since you first became involved?

“The industry was a lot less competitive and a lot more profitable when I first became involved. The uses for metal have also changed. In the beginning, chicken houses and warehouses were the normal uses for metal roofing panels. Today, metal roofing is recognized as a superior product and its use is much more diverse and widespread. Technical advances with both substrates and coatings have helped the industry. The polyester and siliconized polyester coating systems we used decades ago were mediocre at best.”

Q. How has your business changed through the years?

“Really, the same ways as above. We had to keep track of market trends and changes and react accordingly. For example, when we first started the business, we only manufactured thru-fastened corrugated panels. Over the years with the growing trend towards architectural applications, we have added several standing seam systems to our line. Our current product line consists of 11 thru-fastened panels, eight standing seam systems, two soffit panels and a full array of sub-structural members. The selection of colors has also changed. Today, we have over 30 standard colors we use day in and day out. Another major change has been our internal growth to meet the growing demand of the marketplace. Today, we operate 10 manufacturing facilities, 18 McElroy Metal Service Centers and 34 Metal Mart locations across the country.”

Q. What contributions have you and your company made to the metal roofing industry?

McElroy Metal has always focused on providing high quality products and services. I like to think that we have had an impact on raising the bar in the industry on service-related issues. Years ago, McElroy Metal was the first components company to convert from polyester to siliconized polyester coatings. Similarly, McElroy Metal was the first company to convert from siliconized polyester to Kynar 500 coatings across all product lines. In the mid 90s, it was common for Kynar 500 to be used for architectural roofing; however, siliconized polyester coatings were common on thru-fastened panels. Since thru-fastened panels are a very common roofing material, we felt it was our obligation to offer the best coating available. We were also one of the first companies to embrace Galvalume substrates.”

Q. What does the future look like for our industry?

“Fortunately, metal roofing continues to be a high growth product. Not only are more and more owners and architects recognizing the long-term value and aesthetics of metal, the industry will also gain market share due to environmental issues. The marketplace will continue to put more emphasis on green building design practices, which will be good for the growth of our industry.”

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