David Humphreys, president and CEO of TAMKO Building Products, hadn’t always planned on taking over his family’s business. Early in life, he remembers his father and former TAMKO CEO Jay Humphreys encouraging him to pursue his own passions and career. So David went to law school and worked for firms in Joplin, New York and Paris.
A legal career was a far cry from TAMKO, a manufacturer of building materials such as asphalt roofing for residential homes and manufacturing facilities that was founded in 1944 by David’s grandfather, EL Craig, and his wife, Mary Ethel, in Joplin, where it remains headquartered today. However, David believes his time working in law helped prepare him to take on his current role. “I think it is very important for next-generation [family] members to work outside the business for some period of time prior to joining the family business,” David says. “The experiences I gained are very valuable to me today, and it’s important to learn to work for people who don’t love you.”
Jay surprised David when he asked him to join the business in 1989. David had plans to continue his career as a lawyer in London, but he decided to join the TAMKO team as the company’s first general counsel. He planned to learn the manufacturing and financial aspects of the business and had only been working for TAMKO for four years when his father died, leaving David to step into a leadership role earlier than expected.