Tem McElroy: Grew the family business and helped create a new industry association

2013 Metal Construction Hall of Fame

By Paul Deffenbaugh

Tem  Mc Elroy

A pioneer in the metal components industry, Tem McElroy has spent 43 years in the metal construction industry, growing his small family company into a national company that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Growing the company

McElroy received his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech in physics, and his MBA from MIT. After working as a management consultant in Houston for three years, his father convinced him to move back to Shreveport, La., in 1970 and start working for the company he had started in 1963. At that time, the company was small, with only 50 employees. As executive vice president, McElroy worked in purchasing and sales in addition to installing the company’s first computer system.

Bossier City, La.-based McElroy Metal started out primarily providing chicken house roofing and later added a pre-engineered building panel and purlins for the pre-engineered metal building industry. In 1975, McElroy took over as company president from his father. Shortly after, in 1976, he spearheaded the opening of McElroy Metal’s first satellite manufacturing facility in Clinton, Ill., to enter a new market-providing light-gauge roofing and siding for post-frame buildings. Since then, the company has added new products and new plants, thus assuring steady growth. Today, the company operates 12 manufacturing facilities and 20 service centers across the United States.

Over the years, McElroy Metal has also grown by purchasing other companies such as Architectural Building Components, Houston, and Ontario, Calif.-based Met-Tile. The company is also a joint venture partner in Green Span Profiles, Houston.

“It’s very exciting and gratifying to witness the growth and increasing acceptance of metal wall and roof panels in construction over the past 40 years. The unified efforts and visions of countless companies and individuals are responsible for that success.”

Tem McElroy

“We try to stay ahead of the market, and we’re continuing to expand,” McElroy says. The company is continuing to grow its architectural division, and is building a new plant in Houston that will be doing a lot of retrofit business.

Growing the industry

McElroy was president of the Metal Building Component Manufacturers Association (MBMCA) from 1981-1983. During this time, McElroy believed that group was too narrowly focused and championed the creation of a new association, the Metal Construction Association (MCA), which would have a broader membership to help expand the use of metal in the construction industry. McElroy Metal was one of eight companies that provided the seed money to start the new association, and McElroy served on the first board of directors.

Once the association was established for a few years, the board decided to create a trade show specifically for the metal construction industry. MCA established METALCON International in 1989, and the first show was held in 1991. “Having just attended the latest METALCON, it was gratifying and heartening to see first-hand the vision of our founding members to have an all-encompassing association and trade show that has focused on metal in construction remains vibrant and successful 30 years after its inception,” McElroy says.

A family man

McElroy has been married for almost 50 years and has two children and four grandchildren. Six years ago, McElroy graduated to chairman of McElroy Metal, passing the president position on to his son Ian. His daughter and her family reside in San Antonio.

In his spare time, McElroy enjoys flying, and has been a pilot for 43 years, logging more than 6,000 hours. He also enjoys hiking, water skiing, snow skiing and travelling. McElroy stays busy by being involved in the Shreveport community, participating on non-profit boards and as a chairman of various organizations, such as the Community Foundation of Shreveport-Bossier, Alliance for Education, Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana and Barksdale Forward.