The story behind TMCO is quite a unique one.
Technically, I started the company because I was asked to.
A company that made cassette tapes duplication machines wanted to mass-produce. They had ended their relationship with their previous supplier and wanted me to set up a company in Rodgers, Arkansas.
They offered me a full workshop and would arrange living accommodations on a beautiful lake. It was a tough deal to beat, but I needed to sleep on it.
As I thought more about it, my desire grew.
But there was one nagging thought that I couldn’t get out of my head. I didn’t want to move to Arkansas. I wanted to stay right here in Lincoln.
In Lincoln, I had all the support in the world. It’s a place that meant a whole lot to me and I wasn’t ready to leave.
And in my heart, I knew that I had to listen to my gut.
So, I told the owner of the cassette tape duplication machine company that I can’t accept the offer and needed to stay here in Lincoln.
In my head, I was already thinking about my next moves.
But to my surprise, he told me that he just cared about me doing the work, not where I was doing it.
And just like that, I was making parts for these machines.
So, in 1974, I rented out a 700-foot building with no indoor plumbing and started TMCO. That’s it.
As cliché as it may sound, it was the definition of the American dream. Countless 18-hour-days and seven-day weeks.
And I loved every second of it.
My First Employee
After two years, the company grew to a point where I needed some additional help. So, I was ready to hire my first employee.
He was a deaf and mute gentleman that I’ll never forget, and who helped shape the company’s culture.
He was the definition of a model employee.
I was able to show him what to do, and he could repeat what I taught him.
Like me, he was a hard worker, and he was by my side for 35 years until he retired.
Ever since I started this company, I’ve been able to see a person’s potential, even when others couldn’t. I believe that, when given the opportunity, anyone can be successful.
And over the years, this has become our philosophy.
Barriers that keep people from employment, like language and culture, haven’t been issues for us.
Today, approximately 40% of our 190 employees are refugees. And we employ people from 20 different countries here at TMCO.
And just to be clear, this is not because we actively recruit them. Word gets out that we’re one of the best companies to work for.
And I’m proud of that.
When people are happy at their workplace, they talk… you can’t beat that type of advertising!
I’ve learned over time that there are two crucial factors to create a thriving and welcoming work environment.
Number one – management has to buy into whatever culture we want the company to have.
Our culture means educating one another about how we can be the best environment for our employees.
And, number two – it’s vital to integrate your employees and not have them segregate into cells based on their origin.
We work with our employees to set them up for success outside of work as well. Whether you want to learn English, educate yourself on healthcare, or get a better grip on financial literacy, we provide assistance in all of these areas as well.
Our employees are our family. And it’s essential to us to create this type of support system for them.
Our dedication is hard to duplicate. People often ask me how we do it, but there’s no simple answer. My team and I have built this from the ground up over the last 46 years.
We just do our best to be there for our employees and assist them in any way we can. While some might say that this shouldn’t be our responsibility, I like to say to them…
Our employees are our family, so it is our responsibility.
And this is my definition of the American dream.