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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Jan 31, 2024 2:45:00 PM

McElroy Minute: Celebrating 42 Years With Mark Brotherton

The McElroy Metal family is celebrating the esteemed career of Mark Brotherton as he retires after 42 years of service.Mark_BrothertonMark began his career at McElroy Metal in September of 1982 when he accepted the role of our very first Manager-Trainee while on his honeymoon (much to the delight of his new in-laws)!

After gaining experience and discovering a talent for customer service and team development, he began a series of development stints at various McElroy Metal branches, where he developed strong customer service teams in Clinton, IL, Peachtree, GA, and Bossier City, LA.

Over the years, Mark moved up in the managerial track, eventually becoming McElroy Metal's Vice President of Operations.



Recently, we chatted with Mark about his time on the McElroy Metal team and his retirement plans.

What was your favorite thing about your role on the McElroy Metal team?

FB_IMG_1705250086397I enjoy working with my team members at various levels. I have a solid corporate support team that includes multiple regional managers, a corporate manufacturing manager, and a transportation manager. That group is the "difference makers," and my job is to support them so that they can support our manufacturing teams. We are blessed with core team members at each plant who are committed to their jobs and our customers. Ultimately, my job was to make those teams successful, and I truly appreciated their dedication and loyalty.

What was your "specialty" or area of expertise in your job?

Generating ideas, problem-solving, and developing effective systems.

What did a "typical day" at McElroy look like for you?

Our operations team includes 15 manufacturing facilities with over 400 employees involved in production, transportation logistics, and administrative functions. A typical day for me would include activities and decisions supporting employee recruitment and retention and problem-solving to serve our customers better. I also put a lot of time and thought into creating and supporting employee training opportunities and managing continuous improvement projects.

What was your favorite part of your workday?

In my role, every day was different – I loved that!

Who has been your mentor or champion at McElroy Metal?

My 40+ years at McElroy have allowed me to have several wonderful mentors. Early in my career, John Darrah, a leader on our sales team, was a significant mentor to me. Alan Shaffer was an incredible mentor to me as I moved into operations, and working alongside Don Jones was a great education in equipment. Over the last ten years, Ian McElroy has taught me so much about business and leadership. All along my journey, I have learned valuable lessons from many people - too many to list here!


What did you enjoy most about working at McElroy Metal?

I have enjoyed working with employee-owners who genuinely care about our customers and are committed to growing the company. McElroy Metal has provided many opportunities for growth and advancement, and seeing the company grow over the years has been exciting.

If you could switch roles with anyone in the company for one day, who would it be and why?

I would switch with Ian McElroy because I would love to see how our company performs from his vantage point… but only for one day!

If you could use three words to describe McElroy Metal, what would they be?

Integrity, Commitment, Care


How has the company changed during your tenure?

When I joined the company in 1982, we were opening our third plant. Our product roster was smaller, and we sold all our products wholesale, with no retail outlets. We didn't have an HR department or marketing team, and the internet and email didn't exist yet.

We now have 15 manufacturing plants, the largest product roster in the industry, and we serve a vast market. We have integrated innovative automation into our processes and are continually expanding our product offerings.

What is the most significant growth or positive change point you've noticed in your time here?

Without a doubt, it is the pivot we made to becoming employee-owned. Our ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) is a tremendous opportunity for growth on both an individual and a company level.

What are your hopes for the company moving forward?

I hope McElroy continues to grow and succeed while remaining true to the values and principles that Tem McElroy established many years ago.

Peachtree_1987Any advice for your department?

My advice to the operations team is to be open to new ideas, get creative, and constantly innovate. That is what allows that department to make McElroy products and operations stand out from the crowd.

What are you most proud of regarding your accomplishments?

I have been fortunate in the timing of my career, and I have had many opportunities to create first-time systems and programs for the company. These include developing training programs like hands-on product application, roll form training, and quality programs.

I was honored to play a significant role in McElroy's pursuit of lean manufacturing, and I led our initial transportation outsourcing with Ryder Logistics. I worked with one of our major transportation vendors to develop our Conestoga trailers with custom trim racks. I partnered with our first RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) companies to improve our recruitment efforts.

What are your retirement plans?

Bro_GrandkidsI plan to stay active by playing golf and pickleball and volunteering in my community. My wife Liz and I have fun travel plans, including a trip to Yellowstone National Park and a European River Cruise. Most importantly, I plan to continue to spoil my grandchildren!

What is on your "Bucket List"?

I'm a sports fanatic, so a few of my "bucket list" items are to attend a golf tournament at the Masters and maybe a Super Bowl game!

Do you have any parting words?

It has truly been my honor and privilege to be a part of the McElroy team for so many years.

I will miss the wonderful people I have worked with and wish everyone continued success!

While we are sad to see Mark take his leave, we celebrate the invaluable role he has played in the growth and success of McElroy Metal over the last 42 years. We wish him all the best in his travels, family time, and checking off that bucket list!

Employment at McElroy Metal

McElroy Metal’s success over the years is largely attributed to the talented and dedicated employees across the country. McElroy Metal’s extensive footprint of locations and distinct business units offer employment candidates a wide variety of fulfilling options such as manufacturing, customer service, retail and corporate positions.

Topics: Insider

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