Complete History of Public Steel Inc.
Public Steel Inc. has been an Amarillo, TX based business for over 68 years. It was founded in 1948 by Jeoffroy Manufacturing Company, a farm implement manufacturer, with the primary purpose of allowing Jeoffroy to purchase steel directly from the mills.
Over time, Public Steel Inc. expanded its warehouse business, and in 1958 Jack Gleason was hired as the general manager, bringing years of experience in the steel industry with him from Oklahoma. In 1968, Jack purchased Public Steel Inc., along with a partner, and served as the president until his death in 2002. Under Jack’s leadership, the company grew into a prominent structural steel supplier.
Expanding the Company
In 1972, the company began expanding into structural steel fabrication and hired fabrication expert, Roy Duck. Roy began growing the fabrication side of the business with little more than some space carved out in one of the warehouses and a few welding machines. Focusing from the beginning on quality, Public Steel Inc. soon made a name in the region as a top tier steel fabricator.
In 1978, Jim Gleason joined his father at Public Steel Inc. after buying out Jack’s original partner. He brought with him a degree in business and the experiences acquired during a successful career in the State of Oklahoma Crime Commission. Under Jim’s direction, Public Steel Inc. added an additional 115,000 square foot facility to the company’s existing 30,000 square foot warehouse.
Family-Owned and Operated
Jim’s wife, Eva Gleason, began a regular and active role at Public Steel Inc. in 1996, serving as office administrator following the sale of her partnership interest in an Amarillo based tax preparation business.
In keeping with the pride of family ownership, the children of Jim and Eva, Chris and Jenni, regularly cleaned the offices and performed other tasks as needed throughout their teen years. During the summers of their college years, Chris and Jenni both worked full-time at Public Steel, performing various roles for the company ranging from clerical to delivery of orders to welding.
Chris Gleason graduated from Baylor University in 1997 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Following graduation, Chris enjoyed a successful career in commercial banking in Houston and Fort Worth but began to feel a desire to return to the family business. In 2003, he returned to Amarillo and joined Public Steel working alongside his father until Jim’s death in 2007.
Upon Jim’s passing in 2007, his widow Eva assumed the role of CEO and her son Chris assumed the role of President. Under their leadership, the company has continued to prosper and expand into new fields all while continuing the company’s longstanding commitment to quality.