Rogers Steel Company was founded in 1974 by my father James M. Rogers Jr.  Jim grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, graduated from Chattanooga High School in May 1940 and attended The University of Chattanooga on an academic scholarship. That summer he got a job at The Hamilton National Bank where he met Helen Mason. With World War II just months away, Jim then enlisted in the US Army Air Corps (Air Force).

After serving his country, Jim returned home to Chattanooga in 1945 with his wife Helen Mason Rogers and started a family. Jim spent five years in radio engineering and broadcasting, before getting a job at The Tennessee Valley Authority as a steel buyer in 1951.  Jim moved on to private purchasing and then went into sales for a steel distributor. He was later hired as sales manager for a steel service center in East Tennessee in 1966.  He developed many good relationships in the industry, and was very successful selling Hot Rolled, Cold Rolled and Galvanized steel to the appliance industry.

Jim left this job in 1973 and worked briefly with a steel broker. On a sales call with one of his good customers, Jim mentioned he was considering a change, maybe even starting his own business. Just a few days later, he received a purchase order in the mail made out to “Rogers Steel Company”.  Jim quickly called the customer explaining he was only thinking about making this change and was still undecided, being told in response, “I thought this might help you make up your mind”.  Jim took the order and supplied the steel. Not only did his friend persuade him to go into business by sending him his first purchase order, but he also named the company. Rogers Steel Company was off and running.

Jim’s oldest son Randy soon joined the business and a few years later I joined the business. We served the appliance industry, sourcing steel in the Midwest United States and shipping it to our customers in the south. Jim realized the importance of his suppliers. Therefore, we made annual trips up north to meet our suppliers, sometimes working in a round of golf.  Some of my fondest memories of time spent with my father was on these trips.


Rogers Steel Company began supplying pre-painted steel in the 1980’s, first to the florescent light fixture industry and then for construction products.  As the appliance business and light fixture business consolidated, much of the manufacturing moved to Mexico. Construction products began to grow and became a bigger part of our business. In the early 2000’s Randy retired, and Jim was slowing down. I had a young family and was travelling a lot, working to keep the business going. My sister Carol joined the company and kept the office running.

I was developing my own relationships in the industry, looking for ways to grow our business and replace the lost appliance business. As a result, I began working with a new customer to help him by supplying painted steel for his new metal roofing and siding business. I was able to establish mill direct sourcing for the first time and have it painted and processed. This was a turning point for Rogers Steel Company, and we were off and running once again.

My oldest son Mason joined the business in 2012 and my daughter Sarah joined the business in 2017. Together we focused on the pre-painted steel business, increasing sales and adding painted aluminum products with inventory available for immediate shipment.


Rogers Steel Company is now firmly established as a distributor of quality steel and aluminum painted products.  Following Jim’s lead of building relationships, both with customers and with suppliers, we have a strong base of steel, aluminum and paint supply, processing partners, and loyal customers.


I am very proud of this fifty-year milestone and proud to have my son and daughter in the business, along with my wife Rhonda, who has taken an active role since Carol retired. We are truly a family business. We are continuing the legacy that my dad started: maintaining integrity, building relationships, and providing solutions to our customer’s needs.

Thank you for allowing me to share our story and thank you to our many friends who have helped us along the way.


Tommy Rogers