50 “It’s amazing how certain people you meet in your life’s journey can be so influential. A guy named Ken Harris worked for a competi- tor of dad’s company, and Ken would contact me every so often and ask if I would come work for him. And one day I called him up and said, ‘Ken, I need a job.’ And that was it! For the next four years I worked for that company, first in Atlanta, and later in Ft. Worth, TX. But in the back of my mind I always wanted to do something on my own, and eventually I was in my late thirties and thinking: if I don’t do something on my own soon, I’ll never have the guts to do it. A few things converged in my life about then, that I took as ‘signs’ that it was time. So, I started Shamrock in 1998 and came back to Birmingham. Mom gets credit for the company name. My dad is 100 percent Irish, I’m half Irish, all my kids and sisters have Irish names. So it was a natural fit. Plus, there are three leaves to the Shamrock plant and I have three daughters, so that was symbolic.” BVM: How did the company evolve after that? McGahan: “There are different types of tank heads: pressure-vessel types that are dome- shaped; flat ones, what we call in the industry ‘flanged-only’ type heads. They’re the least ex- AT A GLANCE SHAMROCK STEEL, INC. WHAT: A manufacturer of tank heads, circular blanks, and custom shapes WHERE: Birmingham, Alabama WEBSITE: www.shamrocksteel.com SHAMROCK STEEL, INC.