Business View Magazine | June 2019

129 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 Quality Steel C O R P O R A T I O N Q uality Steel Corporation of Cleveland, Mississippi, manufactures and delivers aboveground and underground propane, ammonia, and dispenser tanks and pressure vessels for residential, commercial, small industrial, and agricultural use. According to Company President & CEO, Sean Wessel, the firm was founded in 1957 by his wife’s grandfather, Lowry Tims. “Lowry was in the retail propane and butane business, back then, and realized there had to be a better way to make a pressure vessel,” Wessel recounts. “So, eventually, he got into the pressure vessel business. His experience as the State of Mississippi’s LP gas inspector also helped propel him into the industry.” “Mr. Tims really started this thing out of frustration,” adds Vice President of Sales, Lynn Hardin. “At that time, there were, probably, 40 different tank manufacturers around the country, and he became frustrated with the quality of product that he was getting. That’s what led him to say, ‘it can’t be that hard to build a good propane tank; and it can’t be that hard to provide good customer service,’ which is something he always strived for in his retail propane operation.” “My father-in-law, Jim Tims, took over from Lowry,” Wessel continues. “He was one of four brothers and Jim bought out the business from the other three, over time, and had 100 percent ownership up until about 2004. In 2004, Jim was of the opinion that he wanted to share the fruits and labors of the business with his employee base, so, they established an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). So, today, our company is a family-owned and employee-owned company.” “We actually have a family of businesses,” he On a lean journey