For half a century, Shamrock Plastics, Inc. has been pressure-forming and thermoforming plastic parts for companies in central Illinois and beyond. For the past 38 years, the Peoria-based company has been owned and managed by the Westphal family. During this time, Shamrock grew and diversified into industries beyond construction, including environmental and seasonal products.
Longtime company president Mary Cay Westphal presided over three decades of growth before stepping down from this role last year. Current president Tom Westphal was her successor, having literally grown up with the family business. Some of his earliest memories “include visiting the factory with my mother,” he recalls. Fast-forward one generation, and Tom speaks fondly of “a baby son of mine being weighed on a big company scale!”
A general partner with Edward Jones Investments in St. Louis from 1983 to 2011, Tom Westphal has long been intimately involved with Shamrock. “I have been on the board of directors since 1990,” he notes, “and was a consultant from 2012 to 2017.” He stepped into the role of president in 2017, guiding the company’s 20 employees and 10 contractors through continued technological change and industry diversification, while working to modernize systems and procedures and improve measurements and analytics.
Excellent quality and custom personal service have been key to Shamrock’s successes—including its platinum-level quality certification by Caterpillar. The 50-year milestone stands as concrete proof of its long-term dedication. “We’re excited about celebrating 50 years,” Tom declares. “It’s not that common in business as it used to be.” He continues, acknowledging the many long-time employees who made it all possible. “Many ‘Shamrockers’ have worked here for 20, 30 and even 40 years. The tenure of employees is outstanding, and that’s one of the main reasons for our success.”
With a new generation guiding Shamrock Plastics into the future, the company plans to continue its track record of steady growth. “We are… partnering with more [manufacturer’s] reps to increase our geographic footprint, expand within our several current industries, and seek new ones like medical and marine,” Tom notes. “We intend to work with more customers and prospects, trying to understand their needs, and hoping to satisfy them with our custom solutions.” iBi