Who We Are
Tri Star Metals began its journey in 1985 in a small office in Hoffman Estates, IL as a broker of stainless steel and aluminum bar products. The original vision was simple, to build a premier distribution company by delivering a great quality product with unparalleled customer service. Within just two years, Tri Star moved into its first full service distribution facility in Carol Stream IL with just under 20,000 square feet of operating space.
The business began to flourish in the late 1980s through the 1990s. An exciting growth plan and vision for the future attracted top talent from the industry, and the establishment of a warm, family driven corporate culture has helped keep many of those initial hires intact to this day.
In 1996, Tri Star Metals decided to expand their offerings by selling cold drawn forming wire to existing bar customers. Tri Star became the exclusive distributor for Hagener Feinstahl, the largest independent redraw house in Europe. Tri Star quickly emerged as a market leader in Electropolish Quality wire, and ultimately committed to stock the largest inventory of this product in the US for next day shipment to its midwest and east coast customer base.
As the market place evolved, so did the need for a formalized quality system. Tri Star was a pioneer in the service center industry, establishing a comprehensive quality system and becoming certified to the ISO 9001:2000 standard in 2001. This program enabled Tri Star to conform to customers’ quality requirements on a consistent basis and continues to provide numerous opportunities to improve our products and the services we offer every day.
Continued growth compelled Tri Star to find a larger home. An existing structure was purchased in 2005 in Carol Stream and offered nearly triple the square footage of the original location.
In January 2009 the three founding members of Tri Star Metals retired after 23 years of building not only a company, but also a legacy and a livelihood for its 25 employees and their families. Through a strategic merger, Jay Mandel and Hagener-Feinstahl joined forces to acquire the company. Long term key Tri Star veterans Jim Roach, Pete Walter, and Brian Moran were part of the group that took over management of the company. Once that merger was completed, the decision was made to acquire the former Pinnacle Metals in Freeport, IL, which operated out of a 120K square foot facility on Adams Road. This step totally redefined the organization, shifting its platform from that of a distributor to a full fledged long products manufacturer.
With big growth plans for the company, it was quickly apparent that Adams Road did not have enough space. Tri Star purchased a 250K square foot building for its new and final (?) home on Lamm Road in February 2012. Over the course of the next two years, Tri Star modernized this facility, moved in all equipment in staged fashion, and built out offices for the administrative employees.
In 2014, Tri Star Metals again expanded its footprint by opening a 10K square foot distribution facility in Avondale, AZ near Phoenix. Tri Star had traditionally sold mostly to midwest and east coast customers so this new branch was a huge step in introducing Tri Star Metals to the west coast markets, enabling next day deliveries to the aerospace community in Los Angeles.
In July 2017, Tri Star secured its AS9100 Certification to increase its position with the aerospace fastener industry. Burgeoning growth in this market resulted in yet another space limitation, so Arizona almost doubled its size by moving into a new facility in Phoenix in June 2019.
In Nov 2018, Tri Star Metals made the decision to close Carol Stream and move all Illinois distribution into Freeport at the Lamm Road facility. To support this, Tri Star purchased the adjacent 100K square foot building plus additional acreage to handle further expansion. Throughout 2019, this new building has been renovated and the transition to the new distribution facility has begun. A new building has also been purchased in Aurora, Illinois for corporate offices. With this most recent move, Tri Star Metals now operates from just under 400K square feet.
Since 2009, Tri Star has invested over $30 million into state of the art equipment and facilities. Almost overnight, this organization of just 25 employees had become a full-blown manufacturing operation with 140 dedicated team members.