HMC has satisfactorily consolidated a position as industry leaders in the implementation of Metal Cutting Solutions. Our reputation has been established through 30 years of consistent quality Metal Cutting Systems. A relevant verity influencing our successful business operation is the legacy left by three generations of Gran Armstrong and Sons, Inc. This legacy endures our commitment upholding the values and integrity our fathers instilled in us as children and now leaders of our family business.
Granville Armstrong started with The DoAll Company following his distinguished service to our country as a US Marine. He received a Distinguished Air Medal and a Purple Heart for his unselfish tour during World War II in the Pacific Theater. Gran’s knowledge of metal cutting equipment, services, and sales was gained during his 30+ year tenure in the West Coast offices of DoAll. He retired from DoAll not to travel and spend his children’s inheritance but to build a family business for generations to come. In 1977, Gran and his wife Jean borrowed money and bought a small metal cutting business in Houston, Texas. The family business Houston Metal Cutting started in a leased building of 2,000 sf with less than 1,500 sf for parking and steel storage.
Gran’s experience and hard work allowed him to grow Houston Metal Cutting and lease additional building space on the same property in Northwest Houston. His work ethic and financial goals were set to get out of a lease condition and purchase land for a building created for a metal cutting business. With the international oil demand increasing and the resulting drilling rig production in 1979-1981, Houston Metal Cutting had to expand further to serve its customer’s demands. Gran and Jean’s eldest son, Richard Armstrong, quit his 15+ year job and moved his family from Southern California to help grow the business. In early 1982, Gran and Jean once again invested in the family business by buying an acre of land not far from the lease property. Immediately an 8,000 sf metal cutting factory was designed and built on the property that we are standing on today.
Those familiar with Houston history will remember the economic crash of 1983 that required many blue collar workers hired for the oil boom to be released from the well paying jobs that supported the oil industry. Houston Metal Cutting was not immune to the economic downturn that was hitting Houston. In fact, during most of 1984, Houston Metal Cutting became truly a family business (owned and operated). All employees were released; Gran, Jean, Richard, and Randy (the youngest son attending Texas A&M at the time) ran the business. Gran taught his family not to have financial debt and to pay in cash when possible. For these reasons, we were able to keep Houston Metal Cutting open and survive the downturn. As the market began to turn in 1985, we hired today’s Plant Manager, Myron Dostalik. Unfortunately that same year, Jean became ill with cancer and went to be with our Lord and Savior in July. Gran’s partner in life for nearly 40 years would be a loss to our family that will never be forgotten.
As oil production demand slowly grew, HMC cautiously began to hire. To replace Jean, we hired today’s Office Manager, Jimmie Dostalik. Business continued to grow for the next several years but at a much slower rate than before. With Gran and Richard’s determination to build a business for the community through hard work and dedication, HMC was once again able to expand and purchase an additional acre of land adjacent to our existing facility. The building was expanded to 12,000 sf and an overhead crane and larger capacity machines were purchased. We added capability of vertical sawing and improved material handling of larger diameter materials. Exotic materials were being brought into the industry and HMC was able to provide services with the new demands. In 1989, HMC hired our current Quality Manager, Daniel Arriazola. With the increase in skilled staff and a dedicated leadership team under Richard’s direction, this allowed Gran to reduce his standard workweek to less the 40 hours and thus “retire”.
In 1999, Houston Metal Cutting’s President passed away and joined his partner in heaven. Granville C. Armstrong was buried in Houston’s Veterans Memorial National Cemetery under a 21 gun salute. Our industry lost a great person, but his knowledge and values were transferred to his eldest son and the new President of Houston Metal Cutting. Richard continued to increase capability and bring in new business to HMC. He was instrumental in the procurement of the 60” horizontal bandsaw, a workhorse even today. Richard enjoyed the community involvement that Gran started while supporting the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; HMC is a proud sponsor of the HLS&R and several other community activities in the Houston area.
In July 2007, Richard Alexander Armstrong joined his parents. Once again our HMC family lost a caring leader. Richard truly loved his family, his country, and his company. With the loss of Richard, his son became Houston Metal Cutting’s third generation President. Rich Cameron Armstrong, 1996 graduate of Texas A&M, quit his business career of 10+ years and is now the head of our leadership team. Randy Armstrong, Gran’s son and 1985 graduate of Texas A&M, joined the leadership team as Vice President and Engineering Director.
With the third generation at the helm, changes were inevitable. Additional lot storage was needed as well as another increase in vertical sawing capability. The leadership team approved and implemented 6,000 sf of reinforced slab currently used for large billet storage. We plan to put some of this area to use with further building and crane expansion. HMC installed a new vertical bandsaw from HE&M to meet demands. Parking was created for our employees to provide more room for our customers in front of our offices. The 20 year old offices were renovated with additional office space for our new president and fresh paint across the administration area. Upgrades were created to meet office infrastructure demands with an HMC local server and the creation of the long awaited HMC website! The HMC office and new logo now carries the motif of Fightin’ Texas Aggie maroon!!
The prior generations of Houston Metal Cutting have left us on earth; however, we continue to uphold the values and integrity our fathers instilled in us as children and now leaders of our family business. Rich and I appreciate any comments or stories you may have about how HMC has touched your life. Thank you for taking time to read about our history as it is an important part of our business. If you have not met our new leadership team, please stop by and introduce yourself.
Randy Armstrong, PE, ‘85
Vice President and Engineering Director