Letter from the President – October 2023

Wisdom Nuggets

Almost a year ago, we birthed the idea of creating a podcast in order to communicate the nuts and bolts of leadership. The intent was to deliver leadership principles derived from the stories of proven leaders from all across the country. We successfully concluded our first season with our twelfth episode featuring our Senior Leadership explaining why we chose Humble – Hungry – Aware as our core values.

One interesting observation from the various guests were the themes that developed with each episode. For example, Mike Rizzo talked about the plurality of leadership; it’s not about me; it’s about the team. Susan Shaw spoke passionately about radical servitude and leading with vulnerability. With every guest, the wisdom nuggets just kept coming;

  • Learn how to ask tough questions.
  • Know the difference between strategic talent and execution talent.
  • Find your mission-driven leadership goals.
  • Invest in leaders at every level.
  • Lead from who you are.
  • Invest in continuous improvement.
  • Seek out challenges.
  • Find a mentor to walk with you on your leadership journey.

I was introduced to Wisdom Nuggets many years ago by Coach Mike Gottfried at a Team Focus Camp. Team Focus is an organization created to walk with young men without fathers. Coach Mike brought in speakers to speak to the young men about life and to mentor them as they navigated life without their father. He encouraged the campers to get out their notebooks and write down the “wisdom nuggets” as the speakers told their stories, and at the end of the camp, they would have an incredible resource.

Two thoughts I’d like to challenge you with on wisdom nuggets. First, they appear every day, in all sorts of situations, from all sorts of people, but (and don’t miss this) you HAVE TO BE looking for them. Secondly, share your story. One of your greatest possessions is your story, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Often times, wisdom nuggets come in the form of what NOT to do. So what’s the most recent nugget you’ve placed in your bucket? Let’s be intentional today, looking for the wisdoms all around us.

-Billy Duren, President

Billy D.

Letter from the President – 1st Quarter 2022

Culture Should be Seen, Not just heard.

When I was a child, it was a common thing to hear adults say, “children are to be seen and not heard.”  My parents along with many parents of that generation didn’t have the “privilege” of hearing the latest in how to build your children’s self-esteem.  Actually, the expression comes from an old English proverb, dating from the 15th century. In the original form it was specifically young women who were expected to keep quiet. This opinion is recorded in the 15th century collection of homilies written by an Augustinian clergyman named John Mirk.  When I read this, I was immediately taken back in time to when my 6 daughters were all still at home; asking them to keep quiet usually just cranked up their giggle box.  I think about all the things I learned from listening to my children speak.  Hearing from their heart, their dreams, and their aspirations.

So, what’s that got to do with Threaded Fasteners?  Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to our leaders from our Distribution locations.  We talked about servant leadership, and we looked at the acronym S.E.R.V.E.

  • S=See the things others don’t see, so you can do the things others won’t do
  • E=Engage with your team. Culture is not created from the Castle, you must engage
  • R=Responsible. If we are going to serve on another, we have a responsibility to each other
  • V=Vision. This is where we’re going, and this is how we’ll get there
  • E=Educate. Be committed to continuous education.  What are you reading?

I’d like to focus in on the Engagement piece of this exercise.  As our company grows, one of the critical parts of our success is to continue to promote Who we are.  When you look at our culture poster, there are several layers of definition.  Who we are, What we do and Why we do it.  The Threaded Fasteners story can never be separated from who we are, and the culture that’s been created through each of your stories.

Back to the “seen and not heard” saying, I’d like to tweak this old English proverb.  Culture should be “seen and not JUST heard.”  We can never talk ourselves into a great culture.  Culture is created by action, and those acts should be as visible as the nuts and bolts being manufactured, packed, and prepared for shipment.  We can’t just “talk” a good game.  If we are going to be authentic and honest, those character qualities should be in plain view.

So, the question I pose for myself, is our culture being demonstrated in my actions?  Am I creating value in and for the people I serve?

I am proud to be a part of this great team,

Billy D.

A letter from the President – Summer Update 2021

This morning on my drive into work, I was listening to a Podcast on Creative Thinking.  When I was growing up, I’d often hear my grandmother say, “well, you know what they say,” when referring to some corrective measure she was about to send my way.  I would reply every time with, “Mamma, who are THEY?”  Not sure if that was creative or sarcastic; however, when we challenge our casual, but ingrained comments and thoughts, we are changing the way we think.  Ever wondered why we drive on the parkway and park in the driveway?  Just a thought.


The way we think drives the way we act, so what are your creative thoughts on value creation?  Our mission statement, creating value in and for the people we serve, provides a thinking platform for our employee owners to grow their thinking box.  Creating value, means bringing value where it did not exist before and the positive interaction in teaching, training, coaching, executing, and thinking are all part of the culture we are nurturing at TFI. 


I had an opportunity to spend some time at our first ESOP advocate seminar in Mobile in May and was very encouraged by the participation as well as the information shared by our team.  Almost every branch and operation center were represented at the meeting.  Our intent was to share insights with the advocates as well as hear how we can better communicate ESOP related matters to our Employee Owners. We appreciate all the work our advocates are doing and encourage you to reach out to them with any of your questions.


In closing, with over 200 employee owners at TFI, we have a great resource in our team of “Thinkers.” I want to challenge you to take a look at your world through the lens of creative thinking. Our commitment to continued improvement means your ideas, your views, and your thoughts are not only welcomed, but encouraged. We are continuing to have a strong 2021 and I’m looking forward to sharing more of the exciting things happening at TFI. 


Thinking about good things to come,



Billy Duren

President and CMO

Threaded Fasteners, Inc.

A letter from the President – April 2021

This time last year we were in the thick of covid, now we have not only made it through this challenge but each of our teams have risen above and beyond our expectations. Every day I hear stories about members of our team being servant leaders to others and it makes me proud and grateful to be a part of this team.

This month I challenged our branch and operation leaders to take a “Head-Up” Day.  We spend so much time doing head down work, it’s necessary to spend some time doing head up work if you are going to grow your business.  This is not a day off, but a day ON; a day away from the office to work “ON” their business verses working “in” the business.  Goal setting, planning, dreaming, assessing, and creating a model to move their team forward.  I am looking forward to taking what we learn from this day and using it to make sure we are carrying out our mission.

Our company is experiencing an incredible growth spurt and with growth comes layers of challenges that often cannot be anticipated.  As with every challenge, an opportunity will arise for leaders to step forward and seize the day.   Our company is littered with potential and emerging leaders and I am looking forward to working with you as you grow into these game changing roles at our company.  Who will be the next leader to step forward?  How about you!

Let’s continue growing together,

Billy Duren

President and CEO

Threaded Fasteners, Inc.

A letter from the President – March 2021

We have just closed out our second month of 2021 and we are off to a great start.  Both January and February have proven to be very successful and anticipation is high for a continuance of the same for March. 

Chattanooga is settling into their new digs and the Meridian, MS office is up and running, so I am looking forward to great reports from both new locations.  Our team is still working on several exciting new ventures in 2021, so make sure to stay tuned for updates.  Currently, we have over 200 employee owners on our team and we look forward to adding to those numbers. It truly is an exciting time at TFI.

Our ESOP Advocates will be gathering in Mobile in May for an ESOP seminar that includes creative and dynamic ways to promote ownership.  The group has been meeting through virtual platforms up to this point because of travel and distancing protocols, but we believe the worst of the Covid-19 restrictions are behind us and we look forward to this gathering later in May.

Our contractor has been selected for our new building project in Semmes and we will be breaking ground very soon.  We are anticipating opening the facility by the end of the year.  This new facility will allow our shipping and fabrication teams to relocate less than a mile from manufacturing.  When materials are galvanized, they will be directed to the new facility for shipping and storage. This will open floor space for new equipment, thus allowing manufacturing additional room for growth. 

This past month we also completed our first class in TF University, part of our envision 2030 plan.  This first class centered on professional communication and was a beta test for coaching and training team members on the art of communication.  The class was developed and taught by an English professor and the feed-back from the attending employee owners has been great.  We are working on rolling this out on a larger scale in the near future. 

Our Tulsa team celebrated 10 years as part of the TFI family last month; it’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years.  I’m so grateful for all the folks in Tulsa and the wonderful contribution they make to our organization. 

Blessings to you,

Billy Duren

President and CEO

Threaded Fasteners, Inc.

A letter from the President – February 2021

We have dropped the green flag on 2021 and we are off to the races.  Our teams have set lofty goals for 2021 and we are extremely excited about the positive momentum we have coming off a great 4th quarter.  One of my 2021 goals is to generate a summary presentation at least once a quarter to keep you informed as to the goings on at TFI.

We do have an exciting announcement on our latest addition to the TFI Family of companies.  At the end of January, we closed on an acquisition in Meridian MS with Construction Fasteners.  For over 20 years Construction Fasteners has been owned and operated by Craig Melancon and we are blessed with this opportunity to have Craig and his team join the TFI family.  Our new Meridian operations becomes our 11th location as Threaded Fasteners Meridian Branch. This acquisition will allow our teams to merge forces and to expand our footprint in the Central Mississippi market. Craig and his team bring a wealth of knowledge to our family and we are looking forward to great things from our new Meridian partners. 

January 7th marked the 1,000 Day of no Time-Lost Incidents at our Semmes Manufacturing facility. Our Chattanooga branch is moving to a larger facility in a more strategic location, this expansion is a testament to our Chattanooga team’s hard work. In addition to this wonderful news our team is working on many great things to come in this month and this year, we are currently working on the plans for the new building in Semmes as well as potential acquisitions.

As our nations, communities and companies still deal with Covid issues, I am praying that the worst of this will pass soon. I am looking forward to 2021 and keeping you updated on our progress is an important part of my 2021 goals.

Looking forward to seeing you soon, 

Billy Duren

President and CEO

Threaded Fasteners, Inc.

A letter from the President – Happy New Year

January 1, 2021

This year marked our 41st Anniversary at Threaded Fasteners and without question, one of the most challenging. As unprecedented a year as this has been, I have seen our family of employee owners rise to meet the challenge. No retreat, no surrender; I’m so proud to be a part of this great team. 

2020 has made its mark on each of us in its’ own way, but I have faith that we have also made our mark on it. We each became a little more aware of how our actions affect others and that there is not always a right answer to every question. 

For years we went about our days with the expectation of repetition; normalcy became a security. We have spoken about our triumphs and our trials throughout this year; there have been an abundance of both, but it is the triumphs that stand out the most. I am proud of our owners who advocated for what they believed in, found humor during trying times, and above all served each other and our communities in more ways than I can count.

As I began writing this letter I was a bit hesitant, because it’s difficult not to look at 2020 with a shroud of sadness in all that has occurred. Then I began to think of the triumphs of our team, and I realized that there were just as many moments of joy as there were sorrow; the sorrow just yelled a little louder throughout the year. Our team has found ways to have fun, laugh, and work together in ways I have never seen before in our 41 year history. 

I want to leave you with two phrases that have been a constant reminder to us all throughout the year. The first from Dr. Kevin Elko, who has been a constant source of advice and direction for this team for many years; “so what, now what.” He uses this to teach resilience and determination; you wandered off course, what are you going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again? And the last phrase is one you would be hard pressed not to hear in our team meetings; “what’s next,” this keeps us looking forward. These two phrases will become the playbook for our success in 2021.

So what, now what’s next.  

Happy New Year,

Billy Duren

President and CEO

Threaded Fasteners, Inc.

A letter from the President – Merry Christmas

December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas,

Spoiler alert, all my children will receive a custom wrapped roll of Toilet Paper for Christmas as a reminder of 2020.  

Can anyone remember last Christmas, or has our short-term memories become blurry?  Twelve months wasn’t that long ago, but it seems like a lifetime.  So, what will we do with 2020, besides give it a swift kick in the rear at 11:59 PM on 12/31? 

I have always looked forward to Christmas and as a child I could never go to sleep Christmas eve in anticipation of Christmas morning.  I love Christmas movies like, “White Christmas”,  “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Elf”, “Grinch” and “Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer”, but my favorite is, and always has been is “Charlie Brown”.  If you are a fan of Charlie Brown, you know ole Charlie Brown is often finding himself on the wrong side of a decision.  In Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown is task with finding a tree for the school play and brings back a scrawny tree that has become symbolic of all bad Christmas trees.  His classmates mock him and say, “you are hopeless Charlie Brown” then in total frustration, Charlie Brown shouts, “does anyone know what Christmas is all about?”  Linus steps forward and says, “sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about,” Linus then quotes from Luke 2.  Linus is Charlie Brown’s trusted friend who always carries his blue security blanket everywhere he goes.  What is little known about this scene, is that when Linus comes to, “and the shepherds were very afraid and the angel said, do not fear,” at that moment, Linus drops his security blanket on the stage. 

When I reflect back on 2020, there is a tsunami of emotions.  The Covid Virus has made its mark in 2020, but it will be up to us whether or not to declare it the victor.  To a large degree, what I’ve discovered in 2020 is that normalcy had become my security blanket and somewhere along the journey of 2020, God said to me, “do not fear.”

Many of us have similar experiences of the bizarre combination of tragedy and joy this year.  I, like so many of you are looking forward to turning the pages toward 2021, but what will we carry forward from 2020?  The answer to that question will be different for us all, but it is worth taking a minute to consider.  For me, we got to see the best and the worst, and best prevailed.  We were tempted with division, but United we still stand.  We were challenged with the change, and we adapted.  We looked directly into the eyes of doubt and did not flinch. 

Our team has demonstrated what it is to “Own-it” and I’m honored to be a part of this great team.

So long 2020, we will never forget you, because we grew through you. 

Merry Christmas,

Billy D.

President and CEO

Threaded Fasteners, Inc.

A letter from the President

June 10, 2020

In the long history of Threaded Fasteners, we have never faced an obstacle comparable to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a fast and life altering moment in our lives that we are still facing to this day. Our team took swift, fact-based actions from the very beginning. Prioritizing the safety of our family both physically and mentally. We understood early on that the emotional toll for our family could be just as draining as the physical. Uncertainty was a virus itself, and we wanted to make sure our team members knew that they would not miss a paycheck due to this virus.

As an essential business, we continued all portions of our operations but wanted to make sure that our priority was on our family. We stopped many of our promotional activities and posts to focus on our team and what they needed. We began weekend contests and activities for our employees during social distancing. We held weekly free lunches from local businesses in each of our locations from local restaurants across our areas. We placed over 100 “A Hero Lives Here” signs in our communities for health care workers on the front lines. Our team members in every branch have supported their communities both individually and as a team and we are so proud of each one of them.

We want to reiterate what we released at the very beginning of this crisis, that Threaded Fasteners is in a strong position. Our family’s safety is our top priority, we are looking at loosening some of our restrictions soon and will keep you updated on when we will let visitors and customers into our facilities. For now, we would like to thank you for working with us during this time of precaution, we are thankful for your support and cooperation. Our supply chain remains strong and we will continue to provide the exceptional services you have come to rely on our team for. We are dedicated to carrying out our mission to create value in and for the people we serve. We are here for you.

Just as the world has seen the heroic and selfless acts of health care workers during the pandemic and have commended them. We have also witnessed, as a world, the senseless and brutal act of law enforcement officers in Minneapolis with the death of George Floyd and we must as a nation condemn this act. The outrage that our nation and communities are facing has highlighted the divisions within our nation. We as individuals, corporations, communities, and a nation must stand in opposition to the evil in the hearts of men that has been a part of our society since the beginning of time. We must have courage to stand in the face of injustice and speak out for our fellow men. If change is going to come in our company, our city, our nation, and our world it begins with me. My prayer is that we have the courage to speak and hear the truth in love. 

Accepting challenges for meaningful change,

Billy Duren

President & CEO

Threaded Fasteners, INC.

A letter from the President- TFI Essential Business

April 3, 2020

To TFI Clients and Business Partners,

Several states have issued “shelter in place” and “stay at home” orders in recent days that affect non-essential businesses. This letter is confirmation that Threaded Fasteners, Inc is an essential business and that we will be staying open to support our client and business partners during this challenging time. Threaded Fasteners, Inc supplies essential products that support critical industries such as agriculture, transportation, energy, mining, and construction that are used by other essential businesses and operations as defined by the federal government.

It is imperative that we remain open during this time of urgency and uncertainty in order to support the critical and essential industries that rely on our products. We will maintain our excellent level of service so that our customers can meet and advance their needs.

We will continue to hold to strict policies regarding personal spacing protocols and individual hygiene to ensure the safety of our team. Where possible we have asked several members of our team to work from home in order to better create spacing and further limit exposure. 

If you have any questions are concerns, please do not hesitate to call us.



Billy Duren
President & CEO
Threaded Fasteners, INC.