It all Started with a Hate of Kansas

Published May 24, 2021


All companies start with a vision and a visionary at the helm of it all. While Tom Manchester started Manchester & Associates, the reason behind it all may surprise you. Barbara Manchester, Tom’s right hand, wife and mother of his children, wanted to move back to Texas because she adamantly hated Kansas. So, after working as a national sales manager for 30 years at various national and international manufacturing companies, he (like many men) decided that a happy life equals a happy wife. He took the giant leap of faith leap to start his own business in Barbara’s ideal state of Texas in 1980. As a woman writing this article for Manchester Group, this was absolutely the right choice.

Tom’s expertise in several different industries made him the ideal manufacturing representative and his ability to connect with people as actual humans instead of sales prospects was the catalyst that launched the original MANCHESTER & ASSOCIATES, INC. Tom sought to solve customer needs by representing the highest quality manufacturers of fabricated and mechanical process equipment for the refinery, petrochemical, and industrial equipment markets. To him, customers were more than nameless drones who fulfilled a weekly quota, or faceless personas behind a screen…they were an extension of his family. He listened to their professional and personal qualms, connected with their needs and created solutions that simply worked.

As word got out about the services Tom was providing the good people of Texas, business grew and so did the need to expand into new markets that also needed fabrication and mechanical process equipment services. In 1987 Tom recruited his son, Steve Manchester to develop solutions within the sanitary market. He accomplished that and much, much more. Fast forward to a few years later and the former MANCHESTER & ASSOCIATES, INC became Manchester Group which has expanded into all facets of the food, beverage, pharma, and personal care industries by also continuing its legacy in servicing the chemical, and oil and gas markets. In 2014, Steve’s son, Ryan Manchester joined the company with his many years of sales experience accompanied with a relevant and new perspective, taking the company into its third generation. Most recently, in 2020, Reed Manchester has joined the team leading operations as the secret millennial weapon to continue to push the company forward with an innovation mindset.

Company Timeline

1979: Tom starts his own rep firm in Dallas after a successful career as a chemical engineer and multiple national sales president roles. 1980: Manchester & Associates is founded by Tom. 1986: Tom and Steve acquire Andy & Associates (sales firm Steve was working at). 1990: Houston Sales office opened. 2000: Tom and Steve expand the business into sanitary markets. 2014: Ryan Joins business. 2017: Manchester integrates with APS industrial making Manchester a total solutions provider. 2020: Reed joins business.


With the dream team established, Manchester Group has worked with a full array of partners on a variety of different projects. These projects include providing a waterproofing system for HVAC and mechanical systems for Facebook Data Center, ergonomic and hygienic floor coating systems for Cook’s Children’s Hospital and a full range of services for Miller Coors including brewery floor coatings, fiberglass platforms/decking systems, and spent yeast transfer system/process pumps. The sky’s the limit in regards to Manchester Group’s ability to craft custom solutions to accommodate the needs of our customers.

Just as Tom practiced a century ago, Manchester Group focuses on people first. Oh, and to always honor your wife’s wishes. Today Manchester Group is the recognized leader in providing construction and composites solutions for a broad range of industries. Our first and most important value is: A Culture of Purpose and Passion, which means we create an environment where everyone matters and has opportunities to grow by fostering a sense of connection and teamwork. This includes our customers, partners and you. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to grow our Manchester Group family beyond our bloodline just as Tom did.

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