Our History

Learn more about ADP Lemco and what makes us unique.

ADP Lemco’s History has a rich history that started with some handshakes between friends and trusted business mentors. We have grown from a tiny idea to supply spray on chalkboards for a few customers in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hugh Lyman started his first company Lyman Engineering & Manufacturing Company in 1958. Our company was started with a $2,000.00 loan from Continental Bank in Salt Lake City which bought some machinery, aluminum extrusions and various stock materials. Back then Hugh was able to do a signature loan with the bank executives based on his father’s relationship of hard work with the bank. We still carry this spirit of business today through our relationships with our customers all over the world.

After we were officially made a business Hugh designed and built an automatic chalkboard spray line. This provided the need to move the company into his father’s shop. The business continued to grow by selling to some larger companies. Our original large customers were the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Dick & Larry Company and a few dealers in the Western States. Our original business strategy was to manufacture our products and sell through a network of dealers with a few contracts direct to consumers. This was a very common strategy in the manufacturing world during those times.

The Dick & Larry Company operated for about one year and closed down. This allowed our company to start bidding direct to construction companies working on new schools and recreation centers. This small executive decision would change the way we did business forever. We cut out middlemen and went directly to the customer. This gave us the ability to build our reputation over years of “taking care of “anything our customers needed. We hold our company and employees responsible for every aspect of the business.

We thrived through the years and that meant getting more capital to continue the growth. Hugh approached Ray Liljinquist, a wealthy neighbor and asked him if he would be interested in investing in the company. Ray did like the idea and we incorporated Lyman Engineering and Manufacturing Company into LEMCO Products, Inc. His son Val just graduated from college and came as part of the deal for him to invest.

Hugh was named president and Val vice president in the newly formed LEMCO Products. Hugh designed a new plant and purchased property in Murray, Utah south of Salt Lake. We were in this property until 1996 and Hugh considered this his masterpiece. This building employed thousands of people over nearly forty years. Due to the seasonal nature of the early business there were many people who worked part time during the summer. LEMCO Products had a reputation of working long, hard days but being a fun and welcoming environment. Our Management always made sure people were treated well and that they enjoyed their jobs.

LEMCO Products sold chalkboards all over the western states. We knew that we were making waves in the industry when our President Hugh was in Los Angeles selling a truckload of boards to a local school supply company. He was walking down a main street and bumped into a customer that had bought chalkboards, he stated “Hi Hugh, how is the Chalkboard King?” This type of opinion lead to our company building our reputation on being the leader. We become the standard that the industry expected.

 

Being in the contract business, we bid equipment to the Contractors building schools, hospitals and churches. We expanded by taking on lines of other products. One was the Educators Cabinets made in Tacoma, Washington. Another was a coiling partition made in Dubuque, Iowa. We also bought a lab countertop product from Union Carbide Company. 

 

LEMCO Products started manufacturing the coiling partitions that we were buying. We designed an add-on to our plant that doubled its size. The slats were milled for us by Granite Mill & Fixture Company in Sugar House, south of Salt Lake. This started a trend of our company bringing some of the manufacturing inhouse so we could control costs and quality. We had obtained several contracts for partitions and setup production in the new part of the plant.

Sales were good during the sixties and we continued to grow. We hired a salesman, Milt Christensen. He was able receive an order for a partition from the Church of Jesus Christ for a church school in Mexico. We made the partition and shipped it to Mexico. It was held up at customs for six months and created many different stressed for the business. After it was finally delivered, we had completed our first international order, it was a very exciting time for the company.

 

In 1963, the founder Hugh Lyman gave his resignation to the Board of Directors. It was a strange transition for LEMCO Products to lose the man who influenced every aspect of the business. Val Liljinquist was named President and the business continued on manufacturing for our customers. The Liljinquist family ran our business as a family business with many members of the family involved through the years.

 

During the 1970’s Lemco continued to grow its brand throughout North America. We were able to grow many of our product lines during this time. Specifically, we did Science Countertops. Bulletin Cases, chalk boards, tack boards, display cases, portables. A fun fact about our labor workforce is that they were mostly schoolteachers and worked during the summers while they were off school. We had twelve employees during the summer and at the time it felt like a full shop. By the end of the decade Claude Crane was named President of the company. LEMCO Products also started a carpet and flooring business.

It was in 1979 that the industry started transition from chalk boards to marker boards. Inside our company we tasked David Hall. Dave was hired as the production manager. The management was also very interested in commercial carpet. Dave Shear split off with the carpet line. Lemco built plaques that were decorative for homes, it didn’t make money but was an opportunity to diversify the product line. Chalk boards started out being sprayed on hardboard backer and were considered painted chalkboards. Our company was doing around $50k a month in sales at this time, we know do more than that in a day.

 

In 1984 Ray McCormack while working for a specialty manufacturing company was given the opportunity to purchase the business from his employer before the bank took it over. This was a pivotal moment in his life, does he try to fix the company that he had worked at for a few years or does he start his own.  Ray borrowed money from a neighbor along with his own funds and started Architectural Design Products. He signed the lease on the building in American Fork, Utah. When Ray was at his previous employer, he was a draftsman and was able to bring his knowledge of designing basketball backstops with him to our company as the featured product. 

 

The company started manufacturing basketball backstops but quickly expanded into gym divider curtains, volleyball standards, scoreboards and other miscellaneous gymnasium equipment to fulfill architect’s specification sections. The company added modular classrooms to their product line in an effort to diversify the product line. The portable classroom was specifically designed for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but quickly became popular with other customers throughout the United States.

During the 1980’s Lemco branched out into manufacturing Trophy Cases. We bid a nine-school project at one time in Colorado and we were awarded a $280,000.00 contract. This was the largest contract that we had ever had. We fulfilled the contract and found another place in the market where we were a perfect fit.

1989 bought a tragic event into the lives of the Lemco company. Ray Liljinquist passed away leaving the company to his three sons Jay, Craig and Robert Liljinquist.  They formed a board of director’s and Claude Crane remained president during this time. The sons were involved in the business so there wasn’t any disruption in business activities.

 

The 1980’s were very good years to ADP and the company was growing from a regional manufacturer to nationwide. We were steadily growing our business by revenue and employees. Our company was growing through a small dealer network and by going direct to consumers.

In 1992 Ray McCormack further expanded his product line with the purchase of Lemco Incorporated from Val Liljenquist and family. ADP saw the value of a 34-year old company that manufactures visual display boards, which includes marker boards and chalk boards. They also produced display cases, trophy cases, directory boards and other school products. About 75 percent of Lemco’s business was devoted to new construction compares to 98 percent of Architectural Designed Products. Both companies were built on the back of designing and planning with architects.

 

With the merge of ADP and Lemco, ADP grew from 21 employees to 45. This merger turned out to be a pivotal moment in the growth and reputation that has lasted till today. ADP Lemco Inc was formed. Ray McCormack took over as CEO with Dave Hall President of Lemco and Shane McCormack President of ADP. Our company became very competitive in the bidding process and we were able to deliver a more diverse product line to our dealer network.

 

In 1995 we started construction on a building in West Jordan, Utah that would combine both divisions under the same roof. There were many difficulties with running two divisions from different locations and in 1996 when the two were brought together the employees started to synergize. The new building also brought some freshness to our company and provided a lot of excitement among everyone. 

During 1998 was the year the whiteboard industry vastly changed. This is when the market turned custom boards into a commodity. Some of the component manufacturers decided to enter the market as full manufacturers and drove the price down significantly. Looking back now, this was a major mistake and lead to many companies going out of business and the new manufacturers getting out of the manufacturing game. Their business plan was to eliminate many of the small manufactures and assume them into being dealers of theirs. It didn’t work, they drove margin out of products. However, we weathered the storm all through the early 2000’s and continued to grow.

 

In 2007 ADP Lemco names Mark McCormack as President. Mark was hired part time by his father Ray in 1989 at the age of 8 years old. The first position he held was putting hardware packets together for shipping. He then moved into being a janitor on the weekends and organizing marketing materials from home all through Junior High. At the age of 13, Mark began working summers full time in the shop and learned how to weld and was certified in Lean Manufacturing. By the time he was named President he had over 19 years of experience in our company. Ray McCormack remained CEO of the company.

Our company added In-wall Cafeteria Tables in 2008 by Schyler Sommer our Vice President of Sales at the time. We work with Mitchell Furniture Systems in Wisconsin. This has been a great relationship over the years, we even worked together and won the largest table replacement project in the United States. Through the 2000’s we grew the company by revenue and employees. We focused on bidding straight to the customers and building our relationships with school districts all over the country.

 

By 2016 Ray McCormack had semi-retired and the company moved to Draper, Utah. This led to the purchase of ADP Lemco in 2018 by Mark McCormack the current president. Our company currently provide and install all Gymnasium Equipment including Basketball Backstops, Gym Dividers Curtains, Volleyball Equipment, Pickleball, Scoreboards, Bleachers, Gym Wood Flooring, Safety Wall Padding, Netting. We continue to provide and install all Visual Display Equipment including Marker Boards, Tack Boards, Bulletin Boards, Trophy Cases, Share Wall, Video Display Board and Educational Furniture. Our Company’s motto is to be the best subcontractor on each project. That encompasses different characteristics and changes per each contractor. We are up for any challenge.