Twin City Tent & Awning Co. was founded in 1929 by B.J. Butler.
Mr. Butler started in a small 800 square foot shop on South First Street in Champaign, Illinois, manufacturing awnings and later renting tents in the Champaign-Urbana area.
In 1959, his grandson, Wayne Yonce, started with the company during school breaks.
And in 1966, Yonce became General Manager of the company. When Mr. Butler passed away in 1967, Twin City Tent & Awning was left to his partner and wife Florence Butler, with Mr. Yonce running the day-to-day operations.
During this time Twin City Tent & Awning joined the Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky Canvas Products Association (IIK) now called the Mid America 8 Canvas Products Association. Yonce was elected to the Board of Directors of the Association in 1970.
Twin City Tent and Awning Co. became a member of the Canvas Products Association International (later called the Industrial Fabrics Association International) in 1970.
In 1971, Mrs. Butler and her grandson Wayne moved Twin City Tent & Awning to a new 5,000 square foot building on University Avenue. The move was necessitated by ever expanding product line and limited work space at the First Street location. Twin City Tent & Awning was now producing boat covers, roll tarps for grain trucks and trailers, and the awning portion of the business had expanded to clients throughout Central Illinois. In 1975 an additional 1,800 square feet were added to the University Avenue location to handle the growing business.
Tent Rental Added
Wayne and his wife, Wanda, started Champiagn County Tent & Awning Co. in 1975 to handle the tent rental portion of business for Twin City Tent & Awning. Twin City continued to serve as the retail portion of the business.
Wayne was elected to a two-year term as President of the IIK in 1976. After his term he spent two more years on the board as Immediate Past President finishing nine years of service on the board.
New Plant Built
Mrs. Butler retired in 1979 selling Twin City Tent & Awning to Wayne & Wanda, who became President and Vice President, respectively. Two years later, both companies moved again to their newly build 24,500 square foot plant on Anthony Drive in Urbana. The company began using the initials of Twin City Tent & Awning (TCT&A Industries) to build on the fact that the company produced more than tents and awnings. Again in 1985 the business was expanded by an additional 7,200 square feet to handle growth.
Wayne was elected in 1986 to the Board of Directors of the Industrial Fabrics Association International as a Regional Director for Central United States.
Back-Lit Awnings Introduced
In 1986, TCT&A became the first U.S. awning company to use a newly developed process called "Heat Transfer" for back lit awnings. This process involves using a paint on paper and applying it to a white vinyl to create clean, crisp graphics for awning blanks and flexible sign faces. TCT&A now provides this service to other awning and sign companies around the country.
In 1989, Kevin Yonce, eldest son of Wayne and Wanda, joined the company full time and in 1995 was named Chief Executive Officer.
By 1996, Kevin negotiated the acquisition of Campus Tent Co. and incorporated the inventory and customer base into what is now Champaign County Tent.
In 1996, Byron Yonce, younger son, joined Twin City Tent & Awning and became production supervisor and was named President in 1999. Byron & Kevin now run the operation.
Named to Industry's Top 10
At this time, TCT&A Industries is recognized as one of leading U.S. companies in the industrial fabrics industry. The facility is the third largest industrial fabric end products manufacturer in the Midwest. TCT&A has won more than 60 regional, national and international awards for design and craftsmanship.
TCT&A is a member of the Mid America 8 Canvas Products Association, the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), the awning Division of IFAI, the Tent Rental Division of IFAI, the Truck Cover and Tarp Association and the Banner and Flag Association.