The history of Tee Group Films dates back to the late 1890s—before the introduction of plastics. The original company, Chicago-based Joanna Western Mills, manufactured coated cloth products for the rubber industry and established working relationships with major tire, rubber and tape companies, some of them still going strong after more than a century.
In 1958, Joanna Western Mills entered a joint venture with Phillips Petroleum to form the Phillips-Joanna Company, which specialized in the use of high density polyethylene plastic to produce cigarette-wrapping films. The Phillips-Joanna manufacturing facility was constructed in Ladd, Illinois and began production in 1959. Within a few years, the joint venture terminated and Phillips-Joanna became a wholly owned division of Joanna Western Mills.
In the early 1960s, IBM asked Phillips-Joanna to develop a film substrate for its recently introduced correctable typewriter. As the correctable typewriter grew in popularity, the Phillips-Joanna product set a worldwide benchmark for correctable ribbons, as specified by equipment manufacturers and supply companies alike.
On January 24, 2000, Tee Group Films, Inc. acquired the Phillips-Joanna division from ICG. Tee Group Films owners, Thomas J. Lavelle and Thomas H. Malpass, were the former ICG CFO and Vice President of Film Operations, respectively.
Tee Group Films has grown all aspects of the business. The company has expanded its manufacturing plant, added several new lines and has entered several new markets, including aerospace and construction and also develops new custom film products for niche applications.
We strive to make a positive, sustainable impact in our local communities. While we ship over a third of our products overseas, our business operations more directly affect the communities where our facility and customers are located. We are aware of our impact in our customers’ communities and in the communities where our employees grew up, live and raise their families.
Our community involvement includes contributions to and participation in a variety of organizations and functions such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, local sport teams, university design projects, science fairs, young professional development and many charity groups.
We are proud to have several second and third generation employees, and our commitment to them and their families will continue for years to come.