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Marchbanks Specialty Earns Spotlight Award

The Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce presented the Business Spotlight Award to Marchbanks Specialty Company last Friday. Company officials and employees and Chamber members marking the occasion include (seated, from left) Sandy Terry, Jeanette Marchbanks and Linda Maynor; (second row) Linda White, Joseph Flippin, Hannah Story, Jenna Vance, Keith Marchbanks and Shelley Howell; and (third row) Tyler Hill, Terry Champion, Julie Tyler, Zandra Walker, Toni Hill, Jackie Sartain and Clay Ashford. – Photo Provided

By Clay Ashford

WV Chamber


WATER VALLEY – Marchbanks Specialty Company has been selected to receive the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce “Business Spotlight” award. The award was presented to President Keith Marchbanks.

Marchbanks Specialty Co., Inc., with Keith Marchbanks, President; Jeanette Marchbanks, Vice-President; and Jeanenne Fonte, Secretary/Treasurer, has been a longtime supporter of both the community and the Chamber of Commerce. 


The company was originally founded by Keith’s father, the late Claude Marchbanks, who died in 2000. They employ 25 people performing commercial roofing and sheet metal work. Their employees are skilled individuals who have dedicated themselves to hard work, which has been the key to making this company grow. They have employees who have been with them for up to 30 years.

Born and raised in humble circumstances outside Anguilla, Miss., Claude later attended school at Camp Ground and then at Water Valley, where he played football. He met his future wife, Jeanette Terrell, when his older brother married her older sister. They later began dating when she was attending high school at Jeff Davis School, south of town. They married in 1954 and moved to Memphis where he worked in a large waterproofing and caulking business with his brother. They returned to Water Valley in 1971 and began a new business, M & W, also a waterproofing and caulking company.

After being back in Water Valley for a while, Mr. Claude decided to try his hand at commercial roofing and purchased a used tar kettle. This seemed to be a huge leap for some skeptics and he was even told that he would never make it around here as a roofer. However, with a dream, along with a lot of sacrifice and determination, by Claude and Jeanette, they went out on their own and Marchbanks Specialty, Co. Inc., officially started operations on June 20, 1977. It has now been 40 years and many kettles later.

Early on, Mr. Claude made a name for himself in the roofing business. He joined the Mississippi Roofing Contractors Association, serving as president in 1986. As a visionary he fought, along with a lobbyist, to get a roofer to be considered a prime contractor as all other trades are. His son, Keith Marchbanks came to work for his dad in 1979, while his daughter, Jeanenne came on board in 1984. This soon became a true “family-run” business!

Marchbanks Specialty Co., Inc. performs roofing projects all over the state through public bid work. This includes colleges such as The University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Mississippi Valley State, Delta State University and many others. They also perform roofing projects on churches, hospitals, schools and industries.

According to Jeanette Marchbanks, word of mouth has added the most to the company’s success. A good reputation by delivering quality work and standing behind your work is the key to our success, she added.

“We have many franchise customers like Taco Bell, KFC and Chick-Fil-A that are valued customers.

When asked, “What was a challenging time for Marchbanks Specialty?” Mrs. Marchbanks stated that it was the first few years, which involved a lot of sacrifice and no vacations.

“That looking back now, so many times, God leads you where you need to be,” she also stated in the interview.

Marchbanks has just surpassed their 40th year… with a bright future… a real milestone. The company has earned many prestigious awards in the last decade and with a new generation of roofers coming on, under Keith’s leadership, they will continue to do so.

In honor of this Business Spotlight award, the Water Valley Chamber of Commerce is offering three tickets valued at $30 to the upcoming Christmas Tour of Homes to the person whose name is drawn at noon on Friday, October 13. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this drawing and you have 10 days and two ways to sign up between October 4 and 13.

To enter, stop by the Chamber office any time during regular office hours or sign up on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Go to: Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and find the post called, “Win Three Tickets on The Christmas Tour of Homes.”  Then type a comment stating the style, type and/or color of roof that you prefer. (Note: “Likes” only will not be included in the drawing.)

Both types of ballots will be collected and combined, one per person, and the winner will be called or notified on Facebook.

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