MFJ Enterprises, Inc., was founded in 1972 by Martin F. Jue. The company began operations in a small rented hotel room in the old Stark Hotel in downtown Starkville, Mississippi. The company began marketing its products in October of 1972. The first product was a high selectivity filter that would enable a receiver to separate one Morse code signal from scores of other signals that were being transmitted over the radio airwaves.
The success of this first product, which sold several thousand units,was the seed that grew into the MFJ of today. From that initial location, the growing business moved to a large room in a building on Maxwell Street (what is now known as the Cotton District Grill), then to a six hundred square foot trailer. MFJ then returned to the Maxwell Street location after expanding beyond the capacity of the trailer, but this time, MFJ rented the entire Maxwell Street building to accommodate its growing product line.
The largest expansion in the company's history began with the move to Louisville Street where MFJ has remained (in a building it still occupies) for fifteen years. This building affectionately known as "MFJ Blue" (it once was the Starkville area's roller skating rink) houses MFJ's extensive Metalworks Department, MFJ's Antenna Shop, and Mirage Communication's Equipment. In the summer of 1995, MFJ began an extensive move to its landmark location at 300 Industrial Park Road. This building now houses the main administrative office for the company as well as shipping, warehouse, and production facilities. MFJ, seemingly ever-pressed for space, is already bursting at the seams at this location after only two years, and looks to expand even further.
MFJ's products are almost as diversified as its people. From the President, Martin F. Jue, to the factory worker, MFJ is as ethnically diverse as a company could possibly be. Martin Jue's family was originally from Cantox, on the mainland of China. In the 1860s, they settled in a small delta Mississippi town called Hollandale to help build the Union Pacific Railroad.
Steven Pan, vice-president of the company, hails from Malaysia. Many countries are represented in the MFJ work force. One recent visitor from the Netherlands was able to speak six different languages during his tourof the MFJ facilities. Diversity certainly promotes a more creative working environment.
MFJ Enterprises, Inc., initially sold only retail, centering on direct marketing schemes. The company sought dealers early on but distributors were not ready to bank on the young business. After the MFJ ham radio market explosion occurred, dealers and distributors were banging on MFJ's doors for a chance to stock their shelves with MFJ products. Today, MFJ is well-represented in the United States by large communications superstores and small "on the road" type businesses traveling to amateur radio and computer shows, known as "hamfests." MFJ travels to nearly 25 hamfests a year themselves, and are well-known for their lavish displays of products.
The worldwide business currently has over two hundred dealers in the United States, forty overseas, and ten in Canada. The company sells over ninety-five percent of its products through dealers and the other percentage through direct mail.
U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, Orlando, Honolulu, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, New York, Houston, and Milwaukee are home to some of the world's largest communications stores and dealerships for MFJ. Internationally, MFJ is represented in Japan, Europe, and even Russia. South America and Asia continue to open the doors to an even wider amateur radio market.
Extensive research and development goes into the Ham Radio Communication hobby business. New products are constantly on the horizon as MFJ realizes that to stay on top, it must continue to create and innovate. The main source of inspiration for new products comes from MFJ's growing customer base. MFJ receives many letters and phone calls from its clients requesting new equipment to be built. Other requests come formally, in person, and at hamfests.
MFJ travels from its small Mississippi hometown to hamfests as far away as Manchester, New Hampshire; Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida, and seaside Oregon. The hamfests allow MFJ to meet its customers in their local arenas. The hamfest is both a trade show and a social gathering of amateur radio operators and computer enthusiasts.
MFJ also owns five sister companies, Ameritron, Mirage, Vectronics, Cushcraft, and Hy-Gain.
The metalworking shop, silk-screening facility, engineering, print shop, and antenna shop are also located in the 921 Louisville Road building. Almost every MFJ product starts from scratch (as just an idea). From original design to final production, quality is tested at every point. MFJ's slogan, "Making Quality Affordable," has been well received in the ham radio community. The niche of the market was captured by offering quality accessory products at low prices.
In 1996, MFJ began making some of its own components used in the production of antenna tuners. MFJ's designs have been proven to handle high power operation. Constantly changing and constantly improving, MFJ and its subsidiaries have managed to stay on top of their share of the market by a generous customer service policy and listening to what the customer wants.
MFJ offers a one year unconditional warranty called the "NO MATTER WHAT" warranty. MFJ will replace or repair a customer's MFJ unit (at MFJ's option) for one complete year. A technical help support line is also offered toll-free for customers needing help or advice with a ham radio project.
The constant growth of the amateur radio hobby has produced a continuously growing base of new ham customers. This will enable MFJ to maintain its stature as the World Leader in ham radio accessories, equipment, and service for many years to come.