MFJ Enterprises celebrates 45 years

Hundreds of people were at McKee Park on Saturday to celebrate the 45th anniversary of a local business. (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)
Staff Writer

Hundreds of people were at McKee Park on Saturday to celebrate the 45th anniversary of a local business.

MFJ Enterprises is named after its founder and president, Martin F. Jue, who founded the company in 1972. It has grown from selling one product - a filtering device for radios - to making more pieces of ham radio equipment than any other radio company in the world.

"The whole idea here is for us to say thank you to all of our radio operators and just let them have a good time and find out about Starkville and what we have here to offer," Jue said.

To celebrate, the company hosted two days of events, with tours of its factory buildings, a fried chicken lunch on Saturday, prizes, guest speakers, product demonstrations and FCC license exams.

"We had an international short-wave broadcasting station broadcasting live from our community and he reaches audiences all over the world," Jue said. "The mayor came down and was given a tour and interviewed on that short-wave radio station, so people from all over the world know about Starkville, now."

Ham radios are used primarily as a hobby, but president of the American Radio Relay League Rick Roderick said the league helps with emergency relief efforts after a disaster shuts down communications in an area.

"We have been working with the Red Cross and FEMA in deploying radio operators in teams to Puerto Rico to have an emergency communications relief there," Roderick said. "We have used MFJ products there and I personally have about 30 of MFJ's products in my station back home."

In a speech, Mayor Lynn Spruill commemorated the AARL for its emergency relief efforts in times of crisis, and also shared her own experience touring MFJ Enterprises.

"As the mayor of Starkville, a lot of times you don't know about your hidden treasures to the extent that you should," Spruill said. "I had no idea how involved he is in vertical integration. From the ground up he does all of it."

MFJ Enterprises is located at 300 Industrial Park Rd. The company has acquired many other manufacturing companies — including antenna manufacturers and an amplifier company — since it was established in 1972 and brings the businesses to Starkville where 90 percent of the products are manufactured. The company is currently in the process of buying two more companies that it would bring to Starkville.