MIJA splits

Family business separates into two companies, raises funds, after 36 years
Thursday, January 1, 2009

ROCKLAND, Mass.--The McSheffrey family, owners of monitored fire extinguisher company MIJA, have reorganized their 36-year-old family business, splitting it into two companies.

The reorganization was complete and an undisclosed amount of capital, characterized by John McSheffrey as “several million dollars,” was raised from angel investors by the end of September, “right before it all hit the fan [in the financial markets].”

MIJA is now its own company, a manufacturer of pressure gauges. The new firm is en-Gauge, which manufactures the en-Gauge Remote Fire Extinguisher Management System, an approved, listed electronic monitoring device for fire extinguishers.

“We realized we had two different business models, with one company doing mass production of pressure gauges [that are OEM’d], and the other - the intelligent addressable technology that’s sold through installers and integrators,” McSheffrey said.

Jack McSheffrey is now CEO and president of MIJA (“also paternal figure and grandfather to my kids”), John McSheffrey explained. At en-Guage, Brendan McSheffrey is CEO, John McSheffrey is president and Jim Rose is director of operations.

“They are two separate companies owned by the same family,” he said. The funds raised by en-Guage will be used to “grow the team, put feet on the street, market our government program, and for R&D.” McSheffrey said en-Guage will explore new designs that could include “bringing power directly to the product [for non-wireless installations] and adding [different types] of sensors.”