Positive charge Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010

Much of the success story about Stephen J. McShane sounds so familiar. He is one of six children, the son of a pipefitter, the first in his family to attend college and the first to graduate. He paid his own way through a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration. If McShane wore boots — and because he lived through decades of Midwestern winters, it would be safe to say he did — you could say with certainty that he pulled himself up by those proverbial bootstraps.

But there is much of the success story about McShane that does not sound so familiar: the initial failure, then modest success, then loads of success, and the dozens and dozens of patents. Today, McShane is the founder, president and CEO of Midtronics Inc., which is to the battery management industry what Microsoft is to software technology or what Sony is to consumer electronics.

McShane founded Midtronics in 1984 when his former employer, Motorola Inc., presented him with the opportunity to grow one of its seeds, the electronic battery tester. After years of work, McShane and the company experienced their break when Ford ordered a company tester deployed to every dealership in the nation.

Today, Midtronics holds more than 150 patents in battery management technology and has grown an average of more than 20 percent per year during the last decade. McShane established international offices early during the company’s history, opening doors in the Netherlands in 1990 and in China in 2004. In true entrepreneurial fashion, the company is positioned to evolve its China office to a wholly owned foreign entity this year, which will allow for better service in Asia.

How to reach: Midtronics Inc., (630) 323-2800 or www.midtronics.com