MJM Holdings, Clinton, CT
Tribute to Co-Founder, John M. Milano (1942-2007)
John M. Milano
The father and son team of John M. and Michael J. Milano successfully ran the business of developing residential and commercial properties for twenty-four years. Their joint ventures included the construction of over 300 homes and 30 commercial projects for MJM Builders and MJM Self Storage of Clinton and Cheshire. The Terrace at West Wharf in Madison, and Tuttle Brook Farms in Haddam are their most recent projects.

John Milano transitioned from baker to builder. He saw the change as a business opportunity as well as a chance to work outdoors. John also saw an opportunity to teach his son the construction business from the ground up. As Michael remembers, it was occasionally from below ground up. He still recalls having to climb down into catch basins to clean them out.

MJM Builders was formed when Michael graduated from Hand High School in 1982. Mike went into the construction business in partnership with his father and with his guidance. To this day, Mike appreciates the leap of faith his father took in making him a full partner from the start. "I began this business with very little money, just an eighteen year old kid right out of high school. I have always respected and appreciated my father for the confidence he placed in me when all I had to offer was ambition and hard work."

By 1987, John had joined Michael full time. Autumn Ridge in Clinton was their first large project. It was followed by North Ridge and Madison Ridge, both in Madison, and Indian River Estates and Taylor Ridge, located in Clinton. John attributed the success of their business ventures to the balance between their respective strengths and personalities.

"Two different generations have different ways of doing things. Michael is more aggressive. I am of the old school and more cautious. I don't like a lot of debt." John explained. Playing to their strengths, John met and dealt with customers and took care of the paperwork while Michael worked in the field and with the subcontractors.

John felt that the American dream and the opportunities it offers worked well for him and his family. His grandfather was an Italian immigrant who found work at the Winchester Firearms plant in New Haven. John's father owned and operated a fruit and vegetable store in West Haven where John and his siblings worked while growing up. That he himself recognized the opportunities this country offers, and was grateful for the success he and his son have achieved, is reflected in his favorite saying: "Nice country, America."

On July 29th, 2007, John Milano lost his courageous battle with Lung cancer. A devout family man and respected businessman, he will be greatly missed by all.