October 29, 2018
Outstanding women in business

Outstanding Women in Business 2018: Masiello built a 130-employee biotech behemoth

Laurie Masiello, president of Masy BioServices in Pepperell

Long before life sciences and pharmaceutical industries helped power the Massachusetts economy, Masy Systems was testing, measuring and verifying equipment and even storing products safely at its headquarters.

As drugmakers grown in the area, so has Masy Systems, which today occupies around 60,000 square feet of space in Pepperell and in October signed a lease for another 60,000 square feet.

Laurie Masiello has been a leader for Masy Systems the whole time, running the firm with husband John Masiello.

"John is the entrepreneur, and I'm the executor," Masiello said of the 130-employee company.

The couple, which met in driver's education classes four decades ago, have added family members to the team, including each of their brothers, their two sons, and both sons' wives. The family affair has expanded the firm worldwide.

Masy Systems – its name a play on a nickname John Masiello had when he was young – keeps its clients confidential, but Laurie Masiello said the company counts every major pharmaceutical company on its roster.

"We've been in growth mode, well, forever," Laurie Masiello said.

John Masiello was in the industry first, having started at a manufacturer of testing equipment. After five years, he wanted to strike out on his own.

Laurie Masiello got a degree to teach English but, after her and John married while they were in college, she instead spent the coming years raising two boys.

Masy Systems began out of their garage in 1984, and as the company grew, so did the space the business took up in their home. At one point, they bought a storage trailer for their personal furniture when they no longer had room both for those things and Masy equipment.

Laurie Masiello created the company's database, corresponded with customers and handled shipping and receiving. Eventually, the firm grew by word-of-mouth, including adding storage space.

They store drugs needing to be kept at very precise temperatures, and freezers in Masy Systems' biorepository can go as low as 130 degrees below zero. Customers either don't have enough space at their headquarters or they may largely exist only virtually, outsourcing much of their work. The company added a site in Pennsylvania to help work with clients farther down the East Coast.

Such a company might have obvious value to life sciences companies, but Masy Systems required the right leadership to make today's company possible. Roy Angel, a vice president for MassDevelopment in Worcester, got to know the Masiellos more than a decade ago when the company applied for financing assistance when it had only 33 employees.

"They've executed it close to perfection, I would say," Angel said.

For someone who deals with companies seeking financing help, Angel has kept a closer relationship with the Masiellos and said Masy Systems can sometimes be left without as much recognition because of its location nearly an hour from Worcester or Boston.

Laurie Masiello has brought the company an intuitive level of business acumen, Angel said, as well as someone who can be both a shrewd negotiator and tireless advocate and an outgoing and personable leader.

"She looks at things in three dimensions, not just one dimension," he said.

Masy Systems serves their employees lunch on-site every day, for instance, Angel said, to give an example of a perk not every company would offer.

"That speaks volumes of how they think their workers are like extended family," he said.

Read more about the 2018 Outstanding Women in Business:

Kate Sharry, president of Group Benefits Strategies

Carla McCall, CPA, CGMA, co-managing partner of AAFCPAs

Laurie Masiello, president of Masy Bioservices

Jennifer Luisa, vice president of marketing and communications at The Hanover Insurance Group

Marianne Lancaster, president of Lancaster Packaging Inc.

Sandra Brock, PE, vice president and chief engineer at Nitsch Engineering

Read about this year's judges

Read about the nine previous years of Outstanding Women in Business award winners:

2017 alumnae

2016 alumnae

2015 alumnae

2014 alumnae

2013 alumnae

2012 alumnae

2011 alumnae

2010 alumnae

2009 alumnae

Check out a column from this year's Innovative Business Leader of the Year on the importance of women business leaders in the Central Mass. community

Successful women shape our community

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