TechSpa Treatment

Since its foundation in June 2003, TechSpa, based in Winter Park, FL, near Orlando, has rapidly grown to become one of the most in-demand software programming consultancies in the systems integration industry. Joe Kurta, TechSpa founder, Peavey's former lead MediaMatrix instructor and systems integration specialist, is considered to be one of the industry's leading authorities on digital signal processing applications and routing systems design, programming and integration.

At only 30 years old, Kurta has a "head full of smarts," a love of his career and great sense of humor. He is also a seasoned systems integration veteran who has been involved in the design and installation of almost 200 MediaMatrix, Soundweb, LCS, AMX and Crestron systems during the course of his still-blossoming career.

"Due to TechSpa's extensive knowledge of these cutting-edge-although still very new-technologies, TechSpa has been on projects where on the first day we saved the contractor $6,000," Kurta said. "TechSpa's goal is to offer tools and services that will enable and empower systems integrators to help them do their jobs more efficiently and cost-effectively."
Kurta began working for Walt Disney World in Florida immediately after graduating from the University of Massachusetts in 1996 with degrees in both music performance and sound recording technology. It wasn't long after joining Disney that, Kurta said, "One day, my boss sat me down in front of a computer, gave me the MediaMatrix manual and said, 'You need to become the expert on this.'"

Several months later, Kurta was integral in installing and programming numerous MediaMatrix systems aboard the two Disney cruise ships and numerous Disney theme parks. He continued, "I lived and breathed MediaMatrix for about a year straight, and worked on more than 50 international MediaMatrix projects for Disney. When the offer came to join Peavey as its MediaMatrix systems integration specialist, it just made sense to my career evolution."

After joining Peavey with such extensive experience, within days Kurta was also quickly involved in new product development, and in one year he gravitated into the additional role of MediaMatrix educator. During his almost 4-year tenure with Peavey Electronics, which began in 2000, Kurta was the lead instructor for both the Peavey MediaMatrix Fundamentals and Advanced classes, conducting approximately 50 courses in the U.S. and abroad, educating between 600 to 800 consultants and contractors.

After incorporating TechSpa in June 2003, Kurta continued to teach additional Peavey MediaMatrix Fundamentals and Advanced classes for almost a year utilizing the skills of outside contractors to complete TechSpa projects, including the Bellagio and Mandalay Bay Casinos, EMC Corp., and the Boston and Orange County (Florida) Convention Centers.

By June 2004, TechSpa's business had grown to the point that Kurta needed to dedicate all of his time to his burgeoning client base. He resigned his Peavey teaching consultancy, "moved into legitimate office space" and added two full-time employees. Peavey continues to retain TechSpa as a subcontractor for MediaMatrix Systems Integration services, as do several other systems integration firms.

Lenard (Leno) O'Bannon, "a subcontractor since the beginning," is now on staff full-time as TechSpa's AMX and Crestron control system programmer, brandishing the apropos title of control freak. Adrienne (Addy) Schneck, therapeutic technologist, concentrates on web-based services.

New software products and services recently introduced by TechSpa consist of standardized, readily available, as well as custom-designed, MediaMatrix plug-ins.

Custom Fit

Developing customized software for integrators is the foundation on which TechSpa was built. "Systems integrators are installing many different types of overpriced control systems simply because they don't know of any other product that will work for them," observed company founder Joe Kurta.