Burkhardt, Bernath Acquire Vital Management from Starkey, Firszt

Jeremy Burkhardt and Matt Bernath acquire VITAL Management consulting from industry veterans Paul Starkey and Steve Firszt.

 •
Burkhardt, Bernath Acquire Vital Management from Starkey, Firszt

VITAL business coaching founders Paul Starkey and Steve Firszt have sold the company to industry veterans Matt Bernath and Jeremy Burkhardt.

Vital Management, an industry consulting and coaching company founded by industry icons Paul Starkey and Steve Firszt, has been sold a group of industry colleagues led by Matt Bernath and Jeremy Burkhardt, effective immediately. The consulting company has been rebranded simply as VITAL.

Bernath, a two-year veteran with VITAL and former CI business owner, will lead the charge.  The extent of Burkhardt’s role is still in development, but as a former integrator and founder of Origin Acoustics who interacts with dealers daily, he has a pulse on the market and will aim to bring that knowledge to bear to assist dealers. Both Starkey and Firszt will remain engaged with VITAL for the next six to 12 months working with key clients and as advisors to VITAL’s board, according to Bernath.  

VITAL supports custom installation businesses, enabling them to “Profit.Grow.Prosper” (the company’s tagline) with standards, metrics, coaching, collaboration, performance, and value-creation. The VITAL Method, its business-critical foundation practices and resources will remain intact.  It was Starkey’s and Firszt’s desire to slow down working around the clock, and yet maintain and nurture their beloved business and clientele. They turned to industry friends, not venture capitalists, as the ideal solution.   

“Steve and I couldn’t be happier with this announcement and sale. We will work with proven industry leaders to assist and grow VITAL to the next level, and beyond,” says Starkey. “These are good people who we have known for decades and trust.”

By applying VITAL’s proven process, practices, and people deployment methods, VITAL has had a huge impact on over 300 CI companies over the years, beginning with Firszt’s Fast Forward Consulting firm and then for the past 10+ years as Vital Management with Starkey alongside. VITAL is part CFO, part mentor, part accountability coach, part process instructor and fully All-In on their client’s business success.

The consulting company has several levels of engagement, including its Toolbox program that includes a minimum of quarterly consulting reviews, and its Accelerator program in which the team meets with the integrator twice per month.

Bernath says integrators usually seek out VITAL’s assistance to “reduce chaos,” maximize profit, or develop an exit strategy. Starkey and Firszt were instrumental in help guide a group of integrators to become Bravas, the No. 7 integrator in the CE Pro 100 with more than $65 million in revenues last year. VITAL is no longer directly affiliated with Bravas.

Bernath says the three consistent challenges integrators face today that VITAL can assist them with are:

  • Developing a proven and consistent way to account for revenues and maximize profit
  • Standardizing their business operations
  • Creating a great company culture

The new VITAL leadership group plans to invest resources to deepen the impact on CI businesses and improve operations in the future. Its BI4CI (business intelligence for custom integrators), cloud-based dashboard that uses QuickBooks with business metrics for custom installation companies, makes it simple to access and analyze comparable data. The best thing is that it is easy, affordable and helps businesses to make more profits from their existing sales. 

Bernath, VITAL coach and leader, adds, “I am very excited as we get the best of both worlds. The additional resources will enable us to invest in the further growth of VITAL and deliver great value to our customers. We are excited that Paul and Steve will be there to support us. Our mission is to grow the entire industry by helping CI dealers run better businesses and realize the goals they envisioned when they began their entrepreneurial journey.”

“I have watched both Steve and Paul pour their hearts into the CI industry as they have created business smart systems for CI-centric companies to survive, grow and succeed. When the opportunity to participate personally emerged, I was all in. I am thrilled to be part of the new Grow With VITAL team,” adds Burkhardt, VITAL joint owner.  

About the Author

Jason Knott
Follow
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.