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Burkhardt, Bernath Take Over Vital Management; Rebrand as VITAL

Original owners Paul Starkey and Steve Firszt will stay on as advisors to the company.

Vital Management, founded by custom installation industry icons Paul Starkey and Steve Firszt has announced the sale of their coaching company to a group of industry colleagues led by Matt Bernath and Jeremy Burkhardt effective immediately. Matt Bernath, a two-year veteran with VITAL and former CI business owner, will lead the charge. Vital Management rebrands as VITAL.


VITAL supports custom installation businesses, enabling them to “Profit.Grow.Prosper.” 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 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. Starkey and Firszt will remain active working with key clients and will stay indefinitely as advisors to the VITAL’s board and company.

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

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

“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,” says Bernath. “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,” adds Burkhardt. “When the opportunity to participate personally emerged, I was all in. I am thrilled to be part of the new Grow With VITAL team.”

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