In the early days of the company's inception, the choice of a name was more than just a formality – it was a declaration of values and aspirations. As the co-founder and Managing Partner of Entech, John Marhoefer is excited to share the story of how the name came to be from its humble beginnings as the Florida Entech Company to its evolution into Entech Innovative Engineering. This narrative not only chronicles the growth of the company but also encapsulates the dedication to innovation, creativity, and engineering excellence. Join John as he delves into the origins and transformations that have shaped Entech into the entity it is today.
It wasn’t long after we left our prior place of employment that my co-founder Jason and I were working out of the mother-in-law suite over my garage. We were fortunate that we had work to do. In particular, a big job supporting Intamin during the Back To The Future ride vehicle rehabilitation project as well as work for FAO Schwarz for whom we would go on to do a fair amount over the years.
The work was there but the name wasn’t, so I had to quickly come up with one. In a discussion with my late father, he suggested the name Entech. I liked it well enough, and we really didn’t talk about whether it meant ‘entertainment technology’ or ‘engineering technology’ or even something else, it was just ‘Entech’. However, Entech was then and remains so now a very common name. There are many different companies with the word Entech in their title and so if I were going to use it, I would need to bake it into a larger name.
Growing up, I lived in New York and Pennsylvania during the 1960’s and 1970’s. For such people at that time, Florida was a legendary, even fairy tale location. We really didn’t know anything about Florida except that it was far away and cool. In the 1970s, Walt Disney World opened which skyrocketed the cachet as fortunate friends traveled to “vacation in Florida” and returned with great tales to great fanfare.
As it turned out, I never traveled to Florida as a child. It wasn’t until I was deployed in the late 1980’s as a young engineer to work on the Walt Disney World property for the Star Tours and Body Wars attractions in the Studios and at Epcot that I came to Florida. And frankly, it WAS super cool! Those projects finished as all do, but I never returned north. Florida became my home.
For this reason, I decided to name the company Florida Entech thinking that the name Florida carried the same standing with others that it did with me. And we were Florida Entech (and even though we changed the name several decades ago, some people still call us Florida Entech!)
After several years, though, I started to accept what a number of people had been telling me, that contrary to an alluring cachet, the word Florida in the company name had the negative effect of regionalizing us – that by being Florida Entech, it caused people to think that we would only work in Florida which of course wasn’t true.
Soon it became clear that we were going to adopt a new name. Entech remained but the new name of the company became Entech Creative Industries. The new name was intended to do several things for us. One of course was to tie us to the entertainment industry more clearly. Another was to provide a vehicle for different lines of business under one corporate banner. Such businesses included at that time Entech Waterjet and Entech Controls along with several others all rolled up under Entech Creative Industries.
Entech Creative Industries persisted for a long time. However, during that period changes occurred that eventually militated sufficiently to require a new name. These changes included the fact that others in our industry took the word Creative into their names as well and these companies were largely scenic in nature. By contrast Entech has been throughout its history a technology-based company - an engineering company.
Accordingly, to provide a reset moment with our core competency and to distinguish us clearly from other companies, we became Entech Innovative Engineering, which is what we are today.
While a lot of time has passed and changes have come and gone, the name Entech continues. Many great and talented men and women have been and are now part of the organization. There is a cliché that says, “the more things change the more they stay the same” and I’m not sure why, but I’m drawn to remember it here.
Through dedication, hard work, and a relentless pursuit of engineering innovation, Entech has left an indelible mark on the themed entertainment industry and beyond. As we reflect on the past three decades, we extend our deepest gratitude to all our associates and clients for their unwavering support and trust throughout our evolution. Looking forward, we remain steadfast in our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible. With a diverse portfolio and a team of talented professionals, we are excited about the future and continuing our 30th year celebrations.