IT problems solved at Tech Zen - Moab Sun News: Get Out & Go

IT problems solved at Tech Zen

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Business teaches students IT solutions

Posted: Thursday, August 2, 2018 10:20 am | Updated: 10:26 am, Thu Aug 2, 2018.

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, “Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.”

By applying that Buddhist principle to technology, Tech Zen helps its clients make it through the mud with their damaged and broken mobile devices and computers.

The repair center’s owners, Sarah and Scott Wojcieszek, went from helping a neighbor repair their phone to opening a storefront at the Eddie McStiff’s Plaza four years ago. Tech Zen offers phone, tablet and computer repair services, as well as home and office installation for security, remote control, audio and visual systems and point of sale operations.

The business has grown to partner with students at Grand County High School, initiate an e-waste collection and provide service to overnight rental businesses.

The Wojcieszeks didn’t have a business plan when they moved to Moab from rural California. They were looking for a fresh start, and with backgrounds in information technology (IT), they soon realized the need for technology expertise in the community.

“When we first started, it was a little slow because no one really knew us,” Sarah Wojcieszek said. “It took a little bit of time to gain people’s trust and for them to have confidence that we would be an honest business and we care about people’s devices and what’s stored on them.”

She said that customers began to ask for services that were not advertised at Tech Zen. Wojcieszek said many people who operate nightly rental properties wanted to install systems that allow them to remotely control things like thermostats, door entry and security cameras.

“It wasn’t something that we were even thinking of, but people were calling us. They had no one else to go to. So, Scott had to kind of fill the gap for people who really need it,” Wojcieszek said.

Tech Zen works with businesses like Rick’s Glass, Kokopelli Gallery, La Sal House and Gearheads.

“Scott’s just incredible,” Gearheads co-owner Doug Kennedy said. “He does what he says he’s going to do, he’s on time, he’s really fair and he’s really talented.”

Kennedy hired the Wojcieszeks about a year ago to work on the store’s server, camera system and point of sale system.

“We had all kinds of issues and (Scott) problem-solved them,” Kennedy said. “If I have an issue, I just call him. He always shows up.”

Through providing their business services from their storefront, the Wojcieszeks found a way to contribute to the community.

“I’m really blown away by the great community atmosphere that we’ve been able to enjoy,” she said. “We really like helping … we feel like family.”

Tech Zen partners with Grand County High School. Students work at Tech Zen and earn school credits.

“It’s been a really good stepping stone for the students,” she said.

Tech Zen does not require their high school student employees to have prior experience working in IT.

“I train them from the ground up,” Wojcieszek said. “They show a desire to want to learn, be on time and show up.”

The students get a chance to find out if they enjoy working in IT, and Wojcieszek strives to help them identify their strengths. Four high school students have worked at Tech Zen so far, and she said they all had interest in problem-solving.

The Wojcieszeks also started an e-waste initiative and collected over 100 pounds of e-waste at the Moab Farmer’s Market recently.

“That’s how much stuff was out there, just sitting in people’s garages, homes and storage. And, I mean, some of that stuff has lithium ion batteries, and that stuff’s volatile — it’s not good stuff,” Wojcieszek said.

The e-waste collection helps the community, she said, because some clients cannot recycle their e-waste at Grand County Solid Waste Management Special Services District during its limited hours. She is planning another collection event and said it will be announced on the Tech Zen website and posted at the Moab City building.

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