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Company founded on cool idea

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Tony Quisenberry of Highland Village started his company from an invention he built in his garage.
Tony Quisenberry of Highland Village started his company from an invention he built in his garage.

A multi-million dollar medical technology company in Flower Mound got its start with a man trying to help out a neighbor and his wife.

“About 25 years ago, I had a neighbor whose wife had had knee surgery and was having a lot of pain,” said Tony Quisenberry, a Highland Village resident and the founder of ThermoTek. “They were putting bags of frozen peas on the site during recovery and trading those out of the freezer several times a day to relieve the pain. He [the neighbor] said, ‘There’s got to be a better way to do this,’ and I thought, ‘I’m sure there is.'”

Quisenberry started tinkering in his garage. The therapy device he invented was the first step in founding ThermoTek, that employs 60 people and contracts work out to many more.

The device Quisenberry invented, which circulated cold water through pads electronically, was a hit with both his neighbor and her doctors. It was the forerunner of the VascuTherm line of devices that are among ThermoTek’s top products today.

“Everybody said, ‘Hey, this ought to be a product,'” Quisenberry said.

He built more to make sure a market really existed for them, and after selling all of them, founded the company that would become ThermoTek in 1989.

Quisenberry is a biomedical engineer who has worked on medical products since leaving graduate school, and today ThermoTek sells a dizzying array of medical devices across the United States and internationally, for uses ranging from therapy and wound care to plastic surgery and sports medicine. The company also makes products for companies such as General Electric and Texas Instruments.

“The name implies that all we do is temperature, but that’s really only the tip of the iceberg,” Quisenberry continued. “That is key to many of our products, but some of the greatest things are in debate with the FDA right now that will involve some truly revolutionary products for wound care and particularly for diabetics.”

Other products made and sold by ThermoTek include power supply and temperature-control technology, thermoelectric heat pumps, heat pipes used in cars, computers and X-ray machines and liquid coolers used in a broad range of applications. It’s a lot of work that has created opportunities outside of Flower Mound as well, he said.

“We only do final assembly and tests” in Flower Mound’s Lakeside Business District, where the company has been located since 2008, Quisenberry said. “We farm out the sub-assemblies, the labor-intense items, all around the Dallas area; although we do our disposables at two contract plants in Tennessee.”

Quisenberry said the company’s growth and success have fulfilled a lifelong dream.

“I’m a serial entrepreneur — this is the seventh thing that started in my garage,” he said, laughing.

Other endeavors have ranged from medical technology ventures, to computer parts, to automated astronomy, to art restoration and more.

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