Gina Podesta (l) and Spencer Hudson have
converted the former Knupp & Watson & Wallman
Advertising site on Old Middleton Rd. and
converted it into the multi-functional space Synergy.
Synergy Co-Working Space
Dynamic Mixture of Talent
By Jonathan Gramling
Synergy, the co-working space owned by Gina Podesta and Spencer Hudson, is a
unique space located in the former Knupp and Watson and Wallman advertising space
on Old Middleton Road. A walk through the building reveals all kinds of spaces from a
large work room decked out with WiFi, electric outlets and comfortable furniture to
enclosed office spaces and everything in between. It is an interesting, creative space
where one can be left alone or engage with fellow entrepreneurs to develop the
business or initiative that one is working on.
Synergy is greater than the sum of its parts. While it is an exquisitely designed space, it
comes alive through the 25 plus members and others who fill the space on a daily basis.
“Everyone knows who everyone is,” Podesta said. “I think that is one of the beautiful
things about this. We’re also trying to break through that misconception that all co-
working is like a mess hall where there is a bunch of people making noise and things
are happening all the time. Co-working comes in many different forms. And we have
purposely chosen this location because it affords both the private spaces and the
communal spaces without feeling like you are being imposed on. We kind of cater to
older people as well, so some of the other spaces cater to a younger following and a
younger clientele and membership. I don’t think there is anyone under 30-years-old in our membership. Many are older on their second, third or
fourth career even. They are starting out with something new, but they have a tremendous amount of work experience under their belts. It’s a
different vibe. We’re not micromanaging a lot of stuff. People have the space for when they need it.”
Podesta and Hudson strive to foster a creative environment that encourages interaction — when one wants to interact — and that is
welcoming and positive for everyone.
“People who come to Synergy tend to be more independent,” Podesta said. “They don’t need all of this support. They come in and get what they
need. They don’t have a receptionist helping them out. There is no one here who is going to take your calls or make 10 copies of something for
you. Everyone handles their business. I think the other thing is culture. I think that definitely differentiates us. The culture is our values and our
values are built on collaboration and sharing. There is a lot about not only be welcoming, but also valuing diversity in all of its forms. We’re
really about that. People come in and see us. We’re not going to pretend to be other people and that is part of what we are trying to achieve, to
create a space where you can be free to be who you are and know that still can be equated with being successful, entrepreneurial
professionals. I think we’re pushing the envelope right now. It is culture. And if you’re coming here thinking, ‘I don’t want to talk to anyone and I
don’t want to support anyone or help anyone in any way, shape or form,” this might not be the space for you. That doesn’t mean that you have to
sacrifice all your time. But be open to sharing. Some people aren’t. We’re very open and professional.”
Hudson manages the facility and provides assistance and referrals when a member needs them. He also meets with prospective members
who are sometimes accepted and sometimes referred to other facilities.
“A young man called me yesterday actually and he is writing a play,” Hudson said. “I don’t think he exactly knew what Synergy was. There are
other co-working spaces that are a better fit for what he is trying to do. He wanted to rehearse and have some of his scenes and auditions
throughout the building. There’s another co-working space not from here at all and they cater more to the arts and the music. I sent him there.
There was someone else who wanted to make prosthetic eyes for people. I guess I know someone with a prosthetic eye, but I never knew the
person who created them. She did it. She told me about it and we decided that we weren’t a fit for her because she needed more medical-type
As a start-up business — Synergy was founded about a year ago — Synergy is evolving itself according to the needs of its current partners and
potential new partners.
“We’re committed and really interested in seeing what other community partnerships will develop,” Podesta said. “We try to make the
experience really economically empowering.”
And no matter at what stage a business is, Synergy is poised to be the place where the business can grow and prosper.
“We have businesses at different levels,” Hudson said. “We don’t just cater to start-ups. We have people who have been in business for 10
years whom these young start-ups can learn from. At any level of entrepreneurship, there is the opportunity to grow. I think we can be a good fit
for any level of entrepreneur.”
Synergy is waiting for you to come in and try them today.