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Check back here often for the latest news on our new product releases, awards, recognitions, and other exciting achievements.

Press & Awards

Check back here often for the latest news on our new product releases, awards, recognitions, and other exciting achievements.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #93: An Industry Q&A With Jamie Briesemeister

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jamie Briesemeister of CEDIA shares how being a woman in business and resources she’s been able to share and gain from other women in the field.

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jamie Briesemeister. Recorded live on Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Jamie Briesemeister

Today’s show features my interview with Jamie Briesemeister, co-founder of Integration Controls, a home automation company out of St. Louis, MO, that focuses on providing intuitive, design-friendly technology solutions that enhance and simplify life. 

Jamie was selected as one of 2019’s Powerful Women in Consumer Technology and is also newly elected member of the CEDIA Board of Directors. She has spoken at a number of conferences and seminars, advocating for home technology considerations in the design/build process, as a guest speaker, as an instructor, or presenting CEUs to architects and designers.


Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Jamie Briesemeister

  • Jamie’s transition from working in the healthcare industry to starting a business in the CI space with her husband, Jeff
  • What has helped her throughout the years to improve within her role as CEO, both within and outside the industry from podcasts featuring women in business to business leadership books
  • Being a woman in business and resources she’s been able to share and gain from other women in the field 
  • How past experiences helped her become a stronger leader

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #92: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Michael Oh


Ron: Hey there, everybody, Ron Callis here with another episode of Automation Unplugged, brought to you by my day job over at One Firefly. Today is Wednesday, December 11th. It is right around 12:30 PM EST here in Florida. It was a beautiful sunny day here in Florida, in the 80s, but actually I'm just listening outside and it sounds like it's pouring cats and dogs, so it's coming down pretty hard outside. I hope you are doing well. We are now in December, we're post Thanksgiving and we are now prepping for the holidays. Of course, many of you in the integration space are probably busy trying to get your jobs finished in time for the holidays to make your clients happy. And we are in that end of year rush. I have a great guest for you today, and by the way, this is episode number 93 which is pretty fun.

I'm bringing you Jamie and you know what? She's got a fun last name and I know that I may mess it up. I should have asked her prior to going live how exactly to pronounce it, so I'm not gonna put you through it. We'll let her say it online. I'm bringing you Jamie from Integration Controls. Jamie is running a powerful business. She's a force in our industry and a new appointee. Or, she was not appointed, but actually voted onto the CEDIA Board of Directors. And so without further ado, let me bring you Jamie.

Jamie: Hello, Ron!

Ron: Jamie, thank you for your patience. Where are you coming to us from?

Jamie: St. Louis, Missouri.

Ron: One of the fun things about conducting interviews in this format is my guests are all over the country, sometimes all over the world. What is the weather like in St. Louis? Is there snow on the ground yet?

Jamie: No, although it was really frosty this morning. It's chilly, but we have sunshine so that's nice. I'll take the cold with the sunshine. That's good.

Ron: When does the snow officially start coming down?

Jamie: We actually had a couple of good snows before Thanksgiving. But they didn't accumulate or last long. Although school was out one day. But normally after Christmas, January, and February. Although we've had snow on my birthday before, which is in April. So it can drag out sometimes.

Ron: Holy moly. It's funny. My team is all virtual, right? So they're located all over the country. And a couple of times a year, I bring everyone together. So up until a couple of weeks ago, our plan was to bring everyone into Florida. All of my folks from Northern climates were super excited about that. But then we flipped it and now the event in January is going to be in New York City. I think maybe January in New York is the coldest month of the year? So people have to get their winter jackets. So Jamie, I always like to start with learning about you and your background and specifically you entering the integration business. When and how did that happen? Do you mind taking us through your background?

Jamie: Yeah, sure. Well, I never, ever, ever thought that I would be in technology. I married a guy who did that and I was in health-related professions. I went to school to be a speech pathologist and after graduating with my Master's practice for about three and a half years, and I loved it, however, it was nonprofit - I worked my tail off and I was in my car all the time. I put on weight and I was unhappy and he was getting burnt out at his job around the same time. We had an opportunity prior to starting a family to start this business. So in 2004 on December 8th, we got our business license and he said, "You want to reach out to architects and designers and tell them what we do?"

I'm a people person, so I said, "Yeah, sure, let's do that." I was part-time at that moment. And then at some point, I'm like, I'll just do this full time. And here we are 15 years later. So much has changed. I'm the captain of the ship now, which happened kind of unexpectedly, but it's actually been a great role change for us and he's able to focus on other parts of the business while I get to dream and scheme and envision what the future could look.

Ron: You entered the business and you played some roles, it sounds like in BizDev, going out into the design community and reaching out? Then over that 15 or 16 years, you transitioned into a leadership and visionary role within the business. Were there any particular milestones along the way that occurred that helped you and Jeff, your husband, realize that that was a good move for the business?

Jamie: Oh yeah. Yeah. There were lots of milestones. Having not come from a technology background, I wanted to make sure whenever I reached out to the design-build community that I could speak intelligently on what actually happens and not just what I'm hearing happens. I dove in originally. The goal was to reach out to architects and designers, but first, we need business to do that. I installed, pulled wire, terminated, trimmed out, installed speakers, not many, but a couple. I really knew what it was like to be in the field. I went to a lot of classes, both at CEDIA and manufacturer training, learned how to program a couple of systems, learn how to design systems. I really just kind of dove in deep on the tech side. Then in 2008, we had a child.

Ron: What month? My son was born in '08 as well.

Jamie: Oh, yeah. June.

Ron: My boy, Maximus, was born in December.

Jamie: Oh, cool. It's a great year. A lot of change that year. We had a child and now the business wasn't just there for my husband and me and our handful of people, we had a family to support. It was important that we became profitable, systematized, and that he came home at a certain time and that I was able to be at home. At the end of that year, a business partner wanted to be bought out. And so it was like, okay, well let's restructure to see what that looks like. I dove headfirst into sales and marketing, at that point I hadn't done a lot of BizDev, had learned the industry from the inside out. And now it's time for me to be the salesperson because I love him, he's great, but he is not a salesperson.

Ron: Well, we all have gifts, right. Better to know what they are and practice them. Makes everyone happier.

Jamie: Right. Well, and I don't think that I, I wasn't excited about sales necessarily.

Ron: Sales is a dirty word! There are a few that would go, "Yay, salesperson!"

Jamie: Right. And I don't like being sold. That had been mostly my experience with sales, with the exception of a two-month stint in college which I hated in retail. It was a lot of learning how to "relationship sell." Through the years, starting in 2008 as our team grew and we moved, I've always been in a leadership role. But to actually be the one making the decision really happened in August of last year, we made the official change in who signs the paycheck and who deals with the HR problems.

Ron: That's awesome. I have a whole list in preparation. And by the way, my team also helped me prepare some thoughts and questions. I know you are an active member of the CEDIA community, you're on the board and you're an inspiration for many. I elicited some feedback from some of my team and so I have all sorts of notes and comments, questions. Before I get into that, though, we do have a lot of folks joining us live and I just want to give some of them a shout out here. Chris is coming to us from London. Hey Chris! Thanks for watching buddy. And let's see here. Mackenzie is coming to us from Salt Lake and she's welcoming you. She said she's inspired by the women in tech, so that is pretty cool. We have Brenna is coming to us from Austin.

Jamie: Hopefully she has some warm weather there, I'd imagine.

Ron: I think she does. Actually, Kendall, Alison, and I went down to Dallas last month and I know Dallas and Austin are a distance, but my God, it was 27 degrees. It was crazy. I mean, if you follow us on social, I was on video and we were all breathing and you can see the air and us people down in the Sunbelt don't get that very often so that was social media worthy. And then we have Kendall, she says "Hi, Jamie!" And I'll do one more, Josh Willits says, "Happy 15th anniversary for your business!" Which by the way is a perfect transition. You've just had your 15 year anniversary for your business just within the last week or two.

Jamie: Yeah, we did. It was on a Sunday and we had an owner's meeting to celebrate it. It was so fancy

Ron: An owner's meeting? So, you celebrated your anniversary with the planning sessions. Hey, what, what better way than to start planning your next 15 years?

Jamie: That's pretty much it. We want to celebrate getting everybody together. At the same time is really hard in the holiday season. We were going to table something for post-holiday probably in February because January will be a busy month as well.

Ron: Got it. Understood. 15 years in business, I'm assuming there have been and I'm just speaking as an entrepreneur myself, I'm 12 years in business and one thing I know is that it's much harder than I ever imagined. In other words, if I knew then what I know now, I'm not so confident I would have been brave enough to do it. Ignorance is bliss.

Jamie: Yup. I agree with that.

Ron: But there's good stuff and bad stuff and we learned from everything along the way. Are there some interesting takeaways from your last 15 years that you'd be willing to share with our audience?

Jamie: Yeah, totally. I think one of the key differences, having not been in the industry and coming into it, I think about the outcome a little differently. I'm not as tied to the projects. Even though as a salesperson, I wanna make sure my clients get what they pay for. And now as the owner, I want to make sure everybody's doing what they should. I'm not as entrenched in the details of technology and in some ways that's allowed me to zoom out and really look big picture. I don't have a lot of ego. Some of our integrators and home tech people tend to bring with them that makes them want to do it all themselves. I'm actually, which is contrary to my personal life in business, I feel like I'm more able to reach out and ask for mentors. That has helped a lot.

Through my connections with CEDIA and just meeting people that you get to meet when you travel and when you're in those positions of discussion, it's been great to network with people. I've had mentors that have helped throughout 15 years and I know that we wouldn't have been able to be here without them. Mitch Klein is one, he's just a great personal mentor and professional mentor. Glory, she used to have La Scala in Canada. She's fantastic and it seems like they've come in moments when we need it because as you mentioned, being an entrepreneur is really difficult at times. It's really fantastic at times. But the responsibility to make sure that all 12 of my people have enough to go home feed their families, have a great holiday, go on vacation, pay their bills on time, all of that. It's stressful.

Ron: It's a tremendous responsibility.

Jamie: It is. And in 2008 is kind of really when the light bulb went off right before the recession, which is great. But it also was one of those moments like, wow, we really have to assess what we're doing and not fly by the seat of our pants as much. Even, even though every year I feel like we tried to get better at sharpening the saw.

Ron: In August of 2018, it's been a year at the helm. Officially. What have you learned in that transition? You're now in a new role, a new seat on the bus, right person, right seat. What have you learned?

Jamie: Well, it's interesting. It's an official seat on the bus. I feel like I've been sitting in the seat for a while. I think the biggest thing that I've learned is to have patience with the process of change. That is really challenging when you like to see things happen quickly and you're motivated to make big changes quickly and you have people around you that you need to bring into that same kind of energy. You can't go as quickly as you want to go. There have definitely been some times where I felt like at the end of my leash, just trying to go further faster and realizing I need to pull back a little bit and not be quite as direct maybe with a few people and with some of the changes and have patience that while I want it to happen in a week, it might take a month and a half.

Ron: I totally empathize with what you're saying. You desire in your mind's eye to be able to get there a month from now, but the reality is when you have people in an organization, there are best practices or methods perhaps to get you from point A to point B and sometimes they aren't obvious, right? Sometimes you have to go out and listen and learn or surround yourself with others that have figured that out. Are there some techniques, books you've read, or things you've listened to, or things that seminars you've attended that have helped you maybe see how to be more effective in a CEO role?

Jamie: Yeah. I've listened to a podcast within our industry but really a lot of the business work that I've done is been through podcast outside the industry and specifically women in business. In addition to that, books are great and a constant feed of input. Early on, a long time ago I read the book, The Pumpkin Plan, which is a great book for business. I think it helped, in my perspective, it solidified some of the ideas that were kind of swirling around up here anyway. It helped my team at the time realize that you can say no to clients, you can say no to opportunities, you can put more resources towards the goals that you want to achieve and leave some of the other things behind.

I felt like it gave us permission to, I hate to say, not treat every client the same. Not every client wants to be treated the same. Innately, I tried originally to treat every client with the exact same high level five star, platinum service. I had some clients who would eat a lot of time and then some that would maybe eat time and never become clients. That book really helped me and our other two business partners realize that we can choose how we want our future to look.

Ron: And what does all of that have to do with pumpkins?

Jamie: I know, right? The philosophy is growing a blue ribbon, prize-winning, big giant pumpkin and that pumpkin is your business. Mike Michalowicz uses that as a philosophy for all kinds of businesses. In that book, I think he talks about a baker, a construction person, a couple of other types of businesses that he goes through. He learned this strategy by observing how farmers grow a big pumpkin.

Ron: There's probably an analogy there where you have to cut off some pumpkins?

Jamie: Yup. Cut off the ones that aren't doing well, cut off the ones that are causing you blight, cut off the ones that don't look like they're going to yield into a big pumpkin and focus all those resources on the big pumpkin, which is your business. The E-Myth, Lean Thinking, Hiring for Attitude, The Trusted Advisor. I could probably list off five more, but they're not coming to me right now. All of those over time have just layered on pieces and bits of information that I'm able to draw on now and use. Now that I have the official title of captain of the ship.

Ron: I've mentioned on many of my shows that I've personally discovered podcasts at this point, maybe about three years ago. And for me, it was a new frontier of learning. It's awesome what's out there to be consumed now you have to be discerning in, you only have so many hours in the day, but there's just a vast wealth of knowledge out there. Free for consumption.

Jamie: Yeah. Podcasts are new to me, I've kind of been binge casting I guess. Plus, I've had a few road trips, so that has made for a great way to listen while I just drive. For anybody that's listening and is interested specifically for women in business, there's a BizChix podcast, which I really like. And Rachel Hollis has a great podcast out as well. Anything from onboarding your team to dealing with imposter syndrome, to working as a woman in a man's world, to forecasting and looking at your numbers. I mean, it really covers the gamut of what business is. As a woman in business, in technology, I think we face some extra challenges. So it's been nice to have some resources where I can lean in on my virtual sisters to see how I can navigate any situation and it's comforting sometimes when that advice is coming from a woman as opposed to a man. It's been helpful to me. And it's not so much just the women part, but most of the time, if I were to log in and talk about business and you look at all the podcasts or anything that's out there, so much of it is coming from a male's voice. So to just hear it, literally just hearing it from someone else is another piece to the pie.

Ron: A couple of different things I want to jump into here. One is, this year at CEDIA, you were voted onto the CEDIA Board of Directors.

Jamie: Yes, I was.

Ron: Congratulations.

Jamie: Thank you.

Ron: Are you thinking to use that position of leadership to perhaps strengthen the training, education, and/or support for women in this industry? Are there ideas that you have or is there alignment with your role on the board?

Jamie: I think it's going to be refreshing for CEDIA staff. They haven't really had women on the board for a long time. It will be interesting for the board itself to kind of just get a different look. Overall, I'm not the only woman on the board, there are two other women, which I think is the first time in CEDIA history. This has never happened. So without knowing what it was before, but to know who's on board now, I think it's going to be a really collaborative bunch and we'll bring a different perspective. We'll bring a different voice. But it's all for the community. It's all for the CEDIA members. And many of them are women, as a woman who had gone to a lot of classes and been the only woman, been involved in CEDIA in a committee chair and the only woman. There's a big push from a lot of people saying, "We want to see more women in technology."

Well, the way that that can happen is when women are in leadership, in technology when women put themselves in a position where other people can look to them for inspiration, and it's scary but it's also really exciting to have some younger women come to me and say, "I'm so excited to meet you. I've heard great things about you. It's so nice to know that I have someone I can reach out to if I need to." And the funny thing is most people haven't reached out.

I have had some conversations where we talked about mansplaining, about being interrupted, all kinds of things that are specific to women around, well, just in the world. We have more risks associated with walking down the street at night and more assumptions if we're the only woman hanging out with a group of men. There are conversations we've had to navigate, I've had to navigate, and it's nice to have other women to speak to so they know they're not alone. And it's also nice to know I'm not alone.

Ron: Are you a part of the women in CE? I think there's a group, I know several women on my team are a member of that group.

Jamie: I'm not an official member of the group, but I've known Carol for a long time. I don't actively engage in that and I probably should. It's just been-

Ron: There are only so many hours in the day. Right. Where do you spend those hours?

Jamie: No, and that is something I would like to do. I love Carol and I love that team. They were a big influence early on when Jeff and I went to the very last CEDIA management conference that they had at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in California. Speaking with Carol and Glory, I met her at the time and Marilyn Sanford. And they were asking me, what's your background? How did you get into this?

I was minimizing a lot of my efforts and I think Glory or maybe Marilyn looked at me and said, "You need to call yourself a Co-Founder. You might not be an owner technically at the time, but you call yourself a Co-Founder. You're helping to get this company off the ground. You have influence, you should own it." And to have someone give you that confidence and the permission to own that you really are a part of this building block and you're not sitting off to the sidelines, was really helpful in my own personal development.

"At One Firefly, in terms of our company makeup, we're more than 50% women. Of my support team on my leadership team, it's two women and two men and actually soon to be in January, three women, and two men. I personally value that insight and often a very different way of looking at situations and interactions and I think it's invaluable."

Ron: No, that's, that's great to know. I know at One Firefly, in terms of our company makeup, we're more than 50% women. Of my support team on my leadership team, it's two women and two men and actually soon to be in January, three women, and two men. I personally value that insight and often a very different way of looking at situations and interactions and I think it's invaluable. So I think it's wise.

I do have a question, and this is just from me knowing you, I've known you and your husband for a bit. You've had some very profound challenges, medically and personally, aside from the business challenges, but those trials and tribulations ultimately led to some really interesting observations and learnings. Do you mind exploring a little bit of that? Hopefully, that was an appropriate way to tee-up the subject, I found it fascinating.

Jamie: Yeah. I think around the holidays, I'm active on social media, you'll see memes and stories of, "You don't know what's happening to someone, so just be kind, you have no idea what their story is." And there were lots of days where I probably looked very fine to some casual observer, I might look like I had my stuff together.

Ron: Like you had your shit together? Don't worry, it's my podcast.

Jamie: Can I say it?

Ron: You can say it, you're authorized!

Jamie: Yeah, I looked like I had my shit together, but there were definitely days where I didn't. And a lot of it centered around, at the end of 2012 I was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm that happened by accident. They found it by accident, which is kind of crazy. I went in for a procedure and woke up and they said, well, the procedure went well, but we noticed this. And having been in speech pathology and working with people who had strokes and aneurysms and all of these medical complications, I was freaked out.

They were like, "Oh, it's tiny. You don't have to worry about it." I'm like, how do I not worry about an aneurysm? You know? And for those that don't know, an aneurysm is just a bubble on an artery or a blood vessel. It's when that bubble breaks, that causes problems. So thankfully nothing had ruptured. April of the next year in 2013, I had surgery and came out of surgery pretty well. They went in through an artery in my leg. So thankfully I got to keep my long hair,

Ron: I was going to say, do you have like a cool scar?

Jamie: Well, I do, but not from that. So they put a stent in and aside from some visual side effects that still persist today, everything's okay.

Ron: So they put something from your leg all the way into your brain?

Jamie: Yeah! They go in like through a femoral artery and through your heart to your brain.

Ron: That's amazing.

Jamie: It is. It is crazy.

Ron: Does it go off in a metal detector?

Jamie: No, but I've asked that question though.

Ron: That'd be fun, like sorry guys. It's my brain.

Jamie: Right? No worries, it's my tinfoil hat. That was a challenge, as you could imagine. Both staying active, staying present, mind you, I'm the salesperson for the company, so I have to meet with people and listen to them and be who I am, but yet inside, things are changing. And it was scary. There were a couple of times after the surgery where some complications popped up and I was like, "That's it. I'm done. I'm going to die." I'd lay down with my son every night and at the same time I was like, "I hope he doesn't wake up to a dead mommy." Like that was a big concern at the time. If I'm going to go, this is the best way to go.

Ron: At least for you!

Jamie: For me, right. My kid will have a horrible life after that.

Ron: He might be scarred forever.

Jamie: It's a little selfish maybe.

Ron: No, but I could imagine thinking and acting the same.

Jamie: Yeah, it was crazy.

Ron: What were your learnings and what changed for you as it relates to the business from having gone through that?

"Delegate completely and be okay with somebody doing something a little differently than you."

Jamie: To delegate and delegate completely and be okay with somebody doing something a little differently than you. My ego might've surfaced a couple of times where I wanted to hold on to things that I was impassioned about and holding onto those at the time might not have been the best idea. I should have let them go. I should've given it to someone else. I should have asked for more help. That was a big moment of learning to ask for help and trust that it would get done.

Ron: Do you feel that today, and by the way, how is everything now with your health?

Jamie: It's all okay. Every now and then it still looks like I'll have like glitter kind of falling out in my left field of vision and every now and then I lose vision completely in my left eye. They put a stint in and then the bubble kind of sinks back in, but when they put the stint in, it covered my optic artery, so the artery that feeds my left eye. And since then I've just had some weird visual side effects. It's not life-threatening.

They've done all kinds of scans and can't find any stroke signs or anything like that. But it's concerning when you're driving and it's only happened twice when I've driven, so I pull over or find a spot to wait about 30 seconds to a minute and a half, and then everything's okay. It's weird.

Ron: Everyone is rooting for you, myself included in terms of your health. That sounds scary and terrifying, but if anyone's going to beat it up, it's going to be you.

Jamie: Oh, I've been through a lot worse. That was no big deal.

Ron: No big deal. In terms of delegation, what changed in where you are today in your leadership role? You're still selling for your company?

Jamie: Yeah, I have some clients that I've worked with for a long time or projects that rely on my skillset and knowledge or relationship. So I have a few projects that I'm still involved in. But I hired on a great person earlier this year and he's fully onboarded and I haven't been on a sales call with him in a couple of months. And he's closing deals and they're the right jobs and it's working.

"At large, for our industry, staffing has been a challenge for the last two to four years really since the economy has been booming and integrators at large have been bottle-necked in their ability to grow based on their ability to find good people and retain them."

Ron: Where do you stand today? Just big picture. I would say macro, we don't have to get too specific, but I'm just curious in terms of staffing. At large, for our industry, staffing has been a challenge for the last two to four years really since the economy has been booming and integrators at large have been bottle-necked in their ability to grow based on their ability to find good people and retain them.

What are you seeing in the St. Louis market right now? And additionally, are there, if you're willing to share, any best practices maybe that you're implementing from a people side of the equation that others can learn from?

Jamie: Sure. I think in a lot of markets similar to St. Louis, you see technicians and people shifting from one company to another. Thankfully that hasn't happened too much with us. A lot of our hiring practice about a year and a half ago was looking at attitude solely which might've got me into a sticky bind. One of the employees that I hired as a technician ended up not having a computer at home.

Ron: Like a working computer or it was broken?

Jamie: Nope, just no computer. They never had one. And I think that's an interesting thing to note about that generation 28 years of age, always being with a mobile device, an iPad, a touchscreen, and not like an actual computer with keys that you can touch.

Ron: And just so I'm careful in what I ask and say, is that person still with you?

Jamie: That person is not. But it was eyeopening. Like, I definitely need to ask that question. I never would have thought I would have to ask.

Ron: So, the pendulum in your hiring process had swung to where you were really looking at the person, the attitude, their approach to their day and others and Maybe it's, it's still there in terms of attitude, but now you've added some other filters for technology experience or lifestyle?

Jamie: Right. Must at least own a computer or have some familiarity.

Ron: Must know how to drive their own car, own computer.

"We had a philosophy that we can train anything, and that's not necessarily true. You can't train everything but you can train a lot."

Jamie: Right? We had a philosophy that we can train anything, and that's not necessarily true. You can't train everything but you can train a lot. That person was hired outside the industry and we've had a few more, we found a service person that was working servicing printers and he's actually become a great tech.

I've been working locally with South Tech high school and hired somebody straight out of high school who came with us with a lot of IT knowledge, very much not like most 19-year-olds. And at the time we hired him, he was 18, so he was kind of different than a lot, more responsible. He had been working for a few years already, so he was ready to get out and start making some money.

Ron: That was like a good win-win, coming out of school, making real money and you get fantastic IT talent. My son is 11 and he already knows more about the iPhone and iPad than I will probably ever learn or forget. He is our IT support in this house.

Jamie: Yeah. That's funny. Yeah, Logan, my son, is also 11 so he teaches me a few things as well. Mostly like, as I age, apps and new features in my new iOS update, I just stand back and I consult with someone and say, "Okay, who's updated? Can you show me what's new that I need to know?" Because I'm not the type of person to play on my phone all day. I don't-

Ron: You have a business to run!

Jamie: Right. And I don't have an interest. Quite frankly, I'd much rather be outside or riding a bike or gardening.

Ron: Amen. I agree with that. I actually, we just had Samantha from Pro Source just gave you a thumbs up and a bunch of emojis here. So, hi Samantha! Thanks for watching. Appreciate it.

Jamie: I don't know if I answered this part of your question.

Ron: No, that was, that was excellent. That was awesome. Jamie, believe it or not, we've actually been on, despite some of our hurdles, we've been on for almost an hour.

Jamie: Oh wow.

Ron: Yes. Time flies when you're having and when you're fighting IT issues. Where would our audience be able to follow you or perhaps get in touch with you? What your recommendations?

Jamie: Sure. lots of different ways you can find my company's on You can find me on LinkedIn. You can also email me anytime you want This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We have a Twitter feed which is @controlSTL and same with Instagram, although I'm not on Instagram as much control.

Ron: And there I have scrolling on the screen for those that are listening on the podcast, it says

Jamie: Yes, that's our website that Ron and his team put together for us.

Ron: I'm very honored to do so.

Jamie: Yeah, I had a lot of positive feedback.

Ron: It's very pretty. I love the colors. I love the overall, between your collaboration, your ideas, and then working with one of our designers, I'm very satisfied with the end result.

Jamie: Yeah, it turned out very well.

Ron: Jamie, it was my pleasure to have you on episode 93 of Automation Unplugged. I hope you'd be a game down the road to come back on.

Jamie: Anytime, anytime.

Ron: Hopefully with fewer technical challenges next. But I'm not going to promise that because this is live and you just never know what's going to happen.

Jamie: It's technology, it's not brain surgery. I think that's one of the things we need to remember, right. When clients have fires, like... the world's not going to end.

Ron: It's only a TV show, it's only a movie.

Jamie: Right. If you don't answer that email, your patient's not going to die. I encourage all the integrators out there to create some healthy boundaries for themselves and go home at night and sleep well. Your clients are going to be there tomorrow. They will, they're not going to go away. And if they do, then they don't have a soul and don't understand that you have a life.

Ron: There is such a thing as a good customer and a bad customer, then you want good customers because life is short time is finite. Spend your time with good people.

Jamie: That was probably something I should have brought into that part of the conversation, Ron. Like, when you kind of look at death in the face and you wonder, is my card going to get pulled? It's kinda one of those moments where you're like, man, life is short and don't sweat the small stuff. And truly it's all small.

Ron: Wise words, Jamie. Well, I was rooting for you when you were running for the board and I was excited to see you win and we're certainly rooting for you in life and of course, in business. Thank you to you and Jeff, he was a rock star helping you get set up with audio and video. So good job, Jeff. Give him an attaboy for me and it was a pleasure to have you on the show, Jamie.

Jamie: Thank you, Ron. I appreciate your time. Thanks, everyone.


Home technology advocate and CEDIA board member, co-founder of Integration Controls, Jamie Briesemeister, helps shine a light on the importance of women in technology and her experience transitioning to the custom integration space.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly became the leading marketing firm specializing within the integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.

Resources and links from the interview:

You can find Jamie and the Integration Controls team at and follow them on social media @controlstl on Instagram and Twitter, and on Facebook at Integration Controls.

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