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Join Ron Callis, Owner & CEO of One Firefly and industry veteran, as he talks business development, technology trends, and more with leading personalities in the tech industry. Automation Unplugged (AU) is produced and broadcast live every week.
An AV and integration-focused podcast broadcast live weekly
Join Ron Callis, Owner & CEO of One Firefly and industry veteran, as he talks business development, technology trends, and more with leading personalities in the tech industry. Automation Unplugged (AU) is produced and broadcast live every week.
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Home Automation Podcast Episode #24: An Industry Q&A With Alex Lelchuk

On Running a Successful Integration Firm

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Alex Lelchuk. Recorded live on Thursday, November 16th, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. EST. 

About Alex Lelchuk

Alex Lelchuk is the founder of Lelch Audio Video, a leading technology integration firm in Minneapolis. Alex oversees Lelch Audio Video’s operations including sales, inventory, marketing and customer service.

His leadership has managed to grow his business 400%+ over the last 3 years. His company received the US Commerce Association Best of Minneapolis Award for marketing excellence.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Alex:

  • Alex's background and decision to start Lelch AV
  • Alex's approach to recruiting qualified talent
  • Processes and procedures to help manage the chaos of a business
  • Project management for integrators

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #23: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With John Galante


Ron:  Hello everybody. Ron Callis here with another episode of Automation Unplugged, brought to you by One Firefly. It is my day job. So it is 12:31 PM on Thursday, November 16th. So yes, we normally go live on Wednesdays. Had some scheduling conflicts today, so went live today and very excited to bring you my guest Alex Lelchuck from Lelch Audio Video of Minneapolis. Alex, how are you sir?

Alex:  I am great. How are you?

Ron:  I am good. Thank you for joining me. I was gonna say this morning. It's still morning for you. You're central time, right? Right.

Alex:  Yeah, we're still, we're solid. 11:30.

Ron:  Okay. All right. Let me real quick, Alex, before we get going, let me jump over here to my Facebook, my company Facebook page. Let's see if we're actually live and if technology is cooperating with us today. You know, it looks like we are live. That looks good. If you're out there watching live, thank you for watching. And please like, and comment and if you feel so inclined, please share. Please share the post cause that's how we can get this content out to a wider audience and help your friends in the industry. The whole goal here with Automation Unplugged is that we learn from each other. So on that note Alex, I've known you for a few years and you are running a quite a dynamic business up in the Midwest up there in Minneapolis. And if you don't mind sharing with my audience just a little bit about you, who you are and where you came from and maybe how you got into the custom integration business.

Alex:  Sure. So I grew up not too far from here, so I grew up in a little city called Minnetonka. Famous for Lake Minnetonka. Have always been, you know, the technology, kind of nerd of the family and the friends. Enjoy the tech and enjoy talking about it, playing with it, the shiny new things. And you know, that's kinda how the business came to be. I'm an outdoorsman, like to be outside fishing. We're up at the cabin pretty much all summer when we're not working. So you know, on Fridays we take off and come back on Sundays. And just, you know, enjoy family time. Love our dog. Just got married in August. So that's been a big change for us and we've done quite a bit of traveling because of that. Got engaged in Thailand and then had a honeymoon in Europe. So it's been a really busy 2017.

Ron:  Holy moly. Well, congratulations on getting engaged and married. How long have you officially been married now?

Alex:  Like three months.

Ron:  Three. Holy moly. Okay. All right.

Alex:  Well, one year engagement anniversary yesterday. I didn't know that you had engagement anniversaries.

Ron:  Yeah. You'll be surprised with all sorts of anniversaries that are gonna start showing up now. That was my experience. Yeah, I'm definitely seeing that. It's November 16th, so I just had my 14th wedding anniversary two weeks ago on October 27th.

Alex:  Awesome.

Ron:  So hopefully you'll have many years of blissful marriage ahead. Now, Alex, you got started in the CI space. I think maybe through a little bit of a different route. I don't know that there is a normal, but you have a particular maybe path or route that I hadn't heard before and do you mind sharing that with our audience?

Alex:  Yeah. So, you know, like I said, I've had interest in this, et cetera. I didn't obviously know about the industry or the business. I think the only recollection I can have of it is being over at a friend's house. 25 years ago we were, you know, about to start playing video games and their parents were getting a theater set up downstairs and I think that's the only recognition of the business that I have from kind of my younger years. But basically I was in college and after the dorms got my own place right, with some roommates. One of the first things I wanted to do was get to get a flat screen TV, cause I'm into tech. So got it, got the gear that I needed to get it installed on the wall. So basically did a TV installation you know, hit the wires in the wall, et cetera. And so that's sort of what sparked the interest of like, okay, this is hard enough, but also easy enough to teach other people to do and potentially turn into a business. And so I used marketing tactics and sales tactics to start to sell TV installations comboed with mounts and then upselling people when those leads would come into wires and, and controls and whatever. You know, all the kind of normal things that we do. So I did that pretty quickly. So I went from marketing it to hiring people to do it within probably about six months of kind of getting that off the ground. And I've been just sort of battling it out and learning the different things everyone has, has learned ever since. So that was about six and a half years ago. And, you know, fast forward now that's one line item of two or 300 line items on any particular project.

Ron:  I'm assuming right now you don't position yourself as a TV installation company. Is that appropriate?

Alex:  Absolutely. Yeah. Not at all. We've evolved and not that we have any problems with that and not that we're doing that, but it's just the way that the amount of business that we have and the way that our scheduling works and the level of staff competency and this and that, right. All of the ingredients of the special sauce would make it that if we just had a consistent amount of TV installations coming in, it would just clog up the schedule and create inefficiency. So as the business has evolved, I've looked for who are we now and how can we be more efficient or most efficient and have help to structure the business around that to sustain growth and keep things efficient and smooth. And sometimes that means changing things. Sometimes that means adding things, sometimes that means we're moving place.

Ron:  What did you study in school?

Alex:  I got a degree in Business and Communication studies from the University of St Thomas in St Paul.

Ron:  It's, from my experience, I don't know of many owner operators of integration firms that have a degree in business from college. So, that makes you already pretty unique. Most of them have a degree in the school of hard knocks out there and just figuring it out. That's interesting. So you mentioned when you got started, you tackled or took on some interesting marketing approaches in terms of just getting the TV installation side of the business promoted and get some numbers moving. What were some of those techniques you did in the early game?

Alex:  Right. So again, a part of my interest in business and this industry is moving quickly and efficiently. Right? So I have two parts in that we moved slowly in some areas, but we move quickly and other areas. And marketing is one of those areas that I don't like to move slowly in cause it just doesn't need to be slow. And so when I first started the business, I had two options. I could have gone the traditional path of trying to loan money for people and then going down the traditional path of maybe paying One Firefly money to help us get marketing off the ground and things like that. And when you're first starting a business and you're unsure of whether it's gonna work or not or even if you even want to do it or not, cause you're still in college you know, making some of those investments are a little bit more scary and maybe not as logical. And so when I first started the business, it was at a time when the Groupon of the world and the Angie's List big deals of the world were a big deal, right? Like the economy was crappy and people were utilizing this coupon type deals to help facilitate them feeling okay about making purchases that maybe they were less comfortable doing than they were five years prior or three years prior to that. So I used those vehicles to launch, to start creating production of sales, giving me the opportunity to hire people, so on and so forth. Because those don't require upfront money. Obviously they cost money on the backend, but upfront they don't cost any money. So if they sold 40 deals, I didn't have to pay them up front to figure out how to sell me 40 deals. They just sold them and then we figured it out on the backend. So as long as I made my numbers pan out in terms of how much the mount cost and how much the labor cost to install it, which a lot of times was myself in the beginning, first few deals, then it all panned out. So the entire business got built without any external money being pumped into it. My own, which I didn't have cause I was in college. Or from any outside sources.

Ron:  What year did you start the business?

Alex:  2011.

Ron:  And from 2011 to the present today. Can you give any, you know numbers that would relate to the size of the business? Number of people you have on the team or, you know, approx I'll say plus or minus maybe 500,000, approximately the size of the business you have today.

Alex:  Yep. So we have 18 people on staff. You know, for example, we've got a variety of job openings right now, so that's a number that can continue to fluctuate. And that goes down sometimes as well. But we've steadily sort of added people over the years. This is the highest number we've had. And we did about $3 million worth of business at this year.

Ron:  So we have a bunch of, hopefully we will have a bunch over the next say, month or so and beyond people watching this, this content, a lot of them are your peers integrators from around North America and what are some of the things that you have done that have led to your ability to really grow quite impressively from starting the business just six years ago to today, running a $3 million integration firm? I mean, I know plenty of integrators that have been in business for 10 to 20 years that are still not there yet. So clearly you're doing some things differently. Can you maybe talk to some of those points and then where appropriate? I'll jump in and maybe ask further questions.

Alex:  You know, I think a big piece of it is just hard work, right? So, there's a lot of hours that go in. And just like any small business owner that's just the reality of it. But I think using that time as efficiently as possible and focusing in as much as possible at doing what I'm specifically good at and delegating to other people the things that they're specifically good at. Right? So doing a good job of delegating has you know, I think escalated the speed. You know I got into this to run a successful business and to run a successful company within this industry. That is my goal on any given day. And so it's just always looking for efficiencies on how to accomplish that. And I think earlier I had mentioned that you can move fast in some areas and you can move slow in other areas. And so when we first launched into this marketing was a massive component of how I got us kind of where we are at the speed that I've gotten us there. And so that's a really still a really important big piece of our day to day. But we didn't necessarily start to focus on builders and things like that right in the beginning where a lot of my peers are maybe doing that. And I think it was just a dynamic of how we started, but it was important for me to build us out to a company that could sustain and properly facilitate someone shooting you leads and expecting you to do something at a premium level. And so I didn't divert a lot of my attention to that. It also didn't stick me to whatever their cycles were. And so I'm not saying that that's not a big part of our business now, cause it absolutely is. But it was sort of playing the cards right, to get that timing correct. I think having the right mix of staff and on the right culture and the right people in your company helped to grow you. Right? It helps to have the people around you that are willing to put in what is needed to put in in order to be successful.

Ron:  Specifically around that topic around people. Just this morning, I'm here in Fort Lauderdale and Crestron is having one of their three regional summits and I sat through some of the seminars and you know, there were rooms full of integrators and those integrators, were talking about their biggest challenge and for many of them in the room, at least at this morning they were describing that people or the lack of talent or their challenges around hiring were really some of their bottleneck for growth. And yet you have been able to really successfully grow it at quite an impressive rate. How do you do that? How do you handle your hiring process, you know, don't want you to give away your secrets, but are there any tips or tricks that you wouldn't mind sharing kind of some of the ways that you think about growing your team?

Alex:  Yeah. you know, I think we've gone through the trials and tribulations that any company in this industry goes through and we've been in the category of saying, gosh, it's hard to find people and where are the right people and so on and so forth. And I think the thing that's helped us the most and the thing that has just worked is stopping, is not necessarily looking for people within our industry. I think that the industry is potentially, it's too small. It's a unique industry and I don't know that they're just not out there. So short of poaching people from your competitors which you know, I think adds another dynamic to the landscape seems to be probably one of your only options on how you can do it. Unless you're in the market long enough and you've built out a name and, or you're offering something over the top or whatever it might be. Right. But the point is that you can't put an ad out there and have a massive amount of people that have the exact same, you know, you put them into the field tomorrow or you can put them into sales tomorrow or whatever the position within our industry is, which requires all this backend knowledge in order to properly do it. There just isn't a lot of people like that, right? Like there might be another industries that are either more popular or there's just more people you know, that know about it. I think our industry is unique where like, people just don't even know about our industry. Right? Even a lot of times when you're signing up for different marketing things and it says, you know, what industry are you in? Well, ours isn't in there right? Are we in construction or are we in electronics or what are right? So it hasn't been defined and I think that that's gonna start to change as we're starting to see our industry get popularized or a segment of our industry get popularized with Amazon Alexa and so on and so forth. So that could change. But the big thing to look at is to, just like we did with marketing on the front end, is to look outside the box. I mean, what are you really looking for and who are you really looking for? And start there. And I'm not saying that it's easy but like anything you work in and you can make something happen and you can make it work and you can find it

Ron:  Interesting. Now around that discussion of defining your customer types. You know, I'm going to make an assumption that as your business has evolved and you started right out of college selling a TV hanging service or installation services and now you're a full service custom integration company you know, really doing a sky's the limit in terms of technology integration in your projects. And I've seen some of your photos on your website and you're working on some stunning projects. So do you have a process where you have evolved and in defining the types of customers you want to go after and then weaving that into particular marketing strategies to say target them?

"I think we went more along the lines of defining what type of projects do we want to be doing and what kind of verticals do we want to have inside of them and letting that dictate the customer."

Alex:  Yeah, I think the way that that for us, I think that's naturally developed a little bit more than us just saying, okay, here's the customer that we want. I think we've more so done that by picking the vertical that we want to go after. Right? And so like when I first started the business, the vertical was TV installations, that's vertical one. And then that transitioned into whole house audio, and then that was home automation and then it was lighting and shades and so on and so forth. Right? And so as you start to pick these different verticals that you're really focusing your energy and marketing on, you start to shift your marketing and your image. And when people are looking for you, or when you're out doing outbound things with builders, architects, designers, whoever you utilize, door knob, salesman, et cetera, right? You're then speaking about those verticals, you're speaking about those services and so it helps basically define your customer. So I think we went more along the lines of defining what type of projects do we want to be doing and what kind of verticals do we want to have inside of them and letting that dictate the customer, which is potato patato I guess.

Ron:  Sure, sure. No, that's fair. I'm looking behind you and I see whiteboards and I'm assuming, are you in your conference room and those are the whiteboards in your space?

Alex:  Yup. Yeah. So we've got a fairly substantial conference room in here. We've got whiteboards behind us that are paint on whiteboards with some trim around them, a TV, et cetera. I could do a little pan around the room if you'd like.

Ron:  Yeah, why not? I've never done that on one of these. Let's do, let's make this interactive on Automation Unplugged. There we go. All right. There we go. Oh, let's say, Hey, there's a fellow. All right, very cool. So what do you do, Alex, if you don't mind, in terms of using those whiteboards, how often do you meet with your team? And in what capacities, again, you know, you don't have to be too particular, but if you want to share in terms of not just talking about the projects and the Smith job, but process development, working on your business and you sound like you're very focused on refining and improving the operational processes across the board. Can you shed any light on kind of the way you think about that and the way you approach that with your team?

"We utilize a pretty consistent process in how those meetings are conducted and we're looking at things that work, things that don't work, things that we want to evolve on things that we're looking to in the future."

Alex:  I'd say on average in a week we're probably having anywhere from, you know, five to seven meetings per week. That's not always, you know, entire staff meetings that might be different to that. That's different departments production meeting, so on and so forth. We have a staff meeting once per week which for us is an hour and a half long. It's been a half hour long. It moved to an hour long and now it's an hour and a half long, and we may make it longer. And we utilize a pretty consistent process in how those meetings are conducted and we're looking at things that work, things that don't work, things that we want to evolve on things that we're looking to in the future. And so we utilize that process to help sort of bake out the things that do and don't work and what we want to do in the future.You know, as a company, we are very focused on what, you know, like I've mentioned earlier, a big goal for me is to do this as good as it can be done, right? And so in order to do that, we have to look at what works and what doesn't. And so I think the general theme for us as what does and doesn't work and why, and then how can we learn from it and make it better tomorrow. We don't dwell too much on how we could've made it better yesterday because yesterday is yesterday, but let's dwell on how we can make it better tomorrow and not make those same mistakes. So I think there's a consistent element of let's look at those pieces. Let's look at trying to standardize things. I think that's something that is very interesting to me in this industry and just like how vastly unstandardized it is and looking to see how we can standardize it. That's a part of that process that we utilize.

Ron:  Well, that's fascinating. And again, I wanna just give a shout out to our audience out there on Facebook live. Appreciate everyone out there watching. Hi, how are you? Thanks for watching. Please give us a like by the way Alex and Josh Willets over at Portal says Hey Alex, good to see you. Integrators listen up. Alex is a smart dude. So there you go. You have it from the man over at Portal. And if you are out there, please post your questions or comments. We'd love to hear from you. And if you have any questions for Alex, I'm happy to read them to him live and hear his take on things. So in terms of software, Alex, are there any particular types of software that you're using either in your sales process, in your design and engineering process and project management that you think have particularly contributed to getting you where you're at today and helping you organize some of the chaos?

Alex:  Yeah you know, we're in an age where obviously soccer is available and not using it as is absolute insanity. So I think really at this point there's probably too many options. And so it's nice that people within our industry or companies that are not within our industry have come into our industry with software that is catered for us. We've tried a few different avenues. Obviously we started out in that kind of QuickBooks world and spreadsheets and so on and so forth. We went into a D Tools path. And then actually as the business started to accelerate a lot quicker, we actually went back to some of the more traditional spreadsheets cause it just made it made things a little bit easier. And then for the last little over a year, two years we've really been working to evolve with a product called iPoint. And so yeah, software is an absolute necessity. You have to be tracking, you have to be documenting, you have to be measuring. Otherwise you have no scale to tell you what's going on, right. If you're just looking at what's in your bank account you have a skewed view of what may or may not be going on.

"I know many a company and business operators that, you've asked them how they're doing and they aren't just going to look at their bank account and if there's money in there, they're going to go, Oh, we're great. And then it won't be a surprise that next month they go, Oh my God, the sky's falling because now their bank account is empty."

Ron:  Well, let's zoom in on that then. That financial piece just for a moment. And you, I know many a company and business operators that, you've asked them how they're doing and they aren't just going to look at their bank account and if there's money in there, they're going to go, Oh, we're great. And then it won't be a surprise that next month they go, Oh my God, the sky's falling because now their bank account is empty. And so obviously the way to solve that is to have a better control of your finances and to increase your financial IQ and, or bring people on your team to help you do that. How have you addressed that or are you the CFO within your company in addition to the CEO or do you have staff or personnel that you rely on to help you keep the numbers organized? Yes, I think it's a two fold part of how I accomplish trying to keep a handle on it and gauging how well we're doing or not doing. So we have internal people you know, that are documenting the information and moving data through. So that it can eventually be looked at in a format that makes sense. And we also utilize services within our industry that help accumulate that data into something that makes sense. So I think it comes down to, how are you looking at your financial statements? There's information within that, especially if you set your things up in an appropriate manner so that it's giving you feedback that's relevant using software that's maybe making that even more relevant. And honestly I think a big thing and one thing that maybe is important to this whole equation of how did we grow so fast and how did we get where we are is get mentors and use mentors. If you're not communicating with other people within this industry on a daily, weekly, you know, worst case scenario, monthly level you're just leaving a lot of things on the table and a lot of ideas and things that maybe people have already tried. I think it's a disservice. So a big reason as to I think where we are is utilizing the mentors that I've been lucky enough to find or have or however they have come to me.

"I would like someone that's maybe been there before me that's figured some things out to help guide me."

Ron:  Well, how did they come to you? Right? So that's, you know, maybe someone is out there listening and they go, that's a really neat idea. I would like someone that's maybe been there before me that's figured some things out to help guide me. But you know, where would I go to find those people and how would I ask them if they could help me?

Alex:  Just pick up the phone and you call it, right. I think I need any business operators. It should be pretty, is generally, you know, maybe the sales person or is a pretty social person and can communicate with other folks. And if they can't, maybe they have someone in their organization that can, and that is thirsty for that knowledge. Within a month of opening the doors to my business, if you will. I was on the phone with different people that I thought for one reason or another were doing things in this industry that we're cool or healing or I wanted to see how they were doing it cause I wanted to do it that way. And then the beginning, it was things that I don't about now and now it's things I wouldn't have even known to care about that. Sure. So I think, you know, yeah, maybe you're not calling competitors in your immediate market cause they might be a bit more hesitant in doing that, but not always. Cause you might have people in your market that are wanting to bring people up or whatever. But literally anywhere outside of your market. I think anyone who's truly into this industry and appreciates it and loves it, like all of us do is more than happy to share.

Ron:  Don't worry. Alex, we have a question from Facebook. Rachel asks, she says, I hear about iPoint more and more these days, what makes iPoint better than other business management software for integrators. So I guess I'll start, is it better than other and what makes it so great or what, why did you guys adopt it?

Alex:  I don't know of another piece of software at the moment that is somewhat designed for our industry. And this one is that is your front to back piece of software. So something that is handling something from let's say from the proposal. That could be a start. The CRM piece, I think, you know, we still use an outside piece of software for that in terms of like managing the sales process, so on and so forth. But in terms of the proposal, the inventory, the warehouse portion, the billing, the tracking of hours, the work orders that go out to the technicians and an iPad format. So we're paper free in terms of all of our work orders, which was not true before. I don't know of another piece of software that does that. D Tools does not. And we would have stayed with D Tools if they did just because that's already what we were using and we were comfortable with it. And so we weren't dying to make a change. And obviously it's painful to make changes, but it's not complete. Right. The one piece it doesn't have is the Vizio.

Ron:  How do you do your drawings now or the Vizio component?

Alex: Sure. We're just, we're doing it in house, through CAD and doing it in that.

Ron:  Okay. Back to the concept of mentoring or getting those that have been there before you and getting their feedback. Do you participate? I asked this question to most of my integrator guests and I don't know how you're gonna answer it. Do you participate in buying groups or do you attend conferences relating to peer to peer sharing amongst business owners in this channel or even outside of this channel? Is that something you regularly do? And if so, which ones do you participate in?

Alex:  Absolutely. I think it goes back to the mentor component, right? If you're going to conferences with other people that are doing exactly what you're doing, then so far in the handful I've attended over the last, you know, four years or so, three years I've never walked away from one without maybe 10 or 15 ideas. And it's not that I come back and implement all 10 or 15 ideas. Right. But you know, even if you implement one or three then you're already doing things that you maybe wouldn't have done that year. So yeah, absolutely. Without a doubt. I think it would be easy not to do it. We're an HTSA member and that's an invaluable group for us. The knowledge that we'd get out of it is fantastic. And I usually walk away from those types of get togethers with many more ideas than just 10 or 15. So that we were at the total tech summit. I thought that was again, informative. CEDIA we have industry local industry groups and things like that that we attend and we're, maybe at something that is helping discuss the business or business and growth at least twice a month.

Ron:  Wow. That's impressive. I just had my guest on show 23 last week was John Galante from AE Ventures, the gentleman that puts on the Total Tech Summit. So that's a small world there. Yeah, well, Alex, you have been very giving of your time and your ideas. When you're not working and you're not busy dominating the Minneapolis marketplace and installing TVs or installing Control4 systems, what are you doing for fun?

Alex:  You know, big outdoorsman, so fishing, lots of wife time and we do a lot with our dog being outdoors, hanging out with friends.

Ron:  That's right. You are still newly married, so that's still an in thing to do. Right. And so you like to fish? Yes. So what do you fish for up there in Minnesota?

Alex:  Minnesota. So, you know, we've got a couple of spots. We've got 10,000 plus lakes. It's really more than that. So we've got a lot of lakes locally here. And so locally, the primary kind of fish that people are catching around here are going to be like your pan fish. But you know, I'm more catching large mouth bass, small mouth, bass, rock bass, Northern or pike and then muskies which are just, you know, massive version of that same family. And so those you can only catch during certain seasons and, or different pressures and so on and so forth. So those are the kind of the general fish that I'm going after. And most of it's by boat, some of it's by canoe, motorized, non-motorized, so on and so forth. And so the cabin is a popular place where I'd do some fishing and then we usually do one or two boundary waters trips per year. And those are pretty intense cause you're canoeing in you basically, either you start from a campsite or you get voted in to a particular site and then from that point forward, there are no motorized elements. There's no cell phone coverage. There's, you're just on your own. Everything you bring in, you bring out all that jazz. So we'll we'll paddle in, you know, anywhere from 5 to 25 miles on a given trip. And then we'll kind of live in that space for anywhere from three to seven days and do lots of fishing there. So there you'll have, depending on which Lake, which is so interesting, you'll have trout or lake trout and just like fish that you would, you know, one lake over. You know, you don't have, cause it's all just lakes.

Ron:  If the lakes aren't connected, maybe this is a really silly question, but how did all the fish get there?

Alex:  Well it's crazy. There's just, you know, however many thousands of years ago they are, cause they're not all connected. I mean, some of them have some river elements to them that then connect them. But some of them are just, and what's crazy is, you know, they call them paddles and so like between, you know, your portage, right, where you end with one lake and you throw the canoe on and your 60 pound packs and whatever you got you portage over how many paddles is sort of the distance. And so whether it's 300 paddles or 20 paddles or whatever, but the point is the distance isn't always necessarily that far. Maybe a quarter mile, maybe a couple of miles. And it's a completely different, like, one lake with a completely different population of fish. Exactly. And just completely different scenery and it's really impressive kinda how fast the changes. So, yeah. The iceberg was in the ice age. Did some pretty unique stuff up there.

Ron:  That's fascinating. I started my career in Minneapolis and I lived there. The Calhoun was called the Calhoun Beach Club on Lake Calhoun. And back in 2001 when I was doing my time with Lutron. So I know everyone in the audience is dying to know, do you ice fish? Do you cut a hole in the ice and do the..

Alex:  I do some, I don't do a ton ice fishing, but I do some that might change. Right? I might start doing more and more of that cause now that I'm married, I'll have to go somewhere and so..

Ron:  Go somewhere and escape. Hopefully she does. She's going to watch this and she's like that. Ron, he's a terrible person. I promise. I'm nice.

Alex:  Set it up, right?

Ron:  Yeah, that's right. That's right. Well, Alex, thank you sir, very much. You've been very generous with your time and you've been a great guest, so really appreciate you carving out a little bit of time for my audience. And I today and if anyone wanted to get in touch with you, how would you recommend they do that?

Alex:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. So that's kind of our general inbox. You can also email me directly at Alex at you can check out our website. So those are probably the best ways and obviously here on Facebook, I'll keep monitoring this if anyone has any questions.

Ron:  Awesome. Thank you Alex. Thank you to everyone, man. So gang, there you have it. Another episode of Automation Unplugged. I did drop in the Lelch AV website into the comments here. So if you want to click over and check out Alex's website and Alex also should be commended cause he does a great job of photographing his projects and he has some pretty cool image galleries up there. So definitely worth poking around and taking a look at. So on that note folks, have a great rest of your Thursday. Thank you very much for joining me. And I will see you again next week. So be well, have a good weekend and talk to you soon.

Show Notes

Alex Lelchuk is the founder of Lelch Audio Video, a leading technology integration firm in Minneapolis. He oversees Lelch Audio Video’s operations including sales, inventory, marketing and customer service.

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 in 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 also learn more about Lelch Audio Video at Be sure to follow them on Facebook  and Instagram..