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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 #50: An Industry Q&A With Tres Huber

Getting the professionals you need, no time wasted

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Tres Huber. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Tres Huber

Tres has over 15 years’ experience in national leadership, strategic planning and implementation, recruiting, and coaching.

HDMI Staffing is a unique company established to specifically meet the needs and critical labor challenges found in the custom electronics industry.

For Integrators, HDMI Staffing works to help recruit, screen, and hire field and office personnel that meet not only the skill requirements of their position but also the cultural requirements of their company.

Interview Recap

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

  • Tres’s background in the industry
  • Challenges that integrators face when searching for talent
  • Current trends in staffing the industry
  • Current trends in staff training the industry

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #49: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Gordon Van Zuiden


Ron:  Hello everybody. Ron Callis here with another episode of Automation Unplugged. How's everyone doing today? It is Wednesday, August 22nd at 12:30 PM. If you're out there joining me, thanks for joining me live. I'm going to come over here to Facebook like I do every week just to make sure all of our technology is behaving and we're actually streaming. It looks like we are streaming live. It's August 22nd. So we have CEDIA just around the corner here in a couple of weeks. I can't wait to see many of you that are watching me live here watching between now and CEDIA. Make sure to stop by our booth. I'll have our booth number posted in the comments and make sure you stop by and say hello to to me. Say hello to my team. I'm excited. I'll be teaching a couple of classes. I'll be sitting on a couple of panels and that's always a good fun event for us, our biggest event of the year. So without further ado, let's jump into our guest into our interview with our guests. Tres Huber from HDMI staffing. Tres, how are you sir?

Tres: I'm doing well, Ron, how about yourself?

Ron:  I am good. So this is attempt. What is this, attempt number two or three to get you on the show?

Tres: Yes, it is. It's all good.

Ron:  I appreciate your patience. You're clearly a very patient individual and dealing with some of the technical snafoos we had on our first couple of attempts. But I think third time's a charm.

Tres: Exactly, exactly. I would agree.

Ron:  So Tres, where are you coming to us from today?

Tres: I'm up outside of Seattle and as we were chatting a little bit earlier for those of you who don't know we get air quality, that's about five times worse than Beijing right now. There's Canada, there's bad wildfires all over Western Canada, so it's a smoky haze out there. It's been that way for the last three days or so. Pretty bad air quality for what is generally our best time of year up here.

Ron:  Is this any of the fires that I've been hearing about in the news from California? Or is this, these are Canadian fires?

Tres: It's all Canadian fires. It kind of blows down depending on the wind shift. It either blows down through Washington or over to Montana, but not the California ones. All Canada's to blame.

Ron:  And you know what the funny thing is from the news here, I didn't even know there were fires in Canada.

Tres: Yeah. Well you wouldn't think it's so far North, but yeah, it burns up there unfortunately too.

Ron:  Goodness. Okay. Tres, you are the CEO of HDMI staffing that is a staffing and training company that focuses on the customer electronics business. And I want to jump into all sorts of fun topics relating to that business. I'm assuming this is a pretty exciting time for you right now. You're probably being kept pretty busy.

Tres: Very busy. Definitely.

Ron:  So, but before we get into that stuff, I always love with my guests to get into the kind of where you came from. You know, how did you land in this industry and what's kept you here? And then we'll talk about the HDMI side of things

Tres: That works. Thank you, Ron. So I before getting into the custom integration channel after college, not long after college, got into construction staffing and did that for almost two decades. When I first got into that industry, not unlike kind of HDMI as to the CI channel, it was a fairly new industry staffing in the United States and from placement recruitment, it had existed for several decades. But at that time, and kind of the early to mid nineties, there were really no companies providing temporary personnel for commercial and high end residential builders around the United States. So I worked as in every position within that industry, kind of started as a recruiter got into sales later, got into operations and sales management for a couple of different companies. In both cases those companies went national. So it afforded me the opportunity to grow offices around the United States, getting to know different locales cities. You know, just people and cultures of that nature. So again, kind of like the custom integration channel, a good portion of who we supplied at my previous companies, war carpenters, plumbers, electricians, skilled trades, people, journey level people to those to those contractors. Did that for, like I said, about 20 plus years. Got a call from from a recruiter inquiring about taking a Director of Sales position at a newly formed company called Via which I think many people are aware of from the industry. That was about six months after Via was created. I got hired on as the National Director of Sales. So I was overseeing about 30 salespeople around the company from Hawaii all the way out to Texas and parts in between. Did that, we had a very successful first year with the team. Really got to know, I was brand new to the industry. Honestly, I knew nothing about custom electronics, custom integration. You got to meet some really neat people. Was later on after about a year, took on also the operations piece of the business or management of that. So was Vice President of Sales and Operations up until the doors closed at Via. As we spoke earlier met a lot of great people at Via a lot of great people in the industry, meaning vendors, suppliers and just had a great experience there.

"I would say one of the more amazing attempts at consolidation in this industry was the Via effort. And it was big and loud and it had some of the industry's best players in it and it kind of didn't end well."

Ron:  Well I was just curious, you know, because your first introduction to the industry, the customer electronics industry is into you know, I would say one of the more amazing attempts at consolidation in this industry was the Via effort. And it kind of, you know, it was big and loud and it had some of the industry's best players in it and it kind of didn't end well. Right. And I would think that that could potentially leave a sour taste in your mouth, but you were mentioning that was an amazing experience for you. Can you expand on, like what made it such a good experience? It sounds really hard.

Tres: Well a few things. I mean, I've always been in you know, construction-related business. So that is always been an allure. And even though we, you know, CI is all about technology, it's still also, you know, construction business, the people, I mean, whether it was technicians or programmers, just everybody across Via was great. And I was warmly welcomed again by many of the, you know, the vendors and the suppliers in the industry. I thought that people really cared about the business. Again, I came from outside the industry, so I had a business, a big business or bigger business mindset. And while you certainly can hindsight 2020 Via as a come together and dissect the heck out of that, the thought and the energy, the passion around the people that went into Via from all levels was awesome. And certainly you can look back at it and go, this is why you wouldn't have, why it didn't work for legitimate business reasons, but I'm just not built that way. So I didn't dwell on that, you know, and so then when things went South and Via went away as I mentioned, I got into consulting back into the industry. That's kind of what kept me in, you know, people I think saw that I had a business mindset, whether it was sales and operations and companies kindly enough reached back out and said, Hey, could you kind of direct our ship? Because the one thing that was neat is that the good thing about when Via went down was it was in one of the hottest economies we've had. So people rose from the ashes and started rebuilding their companies. So anyway, you can tell, I have a lot of energy around it. Just good people, good industry, you know.

Ron:  And so did your HDMI staffing get born right at that, at the end of Via, is that when you started?

Tres: No, well, I started the consultancy. I was working solo and my partner at HDMI, Brent Wiseman, was doing the same with his own type of clientele. And so what really happened was Brent and I became good friends through the Via process. And both of us were consulting back into integrators who, the number one thing when we get consulting is I can't find people. Okay. So Brent was hiring people. I was hiring people as I was consulting for these companies having some pretty darn good success individually, each individually. I obviously with my staffing background we, Brent and I kept the dialogue going and said, why don't we start a staffing company specifically for the channel? There isn't a company out there. And as we've talked before, Ron, you and I, it certainly started as staffing and a little bit of our name is a misnomer right now. And that we realized the market was so hot. We said, let's just do a permanent placement because that, you know, people want permanent employment in this type of economy. So that's how HDMI was born. It was born right before CEDIA, July of last year. So our official one year is really kind of coming back to CEDIA this year. And we're excited about that.

Ron:  You're a year old at this point in this instance, this consultancy. How has the word gotten out about you guys? What sort of channels or mechanisms have you used to let people know your company exists and that you can provide help?

Tres: You know, one, I have to say it's been, you know, I have to thank some people, we have to thank some people along the way. I mean we took a very proactive approach last year and displayed at CEDIA. We felt that strongly. I think a lot of people when they start and in the industry as a new business entity, kind of go to CEDIA, try to meet people in the lobbies, do that type of thing. We were like, Nope, we're going to make the investment. We'll be out there. So the show itself last year supplied a great initial push for us also. I have to think, you know, on behalf of Brent and myself, Julie Jacobson, I mean she wrote an article that kind of, you know, got us out there and we got a lot of people contacting us from that. Those were probably the first two things. Certainly some of our former Via colleagues have been big proponents and engaged us. And then what we're seeing is our clients are referring us to other integrators that they know so that it's been really at this point mostly word of mouth and CEDIA and I think so..

Ron:  Guys, we as we experienced last week, sometimes our guest drops out. So I'm going to see if we can get him back here. We had this happen once during testing. I always test before I bring our guests on, we'll see if we can make this a swift return. So just bear with me here. Got a nice audience going. So don't leave us. Bear with me here. All right. All right, ladies and gentleman. Tres, where'd you go? Tres? Okay. It is not being nice to me. Okay. Okay. Okay. Oh, there you are. Hey Tres, you're back. Yeah, give me one second here. Let me get you added back in. Gonna have to talk to my vendor here about this software that's not cooperating? It's all good. All right, give me one second here. Okay. Oh, there you are. Okay. All right. Let me get you into the right spot so everyone can see you. And we lost Gordon last week but he came back pretty quickly, so I was expecting this would be super simple if it happened to me this week. It's not you Tres. It's me. So, all right, there you go. Now the world can see you again.

Tres: Okay.

Ron:  And we didn't lose anybody. Our audience that was there, they hung with us. Thank you. If you're out there, apologize for that snafu, by the way. For our perseverance, give us a like, give us a share post a comment and if you have any questions, by the way, for Tres, please post a comment. I'm sure he'd love to answer it live, but thank you, Tres. Go ahead.

Tres: No problem. Anyway, as I was saying, Ron, before we had a little bit of interruption there you know, the recapping really what will come to us through CEDIA last year, Julie referrals from our current integrators that we're doing business with. And also I think, you know, this year, our second year at CEDIA is kind of, if I was a business owner, I'd be like, well, let me see if these guys stick around a year, you know, that type of thing. Maybe be able to play it or mingle with some people. So we're really excited about CEDIA this year. Again, we're big believers in it. And that's just really how the word's getting out there for us at this point.

"If we look forward, we look over the horizon and my opinion is the economy looks a little less certain in front of us versus what was behind us the last five years."

Ron:  So I know that the economy has been hot for some time now and thus, as you had even mentioned a few minutes ago, many integrators are looking for people, but they're not looking for temp or attempt to hot temp to perm. They're looking for full time. You know, installers, programmers, project managers, salespeople. And so I'm imagining most of your hiring has been permanent hires. And if you could validate that and then I'm going to say, if we look forward, we look over the horizon and my opinion is the economy looks a little less certain in front of us versus what was behind us the last five years. Do you see your model changing? Do you see that it transitions from all permanent hires? Do you see more of a attempt sort of model in your future? Or what are your thoughts around that?

Tres: Oh yes. Ron, I think to answer the first part of your question, you know, all of our placements to this point have been permanent placements. That's, you know, been 100% of what we've done and our core competency obviously with a long background in temporary staffing. Let's face it, anything that's project or construction related is temporary in nature. The best or worst of times, I think as things cool in the economy. Again, I'm not an economist, but we're all old enough now to know it's not an if it's just a when. We will definitely be set up to do temp to perm and then just temp, you know, where somebody says, I need a couple of, I need a couple of installers for a two-month push on my project. They come back to us, everything's covered. But we'll definitely migrate to where we'll have a three-tiered offering of really temporary staffing, temp to perm and always have the perm there. But you know, as the economy kind of cools, and frankly, I always look forward to that with my experience in staffing is that there's more of a happy medium where, you know, employers don't feel like they're over the barrel and you know, employees can have some flexibility in where they work. So yes, we will migrate to that.

Ron:  So I'm going to speak on behalf of any skeptics out there. And so some of the skeptics watching, they may say, well if I hire a, you know, let's say we're two years into the future and they get a project and a temporary person maybe seems more attractive than a permanent person from a financial stability standpoint, right. How do they know that that person has the technical aptitude to perform? Like what, cause I don't know if many similar examples, at least in the CEDIA space where someone's done this and you've been doing it for 20 years and other construction trades. So I guess, I don't know what I don't know here, but how do you know if they have technical abilities that an integrator would be looking for?

Tres: That's an excellent question. I mean, the custom integration is certainly a much more challenging recruitment arena than some others because as we all know, while there's some standards out there, every integrator that we meet has a different idea of what a lead tech is or what a project manager does. Do they wear multiple hats, do they specialize? So on and so forth. And I think everybody on this podcast would know that. That's one of the reasons that Brent and I partnered is again, myself just from years of screening electricians and carpenters and there's no standard for carpenters in the United States. Just to give you an example, so what a framer does or a high end finish carpenter. It does, it is analogous to this. That's another reason that on all of our screening we do Brent my partner does all the initial screening because he's hired dozens of technicians and project managers. So he's really, you know, do you know, Control4, do you have some programming? If you're a Crestron guy, how well do you know Toolbox, you know, those type of questions that we vet the guys through. Really helps establish, okay, this guy's good for your project. The other thing that we'll do that even though we haven't set up for temporary staffing like we did with the construction staffing days as we'll have a guarantee. It's like, look, the guy goes out, you should know within the first day or two that they are what we said they are for you as any goods temporary staffing. And if they're not, send them back, you know, there'll be no cost. So there's a little bit of guarantee for the integrator as well.

Ron:  In terms of your services your staffing services today, it sounds like most of that is permanent hires, are you doing more than permanent hires? Are you also offering other sort of coaching or consulting or training services for integration firms? And I guess I'll just start there with that.

Tres: Yeah. Again, we're a little bit different. This is a new industry. This is a new service offering for the industry. And again, as I talked kind of passionately about what I thought about the time at Via Brent and I believe that when we started this company that we wouldn't just place guys and walk away. So we provide a lot of ongoing just free services with your placement. You know, first of all, we go and see every integrator as part of the fee. So it's not an over the phone thing, whether you're in Fargo or you're in Houston or you're in Honolulu, wherever we're going to come see you as part of it, first of all. So we're going to meet you. It's great for you. It's great for the candidate because we can describe the environment much more in detail. That's part of it. But we provide everything from job descriptions for people need that. You know, do you need other you know, let's say you're an integrator and you're thinking about doing shading. Okay. And you're in a market where you know, you don't want to talk to your competitors. We'll put you in touch with somebody in another market that is a year ahead of you, or a year and a half of you because there is no competitive, you know, rub there. As far as that goes, we've placed a lot of salespeople, sales professionals, you know, which I applaud integrators to do that in a hot economy. Who needs a salesperson? Well, you want to be planning for the next recession, right? Well, what we do with sales professionals besides just plant a placing of is we'll put metrics in place, we'll give you a meeting agendas. I even, because of all my experience managing sales teams will stay on for several months helping run those sales meetings, all part of the fee. There's no extra costs. There's no extra anything on Brent's side. Again, with all of his technical background, he puts a lot of our clients in touch with different services and things on a technical or operational background, provide some KPI knowledge, you know, financial knowledge, things of that sort. So yeah, there's a lot more than just the placement and we'll continue to do that

Ron:  For some of our folks watching that are, I don't want to say intimidated, but have never hired a staffing company to help them place people. What would you say to them? Why should they consider it? And then, after you address that, I'd love to hear from you. Maybe give them some advice if they simply, how could they improve their own hiring processes?

Tres: Completely. So as if anybody takes a look and we'll see this continuing on our website. We have a lot of educational news articles and I know people are really busy, but one of the pieces of information that's on there that relevant to the first part of your question, Ron, is how much does it, how much time is it costing you in direct lost productivity either as an owner or people on your team by not having an open position filled? Okay, so if it's a lead tech or a client service technician, how many hours are you losing in billable revenue by not having that person on, okay? I have people call me, people I know well who call and go Tres, I've been looking to fill this position for 10 months. And I go, okay, so when did you lose in revenue? What did you lose the mistakes made by having too much stress on your company? So it's really the direct and indirect costs when you go, well, geez, you know, if I go with a staffing company, whether a perm placement company like HDMI or anybody else doesn't have to be us. If I go with them, you know, there's this cost and it's not cheap and that's true Ron. But is it really expensive when you look at all the money that you're losing by not filling that position or the time you're spending doing it? So that kind of, that's our address of that question more. And I like to spend more time on ways that frankly, I tell everybody an integrator if they don't use us, could improve their hiring. There's lots of things. It's as simple as writing a descriptive job post. I think Jason had something a few months ago on CE Pro that, you know, covered some of those points. You know, be more descriptive in your job posts. What's the company about? What do you offer? Okay. That's just a starter. Whether you put it on Craigslist or ZipRecruiter or indeed or whatever job board you find it works for you and your market. And it varies by market. Two, it's very simple, but what the job pays. If you go on right now I think very few of the people put what their position pays. If you go on our website, the pay for every single position's on there. So when somebody calls, we go, you saw how much it pays, right? So there's no games being played, right? The other things that are key too are you gotta be on it right away. This is the hardest part for any business owner, meaning all a recruiter does in our case, HDMI or any recruitment firm out there. When somebody, we reach out to somebody through social media or they reach out to us through a post, we're on it generally within a half a day, sometimes sooner. Okay. If you're an integrator and you've decided to go out and post or advertise or do that, oftentimes a resume sits for a week or two. Well they've had probably 8 to 10 job offers in that time, that resume, even though it was great, go stay right. And so speed with which you respond to the applicants is monumental, might be the most important thing in this particular time and place in our economy. The other thing that I would consider, and these are certainly expense items for any integrator. How competitive are your benefits? And I understand that if you're a one, two, three, five person firm and we do work with a lot of companies that size, you know, benefits can eat up a lot of your profitability. But again, having some sort of benefit package and that can vary by company really makes you more attractive.

Ron:  What are examples of within integration firms some of the, I'll say the average level of benefits? Can you give such an answer or can you give an extreme what's good benefits? What are bad benefits? I don't want to get you in any hot water here, but I'm just saying one of the benefits you have is you have perspective. So you see a spectrum of you know, what Via offered, right. Cause you probably were involved in designing that package and you see what, you know, all the companies contacting you offer. Can you speak to that at all in any way about maybe what's normal or what are variables at play?

Tres: Yeah, a little bit and I mean a little bit because it really is all over the map. Ron. I mean, we have had clients that have no benefits.

Ron:  Okay so that would be one end of the spectrum.

Tres: The opposite end of spectrum and again, it does have to do with size. Okay. We have companies that are just not unusual that a little bit more standard on is that they're paying 75 to 100% of the employee's health insurance. Okay.

Ron:  Is that on the other side? Is that considered a best in class benefits?

Tres: Probably best in class, yes. But it's more than a couple. It's definitely becoming more of a trend. Okay, but what we're seeing is somewhere if you sit on average, we're seeing 50 to 75% of employee health insurance covered. Okay. That would be a little bit more on the average, you know, with a disclaimer, most cases there is some sort of paid time off offered. Okay. That is pretty mainstream for companies, even if their state and local laws that say you have to offer this much, there's a bulk of the companies are offering beyond that. You know, the one week for first year and it's not uncommon that it's two weeks accrued over the first year. That's pretty mainstream. So if you're not doing that, you want to think about that people go, well, they take it when you know, I'm busy. Well, put things in place that says you have blackout periods that you don't take it during Thanksgiving. Right. And then those would be kind of the mainstream ones. The other ones that people look at are..

Ron:  How common is like retirement, like retirement savings plans, simple IRAs, 401ks?

Tres: It's in the 10 to 15%. I think if I just was, you know, when ditching it with the clients that we're dealing with, you know, that we've done business with. It's not high, it's not high. And it's everything from great matching to, you know, we have a 401k but you have to do that. Those would be, that's where those would be as far as benefits and then outside that. We've seen everything, you know, tools particularly on the technician thing. We've seen everything from buying all their hand tools to having, you know, loans and tool allowances, things of that nature. So those are all things for people to consider. But there it is all over the map. But if there were some main ones, it would be some coverage or the employees only health insurance is pretty mainstream in the CI channel. And then some level of paid time off those, those would probably be the two that we see the most.

Ron:  Got it. And in terms of tools, if the company, the integrator purchases those, are they then owned by the company or are they owned by the employee?

Tres: After all cases? They're owned by the employee. If there's an early out, a lot of them just have, you know, if you leave too early then you us type of thing. But in most cases it's owned by the employee. They're theirs.

Ron:  So and we're almost at 30 minutes, believe it or not. So I've just got another question or two for you here. And actually Joe Whitaker just a dropped a comment. He says, Tres is on the money with his thoughts. It's very true. So Joe Whitaker, he's a member of the CEDIA board of directors and an all around active guy and a personality in the industry. So what's up Joe? Thanks for watching. Appreciate that. Let me give you a like over here. Mmm. But where I wanted to go here, in the last few minutes, Tres was regarding training for staff and what are you? Hmm. I'm afraid to ask what's normal out there, so I wasn't even going to go there and make you speak to that. What do you recommend? What do you recommend integrators should do in terms of development programs for their, for their staff? And how do they go about actually implementing said set of recommendations considering they're all so busy? We referenced the economy times are good, they've got lots of projects and sometimes they don't have enough time to think straight. So what should they be doing out there?

"One of the main reasons we see candidates come to us is what we like to call broken promises."

Tres: Well, I don't know if it's what they should be doing. I'll kind of reframe it. Ron. Say that probably one of the main reasons that I'll start with this statement. One of the main reasons we see candidates come to us is what we like to call broken promises. Okay. It's generally never, it's rarely around what they're making an hour or what their salary is. Okay. That's very important for the integration, you know, community to understand one of the biggest ones is lack of training. Okay. So are you giving me tools that either, you know, to advance my career? So I need, I would ask that people keep that in mind very much in the forefront of their mind. I realized that integrators, even owners are often out there in today's marketplace with their bags on pulling wire, doing the work along with their teams cause they're so busy. But to step back and go, what do we see for training? It really is all over the map. You know, I think I hear everybody that you've seen the people that are big believers in CEDIA. So they use the upcoming CEDIA to bring their team. Or even if, and I see it from whether it's small integrators or you know, small employee counts to big integrators. It really just a matter on size. I see people with five and they go and bring my whole team and my guys are going to go to the classes. Okay. I see a lot of integrators who just have their own in house training program. They do, you know, they, they have programs that they put in place and they take the time, make sure that they do it the, you know, our company way, you know, so it's not anything formalized they have that. I'm seeing things like you know, Maverick out in New Hampshire, you know, with where they're starting to bring in classes there. And I'm hearing good things from other integrators about that program. So it Ron, it's as diverse as there are integrators in the country. But the thing I would say, and I know that it is a very hot topic within the community, what I would say to integrators is if you want to retain the talent you have, and as Brent, my partner always says, take a look at the very best employee you have. Did they come from somewhere else or did you grow them? And 8 out of 10 times people look right back at us and go, we grew them because we took the time to train them. So again, it doesn't directly answer the question other than there's a varied amount. There's a lot of options out there, but you have to be disciplined to make sure that, particularly as you bring technicians on, you want to hire for culture and aptitude. And we always go with that over what their skill sets are and if they have those things, what can you expect?

Ron:  Can you expound on that? Cause I'll tell a perspective. I know a lot of folks out there that will hire because they need, I'm going to pick. I need a Crestron programmer or they need someone that has X amount of experience, you know, doing said task and is it fair to say that's not the best way to hire?

"If you could just take someone with rock star culture that has mechanical aptitude, cause you do have to have that and the ability to understand the business, you know, not everybody has that, but if you can get that person on, they become a longterm employee because you teach them your way that the ABC integration or the X, Y, Z sound envisioned way of doing business."

Tres: It's very fair Ron. We, as soon as somebody engages us or we're just talking, we go, that's the reason Brent and I go to the onsite meeting and go meet because we go, push comes to shove. Do you want culture or do you want skills? Because skills come with attitude sometimes. And I realized it's really hard when you're behind all your projects and you've got more work than you can shake a stick at and use your example. You want this person, you want that. And we really go, if you could just take someone with rock star culture that has mechanical aptitude, cause you do have to have that and the ability to understand the business, you know, not everybody has that, but if you can get that person on, they become a longterm employee because you teach them your way that the ABC integration or the X, Y, Z sound envisioned way of doing business. That's much more important than the technical trainings.

Ron:  No, I agree 100% Tres. I'm going to drop your website down here into the chat so that everyone knows how to easily find you. This has been fun. It's hard to believe that you know, almost 35 minutes have gone by here. It seems like a blink. I think we could talk about this topic for hours. And we actually have had a great audience as well. We have 14 people tuned in at the moment. Kapono out of Hawaii just said hello. What's up? How you doing? By the way, Kapono tell the gang down there to stay safe. There's I think Hurricane Lane heading your way and from a fellow state that is often in the target and bulls-eye of hurricanes, I feel for you. So stay safe out there, man. All these people are saying, hi,. Dan is Dan Forbes is saying hi. Maitlin Frizzly is saying hello, Will Rubinstein is saying hello. Lots of hellos and his. So that's pretty, you got a fan club out there, Tres.

Tres: Well, I appreciate it and I say hello back to everybody that's saying hello. So thank you. It's been been my pleasure, Rob. Been great.

Ron:  Awesome. Well, thank you very much for taking time out of your busy day. And again, third time's a charm. It was awesome having you on the show.

Tres: Perfect. Thank you Ron. We'll see you at CEDIA.

Ron:  All right buddy. Be well. All right everybody. So that was episode 50, believe it or not, of Automation Unplugged. Can you believe we've done 50 of these? And we even have technology sort of behaving right now, so, fingers crossed that we can keep doing these without any interruption. So if you're going to be at CEDIA, please come by, say hello. I'll make sure to put our booth number and I'll also put the booth number for HDMI staffing. I'll put it down in the comments below. And I am going to be teaching a couple of classes. I've got a sales process class and the other end of the spectrum an engineering process class. And then I'm going to be sitting on a tech talk. There's a brand new product that's coming out at CEDIA, or they're doing their big unveiling, a company called Sonnen. They were there last year, but they're launching their new whole home battery storage product. They're the largest battery storage company in the world and with some pretty amazing tech, some blockchain tech, and I'm pretty excited to be associated with them. So I'll be on their tech panel which will be on the floor. And other than that, stay tuned. I'm going to put up the artwork now. You know what, I'll go ahead and do it now. So you guys can see our next guest, it's going to be Jimmy the one and only Jimmy Paschke from SurgeX. So we'll have him on next week, and we're going to start doing this every month. Every show we're going to have our artwork, so you'll see the guests for all the upcoming shows. So on that note thanks so much for joining me and I will see you next time on Automation Unplugged.

Show Notes

Tres brings over 15 years’ experience in national leadership, strategic planning and implementation, recruiting, and coaching to the table. Tres is currently CEO of HDMI Staffing alongside his partner Brent, COO.  HDMI Staffing is a unique company established to specifically meet the needs and critical labor challenges found in the custom electronics industry. For Integrators, HDMI Staffing works to help recruit, screen and hire field and office personnel that meet not only the skill requirements of their position, but also the cultural requirements of their company.

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:

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