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Automation Unplugged

Automation Unplugged is a Facebook Live show recorded weekly with our host Ron Callis, Owner and CEO of the digital marketing agency, One Firefly. In each Automation Unplugged episode, Ron speaks with leading industry personalities and technology professionals to discuss all things business development, technology trends, and more. These interviews are designed to help our clients and members of the custom integration industry keep up-to-date with the latest news as well as learn from experts in the field.

Watch Episode #45: An Industry Q&A with Jeannette Howe

The importance of keeping your customers informed

Watch Episode #45: An Industry Q&A with Jeannette Howe

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jeannette Howe, VP of Sales for Transformative Engineering. Recorded Live on May 30th, 2018 at 12:30pm EDT.

About Jeannette Howe

Jeannette Howe is Vice President of Transformative Engineering. Transformative Engineering (T-E) designs, manufactures and sells a very focused line of audio, video and data communications devices including HDBaseT extenders, switchers and baluns that are essential elements in the construction of high-end residential and commercial entertainment systems. Previously, Ms. Howe was the founder and Executive Director of Specialty Electronics Nationwide (SEN, now HTSN) the specialty home theater and CI buying group. Prior to SEN, Ms. Howe was the National Membership Manager for Home Entertainment Source (now ProSource). Once upon a time she was Director of Membership for the Professional AudioVideo Retailers Association (PARA). Early in her career Ms. Howe was the Audio Buyer at Magnolia Hi-Fi and she worked at Tweeter in a variety of positions including Audio Buyer and ”Swill Master.” Ms. Howe is an avid champion for the specialty independent channel.

Interview Recap

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

  • Jeannette’s history in the industry
  • The Independent Channel
  • Transformative Engineering
  • Copper is not dead
  • Integrating voice assistant products into your home
  • The importance of staying in contact with your clients - Marketing

Watch Episode #44: An Industry Q&A with Chris Trojnar

Audio: People can hear the difference

Watch Episode #44: An Industry Q&A with Chris Trojnar

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Chris Trojnar, Sales Manager, Southeast US, Harmon Luxury Audio. Recorded Live on May 23rd, 2018 at 12:30pm EDT.

About Chris Trojnar

Chris's brand responsibilities includes Mark Levinson, Revel, Lexicon, Arcam and JBL Synthesis. Chris Trojnar is an industry veteran with over 22 years experience in both the retail and manufacturing side of luxury audio. After graduating with a degree in music, Chris found his calling in consumer electronics.

Interview Recap

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

  • Chris's background in the industry
  • How to prepare for a sales' demo
  • Showing the difference to the customer
  • Finding ways to demonstrate high performance audio
  • And more!

Watch Episode #43: An Industry Q&A with Brian Jones

Making technology easy for everyone

Watch Episode #43: An Industry Q&A with Brian Jones

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Brian Jones, owner of Alpha Dog AVS. Recorded Live on May 9th, 2018 at 12:30pm EDT.

About Brian Jones

Brian started working for a car stereo shop part time after school in 1996. He worked as a lead installer and fabricator until 2000, and then started working at a company as an install apprentice. After 9 years, he became a Field Supervisor, managing a team of 3 installers and assisted the store’s general manager and his sales staff in system design and sales. In 2009, Brian decided to go out on his own and never looked back, founding Alpha Dog AVS in 2016.

Interview Recap

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

  • Brian's background in the industry
  • How to make technology easy for anyone
  • Working with baby boomers vs millennials
  • Staying on top of changing technology
  • And more!

Watch Episode #42: An Industry Q&A with Frank White

Focusing on the things that really matter

Watch Episode #42: An Industry Q&A with Frank White

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Frank White, a long time industry consultant. Recorded Live on April 26th, 2018 at 12:30pm EDT.

About Frank White

With decades of working in the integration channel, Frank's expertise is in increasing closing rates while decreasing closing times, and generally cutting the costs of new business acquisition within the B2B technology arena. As a Partner at StayTuned & Weld, Frank works to engineer strong loyal market demand and monetization for client offerings.

Interview Recap

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

  • Frank's background in the industry
  • State of the industry in relation to the economy
  • Dealer's best hedge to battle downturns
  • And more!

Watch Episode #41: An Industry Q&A with Sheri Griffin

Being a professional integrator

Watch Episode #41: An Industry Q&A with Sheri Griffin
This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Sheri Griffin, managing partner of Home Theater Design Group. Recorded Live on April 11th, 2018 at 12:30pm EDT.

About Sheri Griffin

Sheri along with her husband Brad founded Home Theater Design Group in May of 1997. Sheri also teaches with the John Maxwell Team and does business coaching and consulting. Sheri and Brad live in Allen Texas. they have 4 grown children 2 grand sons and live with 2 little dogs.

Interview Recap

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

  • Sheri's background in the industry
  • The evolution of integrators' business
  • How to hire the right persons for your team
  • How to build your business
  • And more!

Watch Episode #40: An Industry Q&A with Henry Clifford

Growing a sustainable, profitable business

Watch Episode #40: An Industry Q&A with Henry Clifford
This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Henry Clifford.Henry Clifford founded Livewire of Richmond, Va., in 2001 after identifying a need for simple home technology in Central Virginia. Each member of the Livewire team has been handpicked and their combined talents fuel the company’s explosive growth. Recorded Live on April 4th, 2018 at 12:40pm EDT.

About Henry Clifford

He began his career in IT during the .com boom of the 90s, working as a Web developer and Information Architect. His lifelong passion for technology made Livewire an easy choice. Under Clifford’s leadership, Livewire has acquired 5 competitors since 2011, added 5,000 square feet of office/warehouse space, launched a commercial division (Livewire for Business) and is now the largest HTP in Central Virginia. In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Livewire made the Inc. 500|5000 (2013-2014), CEPro 100 and RVA 25 (2014) lists. Henry currently serves on the CEDIA Board of Directors through 2019. Henry is also a co-founder of Parasol, nationwide 24/7 remote support “for integrators, by integrators.”

Interview Recap

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

  • Henry's background in the industry
  • The importance of corporate values
  • What to look for in a business before acquiring it
  • And more!