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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 #31: An Industry Q&A with David VanWert

Exploring a better approach to the design-build process

Watch Episode #31: An Industry Q&A with David VanWert

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing David VanWert, President of VanWert Technology Design from his home office in Los Angeles. David is a 20 year A/V integration industry veteran and has been running his design consultancy for the past 8 years and has projects spanning the globe. Recorded Live on January 24th, 2018 at 12:30pm EDT.

About David VanWert

David VanWert has nearly 20 years of experience in the A/V integration field with 8 years as President of VanWert Technology Design with design projects throughout the globe. When not running the day to day operations of VTD, David enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, going to concerts, playing ice hockey, and snowboarding.

Interview Recap

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

  • David's background in the A/V industry
  • His company, VanWert Technology Design
  • The benefits of design on a project
  • How to improve the "process" of technology on high end residential projects
  • And more!

Watch Episode #30: an Industry Q&A with Helen Heneveld

An Interview with This Year's Recipient of the CTA TechHome Leadership Award

Watch Episode #30: an Industry Q&A with Helen Heneveld

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Helen Heneveld, Founder and President of Bedrock Learning from her office in Holland, MI. Helen is the 2018 recipient of the CTA TechHome Leadership Award recognized at CES last week in Las Vegas. An industry pioneer since the late 80's Helen has been helping dealers and manufacturers succeed and thrive in this ever changing industry. Recorded Live on January 17th, 2018 at 12:30pm EDT.

About Helen Heneveld

Helen Heneveld, MBA, CEDIA Installer 1 Certified and CEA-CompTIA DHTI+ Certified, is a well-respected and recognized industry expert who speaks and consults worldwide in the connected home industry. Her early entry in the 1980’s into the smart home business and her years in industry training make her contributions valuable as a current board member for CEA Tech Home Division and past member on the CEDIA Board of Directors.

She received the CTA TechHome Leadership Award at CES 2018, an honor given to an individual that has made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the TechHome industry and shows continued dedication and devotion to the industry. She is co-author of the first and second editions of DHTI+ Home Technology Integrator All-In-Onxcxccccand Definitions. Passionate about the industry, Heneveld leads Bedrock Learning.com in providing effective, convenient and affordable training and resource materials to the connected home industry. She can be reached at www.bedrocklearning.com.

Interview Recap

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

  • Helen's current role and how she got started in the industry
  • What was awesome about CES 2018
  • The CTA TechHome Leadership Award
  • Workforce Development
  • Bedrock's approach and offerings
  • Women in CI

 

Watch Episode #29: an Industry Q&A with Brian Good

Exploring the value of iPoint

Watch Episode #29: an Industry Q&A with Brian Good

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Brian Good, VP of Sales and Marketing with iPoint, LLC from his home office in Marco Island, FL. Brian joined iPoint in early 2016 and leads iPoint's expansion efforts to help audio video companies create the processes and procedures necessary to scale. iPoint provides a single source technology platform that aids AV company growth. Recorded Live on January 10th, 2018 at 12:30pm EDT.

About Brian Good

Brian Good is the VP of Sales and Marketing at iPoint. With more than 10 years of customer service, sales, and training experience, Good has a deep knowledge of how to create and implement efficient development strategies that ensure success. Prior to joining iPoint, he held executive, analyst, sales, and training positions for a range of companies, guiding his territories to year-over-year growth and helping develop software solutions to improve operational processes. He holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications from Washburn University.

Interview Recap

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

  • Brian's background in the industry and how he got started
  • What iPoint is, why it was created, and what value it offers for integrators
  • Brian's take on groups like HTSA, Bravas Group, and ProSource
  • The importance of marketing and prospecting
  • How integrators can learn more about iPoint

Watch Episode #28: an Industry Q&A with Camila Ballario

A Chat With Leon Speakers' Camila Ballario

Watch Episode #28: an Industry Q&A with Camila Ballario

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Camila Ballario, Sr Account Manager with Leon Speakers from their office in Ann Arbor, MI. Camila has been with Leon since 2013 and travels the country as their brand ambassador, training key dealers and manufacturer representatives. She also manages all buying group relationships and trains all new dealers. Yes, she is a very busy woman! We will talk about what makes Leon special and what brought her into this crazy industry.

About Camila Ballario

Born in Argentina, Camila grew up in Ann Arbor, MI and received a degree in music performance at the University of Michigan. After a few years of managing and recruiting in the retail industry post-graduation, it was music that brought her to Leon Speakers.

A recording artist, she came to Leon in 2013 to play music on the stage at Leon's on-site music venue, the Leon Loft, and shortly thereafter joined the Leon team. Since then, Camila has cultivated strong relationships with Leon and Media Décor dealers to help them understand Leon culture, and specify unique Leon solutions. She has seen the sales team grow and change over the five years she has been with the company and currently travels to top-performing dealers across the US as Leon's Senior Account Manager.

Interview Recap

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

  • Camila's background and transition into the industry and her current role
  • What brought her to Leon
  • What Leon is all about and what sets it apart from other companies
  • The most fun and exciting aspects of her job
  • Managing work/life balance around the holidays
  • Leon's plans for 2018
  • How those interested can become a Leon dealer

Watch Episode #27: an Industry Q&A with George Tucker

Discussing AV Technology with Industry Veteran George Tucker

Watch Episode #27: an Industry Q&A with George Tucker

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing George Tucker from his home in Yonkers, NY. George is a 25 year AV industry veteran most recently with Aurora Multimedia as Director of Product Education. George is also a CEDIA instructor and the Co-Founder of AV Nation.

About George Tucker

George Tucker brings 25 years of AV experience with display technologies education, social media, and system integration background. Tucker’s various positions in audio visual has had him involved with nearly every aspect of the industry. His career has included time as a systems programmer, live events video tech, working on automation for theater, managing national support for a major industry manufacture, and recording studios. In addition, George teaches for CEDIA and he is the Co-Founder of AV Nation.

His Twitter bio often says it all : One part punk intelligista ,one part pagan ritual and one part musical rapture, Shaken liberally with a twist of technorotica and a jigger of ADD.

Interview Recap

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

  • George's background and how he got started in the industry
  • Teaching for CEDIA in the New York area
  • A recap of technology advances in 2017
  • What can we expect to see as far as tech advances in 2018
  • What the industry can do as a whole do to push AV to the next level
  • And more

Watch Episode #26: an Industry Q&A with Coleen Sterns Leith

A Chat with Marketing Matters' Coleen Sterns Leith

Watch Episode #26: an Industry Q&A with Coleen Sterns Leith

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Coleen Sterns Leith from her home office in St. Petersburg, FL. Coleen has been running her PR & Marketing firm Marketing Matters since 1997. She recently published a book titled Ultra Hi Def Marketing, written to help tech startups reach world domination in the tech industry.

About Coleen Sterns Leith

Coleen Sterns Leith is president and founder of Marketing Matters, an agency working exclusively with technology companies. For the past 20 years, Marketing Matters has been the agency of choice for companies like Bose and Sharp to launch new technology. Her team has helped take a startup company to $200 million in sales in seven years and has won 63 design and publishing awards for the work they’ve done. 

Working closely with technology clients, Coleen and her team have created over 200 successful product launches and public relations strategies garnering national and international exposure and a dynamic market presence for each of their clients. Coleen is an active member of the tech community including her work with Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) Audio Division and TechHome Division, is a mentor for start‐up tech companies and she serves as a judge for the TechHome Mark of Excellence Awards that are presented at the Consumer Electronics Show each January in Las Vegas.


Coleen recently released her new book, Ultra Hi Def Marketing for tech start-ups earlier this year. She resides in Saint Petersburg with her husband and French Bulldogs.

Interview Recap

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

    • Coleen's background in the industry and her current role
    • Marketing Matters' proprietary "5-Step Method to World Domination"
    • Ultra Hi Def Marketing - the book that explains that method
    • Print isn't dead - why you still need a brochure
    • How integrators can help with their own PR
    • And more