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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.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #217: An Industry Q&A with Tom LeBlanc

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Tom LeBlanc, Executive Director at NSCA shares his journey from working in journalism to landing in the AV industry.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #217: An Industry Q&A with Tom LeBlanc

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Tom LeBlanc. Recorded live on Friday, July 15th, 2022, at 9:00 am. EST.

About Tom LeBlanc

Tom has supported the integration market since 2003. He was the editorial director of Commercial Integrator from 2010 to 2019 and held various roles at CE Pro before that. Throughout his career, he specialized in developing content to help integration firms improve their businesses. At NSCA, LeBlanc is focused on executing the visions of the NSCA Board of Directors and NSCA community by providing resources and spearheading events to strengthen members' business and networking opportunities.

Interview Recap

  • The Business Leadership Conference and the upcoming Pivot to Profit  conference in the fall.
  • Tom’s journey from working in journalism to landing in the AV industry
  • NSCA’s strategy to help its members during the COVID pandemic and the current supply chain issue that is being faced by the industry

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #216: An Industry Q&A with Ian Bryant

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Ian Bryant, Consultant and Independent Specialist Contractor shares his background and expertise in the industry.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #216: An Industry Q&A with Ian Bryant

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Ian Bryant. Recorded live on Wednesday, July 6th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Ian Bryant

Ian started in the AV/Integration industry in the live sound and stage sector in 1998. He migrated into residential integration in 2001 and then into commercial, government and higher education integration in 2010 with his company ZenArray specializing in consulting, system design, control system programming and DSP configurations.

Ian has volunteered throughout his career as a subject matter expert. He has sat on numerous panels and working groups, mostly with CEDIA, where he was awarded volunteer of the year in 2011 and 2016. He recently worked for CEDIA managing technology applications, workforce development and strategic partnerships. Ian is currently a consultant and independent contractor specializing in thought leadership, go-to-market strategies, events and publications.

His qualifications include CEDIA CIT, Crestron CMCP-S, Harman Certified Programmer, Extron Control Professional, BIAMP & Dante Certified, and is a Certified Living In Place Professional.

Interview Recap

  • Ian’s experiences working remotely from different locations around the country.
  • His background and expertise in the industry
  • New technology trends and emerging business model opportunities

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #215: An Industry Q&A with Håkan Olsson

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Håkan Olsson, CEO and Founder at Beemer Smart Home shares how he uses his home as a showroom for his business.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #215: An Industry Q&A with Håkan Olsson

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Håkan Olsson. Recorded live on Wednesday, June 15th 2022, at 12:30PM EST

About Håkan Olsson

Håkan started Beemer Smart Home in 2005 as a side business while he was pursuing a career at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA. As a classical musician and former Audio Engineer, his initial focus was on audio solutions, which then transitioned into home theater solutions a few years later. 

In 2016 after successful projects with several architects and builders in the Seattle area, he decided to take the business full- time and expand the solutions to an all-encompassing Home Technologies solutions. 

Today, Beemer Smart Home has added more solutions, like Lutron luxury lighting and motorized shades, an invisible speaker line from Stealth Acoustics, and whole home control solutions through Control4. In 2019 Beemer Smart Home also became an integration partner to Stratis IOT for multifamily smart building solutions after completing several highrise projects. In 2021 Beemer also earned an HTA certification.

Interview Recap

  • How Håkan uses his home as a showroom for his business
  • His method of using his home to demo Ketra tunable lighting and invisible speakers
  • Selling single app solutions vs App Mania (ie. using many apps)

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #214: An Industry Q&A with Dustin Kerns

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Dustin Kerns, Branch Manager (Colorado Springs) at ListenUp shares his personal journey in the AV industry and the different influences he has met along the way.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #214: An Industry Q&A with Dustin Kerns

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Dustin Kerns. Recorded live on Wednesday, June 1st 2022, at 12:30PM EST

About Dustin Kerns

Dustin has over 20 years of experience in AV. He got his start working for his uncle's AV business in the Northwest Arkansas region, where he learned the foundation of his knowledge and passion for the industry. Since then, he has gone from working as a technician, to project management, then into sales and executive leadership. He currently manages the Colorado Springs branch for ListenUp,  a company with an amazing 50-year legacy.

Interview Recap

  • The history of ListenUp and different events that marked the company
  • His own personal journey in the AV industry and the different influences he has met along the way
  • The current state of the industry as we face supply chain and staffing issues

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #213: An Industry Q&A with Ed Gilmore

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Ed Gilmore, CEO and Founder of Gilmore’s Sound Advice, Inc. shares a personal story and why his showroom was designed with such warmth.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #213: An Industry Q&A with Ed Gilmore

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Ed Gilmore. Recorded live on Wednesday, May 25th 2022, at 12:30PM EST

About Ed Gilmore

In 1988 Edward Gilmore, a professional classical musician, began a parallel career as an audio consultant to a leading Architectural and Interior Design firm. By 1991, he formed his own full-service company, Gilmore’s Sound Advice, Inc. For many years, Gilmore’s Sound Advice strictly adhered to a word-of-mouth recommendation policy to ensure the company’s commitment to superior installation and client support. 

Now, directly responsible for an impressive, high-profile client resume. With the move to an 8,000-square-foot facility in 2016, Gilmore created one of the most unique showrooms and event spaces in New York City. Their new workspace allows GSA staff to build, program, and test all systems before leaving the facility. An active member of CEDIA, HTSA, and HTA, a commitment to ongoing education and certification underscores GSA’s commitment to providing clients with an informed assessment of the industry’s best available options and practices.

Interview Recap

  • Ed’s professional background in classical music 
  • A personal story from Ed and why his showroom was designed with such warmth
  • A few celebrity stories including the work he did for Richard Gear and Cindy Crawford back in the 80’s and 90’s

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #212: An Industry Q&A with Paul Bochner

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Paul Bochner, CEO and Founder of Electronic Concepts shares his marketing and video production knowledge for an integration firm to help it stand out.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #212: An Industry Q&A with Paul Bochner

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Paul Bochner. Recorded live on Wednesday, May 4th 2022, at 12:30PM EST

About Paul Bochner

Paul has over 20 years of experience working in the A/V industry. He got his start as a technician in 2000 before founding New York-based integration firm Electronic Concepts in 2004.

Today, Paul and his team focus on delivering the highest performance to clients across all A/V and integration solutions. They use their large social media presence of nearly 20,000 total followers to show off their custom projects and newly renovated luxury design center.

Electronic Concepts is a member of CEDIA, HTSA, HTA and is a Savant Platinum Integrator, ambassador, and advisory council member.

Interview Recap

  • Paul’s passion for motorcycle racing
  • Merger and acquisition trends in the industry
  • Marketing and video production for an integration firm to help it stand out 
  • Why producing video is so hard.