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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 Podcast Episode #161: An Industry Q&A With Chris Worthington

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Chris Worthington, CEO at Personal Technology, shares his excitement around energy automation and battery storage within the custom integration space.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #161: An Industry Q&A With Chris Worthington

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Chris Worthington. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 24th, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Chris Worthington

Chris’s passion for technology and electronics started from a young age where he would tear apart computers and put them back together. Chris even started working at a local computer shop at the age of 14.

It wasn’t until he took a job as an installer for a local audio/video shop after graduating with a BE in Chemical Engineering where he discovered the world of lighting control and home automation.

In 2004, Chris decided to chart his own course and founded Personal Technology out of Alhambra, California, and has grown steadily over 15 years to become a full-service integration firm.

Today, Personal Technology aims to deliver excitement and enjoyment around home technology while focusing on the client's journey from concept through construction and into support.

Interview Recap

  • The current state of the custom installation marketing in California
  • Chris' excitement around energy automation and battery storage
  • His move from lighting control into lighting fixtures and human-centric lighting
  • How the maturation of the industry may affect the stratification of firms

Home Automation Podcast Episode #160: An Industry Q&A With Mark Coxon

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Mark Coxon, Sales Director at Tangram Technology, shares his approach to human-centric design and how the modern office will look like in the years to come.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #160: An Industry Q&A With Mark Coxon

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Mark Coxon. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 10th, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Mark Coxon

As a proclaimed accidental technologist, Mark was set to pursue a career as a zoo veterinarian before discovering the technology space in 2000 when he took a position at IBM as a direct sales representative.

Today, Mark uses his interest in zoology and love for behavioral psychology to approach technology and human-centered design from a unique perspective at Tangram Technology.

Interview Recap

  • What led Mark from pursuing veterinary school to working at a residential integration company
  • The future of work as companies begin to bring employees back to the office.
  • Mark's approach to human-centric design and how the modern office will look like in the years to come
  • Mark's creative endeavors, including a book he's currently writing and his podcasts, Daybreak and Selling AV.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #159: An Industry Q&A With Shawn Lemay

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Shawn Lemay, President at Sound and Theater, shares consumer behaviors based in the Buffalo, New York marketplace and Shawn’s thoughts on the future of trade shows

Home Automation Podcast Episode #159: An Industry Q&A With Shawn Lemay

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Shawn Lemay. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Shawn Lemay

With over 30 years in the industry, Shawn got his start in IT and Computer system sales before discovering the world of smart home automation when he and his business partner attended their first CEDIA trade show event in 2004.

Their Buffalo, New York-based automation company, Sound & Theater, was created to provide consumers easy-to-use, simple, and concealed smart technology throughout their homes.

Shawn is a CEDIA Registered Outreach Instructor and volunteer. He holds various vendor certifications and is an active writer with multiple published articles to his credit.

Interview Recap

  • Shawn’s origin story and how he went from creating an ISP company competing with AOL to venturing into the smart home automation space
  • Consumer behaviors based in the Buffalo, New York marketplace and how 2020 treated Sound & Theater
  • How his business has weathered the storm caused by vendor supply chain issues.
  • Shawn’s thoughts on the future of trade shows & events

Home Automation Podcast Episode #158: An Industry Q&A With Matt Cwiokowski

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Matt Cwiokowski, CEO at Avidia, shares the marketing changes and business implementations made that led the company to a strong 35% YOY growth for 2020.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #158: An Industry Q&A With Matt Cwiokowski

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Matt Cwiokowski. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Matt Cwiokowski

In 2010, Matt and two other colleagues founded the Chicagoland automation company, Avidia, with a goal to create a more focused, hands-on approach to home automation.

At inception, Matt managed Avidia’s programming and system design efforts. In 2018 Matt and Kamil bought their 3rd partner out and Matt assumed the role of CEO where his role involves leading the company forward through client-focused sales and marketing activities.

Today, Avidia is a team of 12 with a strong focus on residential projects. The company realized a strong 35% YOY growth for 2020 over 2019 and even beat their highest sales month in company history here in the first quarter of 2021.

Interview Recap

  • What ultimately led Avidia to have a 35% YOY growth in 2020
  • How a re-brand in 2018 and strategic marketing helped raise the company's brand awareness and overall visibility
  • Avidia's pivot to an RMR-based approach for system service support
  • Ways Matt has made it possible to enjoy a healthy work-life balance as a business owner with a growing company

Home Automation Podcast Episode #157: An Industry Q&A With Jeff Galea

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jeff Galea, Founder and President at Boca Tech and Automation shares the importance behind educating consumers to improve sales and communication.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #157: An Industry Q&A With Jeff Galea

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jeff Galea. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Jeff Galea

Jeff’s work experience includes positions with General Motors and a Silicon Valley Startup prior to taking his passion for high-end electronics and launching Boca Theater and Automation, now Boca Teach and Automation, in 2003 out of South Florida.

Today, Jeff’s team focuses exclusively on integrating luxury A/V and control systems into homes, yachts, and businesses in some of the most prestigious spaces in the United States.

Boca Tech and Automation continue to rank among the CEPro Top 100 Integrators of the U.S., and two of their projects were even featured in HGTV’s Top Ten Luxury Home Theaters.

Interview Recap

  • How a COVID inspired look behind-the-scenes for the design community turned into a successful weekly seminar series
  • The importance behind educating consumers to improve sales and communication
  • Jeff's showroom powered by Rosewater Energy and his take on battery storage technologies
  • Jeff's business outlook for 2021 and why he will still be focusing on recurring revenue

Home Automation Podcast Episode #156: An Industry Q&A With Ron Callis

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Ron Callis, CEO at One Firefly shares ways the structure and process of EOS helped One Firefly prepare for the challenges that came with COVID-19.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #156: An Industry Q&A With Ron Callis

This week's home automation podcast features our host Chris Smith interviewing Ron Callis. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. EST. 

About Ron Callis

Ron got his start in the Custom Integration industry back in 2000, after graduating from VA Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and starting his career with Lutron Electronics. He also spent time at Crestron Electronics before he started Firefly Design Group in 2007.

In 2012 the company rebranded and became the company everyone knows today as One Firefly. One Firefly is an Inc. 5000 company and award-winning marketing agency serving residential and commercial technology professionals.

Interview Recap

  • How Ron found his way into the custom integration industry
  • Ron’s unique experience being part of a human-powered submarine team while a student at Virginia Tech
  • The One Firefly company culture and how they were able to shift to a fully remote company in 2016
  • Ways the structure and process of EOS helped One Firefly prepare for the challenges that came with COVID-19