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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 #97: An Industry Q&A with Pete Baker

Watch Episode #97: An Industry Q&A with Pete Baker

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Pete Baker. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 5th, 2019, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Pete Baker

Pete Baker, President of The BIG Corp, is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years of global experience making large strides in the CE industry. Pete began his career as a licensed low voltage technician and contractor before becoming the founder and CEO of Custom Home Integration, a leading installation firm that he created and later sold.

Pete has had numerous roles in the industry, from President of several leading Integration companies to keynote speaker, CEDIA Subject Matter Expert, and VP of Sales and Marketing for a major control system manufacturer. In his recent years, Pete was titled President of The BIG Corp, a global sales rep and business development agency providing support to the finest brands in CE. He also founded CE Business Academy that educates to CE professionals worldwide.

Interview Recap

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

  • The benefit of developing a strong company brand
  • Why he became a CEDIA Certified Outreach Instructor
  • How he approaches representing and working for international corporations
  • The similarities between the CI space in North America and markets around the world
  • Handling customer expectations through feedback and communication with your sales team

Watch Episode #96: An Industry Q&A with Ian Dohalick

 Watch Episode #96: An Industry Q&A with Ian Dohalick

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Ian Dohalick. Recorded live on Wednesday, January 29, 2019, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Ian Dohalick

After 20 years of being in this industry, Ian Dohalick began his career in 2003 replacing DMP panels around the US with ADT for CHASE banks. In 2006, he began working under Kevin Buchannan and Sven Neer with Home Entertainment Inc. before getting recruited to get into the “larger” automation world at the end of 2010. In 2017, he landed his current position as partner with Relative Home Systems.

During this time, Ian was also working closely with his father on building legal marijuana grow facilities in Colorado. He’s been able to use his knowledge and experience to assist in creating the Biophilia and Wellness portion of their business at Relative Home Systems. Being exposed to the medical and recreational concepts surrounding the marijuana industry, he’s able to bring a unique perspective on how these new ventures into the wellness sector can ultimately help end-users and our industry as a whole.

Interview Recap

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

  • Handling business growth while experiencing major personal losses
  • The changes within the Houston marketplace in the past few years
  • Transitioning from a new hire employee at Relative Home Systems to becoming a partner
  • Impact of wellness solutions including green walls and dedicated wellness spaces in the home.

Watch Episode #95: An Industry Q&A with Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher

Watch Episode #95: An Industry Q&A with Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher. Recorded live on Friday, January 24, 2019, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher

Miranda has been with Origin Acoustics as their National Sales Manager for three years and quickly climbed to her National Sales Manager by age 24. Miranda started in the AV Industry with Metra Electronics at age 22 as a West Coast Regional. She was elected Top 40 under 40 at age 26 and recently elected as one of the most powerful women on the rise in consumer technology.

Marc is a consumer electronics veteran and joined Origin Acoustics four years ago. Marc has been titled Salesman of the Year twice in a row and was twice named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by the industry’s leading trade publication. Now, President of Sales, Marc continues to set the standard for sales professionalism and endeavors to share those skills with an entirely new generation of salespeople who are following in his footsteps.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher:

  • The importance of a strong company culture
  • The philosophy around investing in yourself, your business, and our industry
  • Insight on what training and coaching looks like for Origin dealers
  • The advantage of joining a buying group like ProSource

Watch Episode #94: An Industry Q&A with Ian Williams

Watch Episode #94: An Industry Q&A with Ian Williams

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Ian Williams. Recorded live on Wednesday, January 8, 2019 at 12:30 pm EST.

About Ian Williams

Ian is an accomplished business leader with over 19 years of experience in project management, product delivery, and operations in the Custom Audio Visual Industry. Ian has owned and operated three integration firms and was fortunate to successfully exit his 2nd business through an acquisition.

Ian is the recipient of 12 CEDIA awards, was named Integrator of the Year by CES/CTA in 2015. Ian has also been featured on the covers of CePro and on Residential Systems magazines. In the fall of 2019 Ian moved to Charleston, SC with his family and has started his newest integration firm, Aspire Audio Video Solutions.

Recorded live on Wednesday, January 8th at 12:30pm EST.

Interview Recap

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

  • How he approached selling his business in 2017
  • His business development plan for starting a new business in a new market
  • Why attention to process and operational excellence is the right approach for most integrators

Watch Episode #93: An Industry Q&A with Jamie Briesemeister

Watch Episode #93: An Industry Q&A with Jamie Briesemeister

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jamie Briesemeister. Recorded live on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 12:30 pm EST.

About Jamie Briesemeister

Today’s show features my interview with Jamie Briesemeister, co-founder of Integration Controls, a home automation company out of St. Louis, MO, that focuses on providing intuitive, design-friendly technology solutions that enhance and simplify life. 

Jamie was selected as one of 2019’s Powerful Women in Consumer Technology and is also newly elected member of the CEDIA Board of Directors. She has spoken at a number of conferences and seminars, advocating for home technology considerations in the design/build process, as a guest speaker, as an instructor, or presenting CEUs to architects and designers.

 

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Jamie Briesemeister

  • Jamie’s transition from working in the healthcare industry to starting a business in the CI space with her husband, Jeff
  • What has helped her throughout the years to improve within her role as CEO, both within and outside the industry from podcasts featuring women in business to business leadership books
  • Being a woman in business and resources she’s been able to share and gain from other women in the field 
  • How past experiences helped her become a stronger leader

Watch Episode #92: An Industry Q&A with Michael Oh

Watch Episode #92: An Industry Q&A with Michael Oh

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Michael Oh. Recorded live on Monday, December 2nd, 2019 at 12:30 pm EST.

About Michael Oh

President and founder of TSP, Michael founded his company in 1992 while still a freshman at MIT. Recognized as an Inc 500 company in 2001, TSP has a staff of 15 employees with an annual revenue of $3 million. In 2011 TSP expanded into the residential market with TSP Smart Spaces, a division focused on smart home tech and audio/video integration. Their client list includes first investors of Facebook, Accel, the Boston Celtics, Bose Corporation and a 71 unit MDu in Reykjavik, Iceland.

 

Interview Recap

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

  • Launching an Apple-focused IT company from his MIT dorm
  • Why the MSP service model is the future of the home integration market 
  • Operating a remote workplace with staff in 3 countries
  • Their latest luxury MDU project in Reykjavik, Iceland