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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 #184: An Industry Q&A With Larry Supon

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Larry Supon, President at Automated Lifestyles shares the importance of utilizing outside consultants and coaches to help develop a business strategy for success.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #184: An Industry Q&A With Larry Supon

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Larry Supon. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 25th, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Larry Supon

Larry Supon is an entrepreneur focused on providing his clients with the ultimate technology experience that meets their lifestyle goals. He started his career by programming industrial automation systems in 1994 after graduating with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University. In 2000, Larry switched gears to work on commercial and residential automation systems when he founded Automated Lifestyles LLC. Larry has created a hands-on experience in which he is personally involved in the design of every project. He attributes the business’ success to this unique approach and, of course, having a wonderful team to execute the project. Today, Automated Lifestyles LLC has a staff of 11 employees and annual revenues of over 2 million dollars.

Interview Recap

  • The importance of utilizing outside consultants and coaches to help develop a business strategy for success
  • The importance of having the right people in the right seats
  • Building a culture of accountability and striving for professional growth

Home Automation Podcast Episode #183: An Industry Q&A With Chris Edelen

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Chris Edelen, President at Sterling Home Technologies shares on the latest supply chain issues related to Covid Delta outbreaks in China.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #183: An Industry Q&A With Chris Edelen

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Chris Edelen. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Chris Edelen

Chris Edelen is a recognized leader of private equity and family-owned businesses. Chris started his career with Fox Photo, a New York company and advanced to the position of Executive Vice President/COO of company operations with sales over $250 million a year. Over the years, Chris has taken leadership roles such as President, CEO, and Vice President of Marketing at numerous companies including Grand Openings, Norwood Promotional Products, and Kohler Corp. Today, Chris is the President of Sterling Home Technologies, a custom home integration company. He also serves on the board of 2 high-growth companies as well as several charities.

Interview Recap

  • How the Texas market has grown and developed over the years
  • The rise and fall of Eastman Kodak Company
  • The challenges growing a business in the custom integration industry
  • The latest supply chain issues related to Covid Delta outbreaks in China
  • Pulling out of CEDIA and the likelihood of other fall events potentially canceling

Home Automation Podcast Episode #182: An Industry Q&A With Marc Ayoub

Home Automation Podcast Episode #182: An Industry Q&A With Marc Ayoub

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Marc Ayoub. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Marc Ayoub

From technician to Energy Division Director, Marc Ayoub is a 20+ year CI industry veteran who held several unique roles throughout his career. His journey began in the early 2000s at an alarm company. He eventually joined Audio Command Systems, where he worked his way up to lead technician. While recovering from a broken leg in 2006, Marc took on a new challenge to teach himself how to program Crestron. He also worked closely with management to develop a streamlined design and installation process that significantly improved project efficiency. In 2011, Marc took his first vacation out west, and after giving a 6-month notice, packed his bags and moved to Colorado. Marc soon joined a local manufacturer’s rep agency, CET and Associates, where he took on several leadership roles to help integrators grow their business with products like Lutron, Sonnen, and Lumin. Today, Marc uses his passion for renewables to lead the Energy Division at CET with the ultimate goal to expand renewable energy throughout the country.

Interview Recap

  • Marc's journey through the industry and the lessons learned
  • Who CET and Associates is as an organization and their unique approach to work culture
  • Grid resiliency and the importance of renewable and efficient energy

Home Automation Podcast Episode #181: An Industry Q&A With Tom Farinola

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Tom Farinola, Visionary at Atlantic Home Entertainment and Stereo shares the importance of communication between the client and the dealer and lessons learned over 35 years in business.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #181: An Industry Q&A With Tom Farinola

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Tom Farinola. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 4th, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Tom Farinola

Tom Farinola is a hobbyist turned integrator whose life's mission is to provide audio-video solutions to as many people as possible. Tom purchased Atlantic Home Entertainment & Stereo as a hobby back in 1990 and has since grown the business to a steady $4 million a year in annual revenue. Throughout the years, Tom has discovered that the key to success is providing excellent customer service. To help ensure his customers are receiving the best support, Tom established a remote service called Atlantic Concierge Partnership.

Interview Recap

  • How Tom navigates the worlds of retail and custom integration
  • The importance of communication between the client and the dealer
  • The lessons learned over his 35 years in business
  • Tom shares his passion for Steinway Lyngdorf and describes how he delivers the experience to his clients

Home Automation Podcast Episode #180: An Industry Q&A With Steve Burke

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Steve Burke, CEO at Texadia Systems shares his strategies for growth mindset and why Texadia serves both the commercial and residential markets.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #180: An Industry Q&A With Steve Burke

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Steve Burke. Recorded live on Wednesday, July 28th, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Steve Burke

Steve Burke is an entrepreneur dedicated to providing a high level of service to both the residential and commercial AV integration space. Steve has learned and grown throughout his 20+ career in the integration industry, including managing a large commercial integration firm prior to founding Texadia Systems in 2013. Texadia Systems was established to serve both the residential and commercial av markets with a focus on excellence and client satisfaction. Today, Texadia Systems has grown to over $10 million-plus in annual revenue and has been recognized in INC500 and CE Pro as one the fastest growing AV Integration firms in the US.

Interview Recap

  • The importance of taking care of your team and work culture
  • Steve's strategies for growth mindset
  • Why Texadia serves both the commercial and residential markets
  • Texadia's unique solution to the human resource limitations affecting the industry

Home Automation Podcast Episode #179: An Industry Q&A With Troy Morgan

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Troy Morgan, Founder and CEO at PanTech Design shares the impact of home automation and energy management in the home.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #179: An Industry Q&A With Troy Morgan

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Troy Morgan. Recorded live on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Troy Morgan

Troy is an innovator dedicated to elevating the quality of software and service for audio, video, and environmental automation. He has achieved many accomplishments throughout his 23 years in the custom integration industry, such as becoming a Crestron Master Programmer and founding his own integration firm, PanTech Design, in 2005. Under Troy's leadership, PanTech Design quickly became one of the leading firms of its kind to develop groundbreaking products like the Adapt for Crestron software suite and Adapt Energy home energy automation ecosystem. Today, Troy focuses on tackling the world's energy challenges with his revolutionary Adapt Energy solution that helps homeowners better monitor and manage their energy usage.

Interview Recap

  • The impact of home automation and energy management in the home
  • Understanding the power of a watt
  • An overview of energy integration and why it matters
  • The concept of a virtual power plant