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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 #25: an Industry Q&A with Dave Pedigo

A Chat with CEDIA's VP of Emerging Technologies

Watch Episode #25: an Industry Q&A with Dave Pedigo

In this interview, Ron Callis speaks live with Dave Pedigo from his home office in Noblesville, IN. Dave is the VP of Emerging Technologies at CEDIA and wears many hats within the organization including overseeing education, emerging technologies and market research. 

About Dave Pedigo

As the VP of Emerging Technologies for CEDIA, Dave Pedigo’s role is create partnerships with manufacturers, service providers and standards bodies that will proactively address the emerging technology needs of home technology professionals at every level.  He facilitates easy communication between manufacturers and integrators, and identifies new channels of revenue. Dave previously worked in the satellite industry, as the Senior Director of Education for SBCA and as a Technical Training Engineer at Hughes Network Systems. Prior to working in the technology sector, Dave was a teacher for at-risk youth at an alternative high school in Baltimore. 

Interview Recap

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

  • Dave’s background in the industry

  • Dave’s current role at CEDIA

  • CEDIA Expo 

  • Technology trends for 2018

  • Breaking ground on new building construction

  • And more

Watch Episode #24: an Industry Q&A with Alex Lelchuk

On Running a Successful Integration Firm

Watch Episode #24: an Industry Q&A with Alex Lelchuk

In this interview, Ron Callis interviews Alex Lelchuk, founder of Lelch Audio Video, from his office in Minneapolis, MN. Watch the interview to learn about Alex's background, Lelch AV's growth, and project management.

About Alex Lelchuk

Alex Lelchuk is the founder of Lelch Audio Video, a leading technology integration firm in Minneapolis. Alex oversees Lelch Audio Video’s operations including sales, inventory, marketing and customer service. His leadership has managed to grow his business 400%+ over the last 3 years. His company received the US Commerce Association Best of Minneapolis Award for marketing excellence.

Interview Recap

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

  • Alex's background and decision to start Lelch AV
  • The company's growth and success
  • His approach to recruiting qualified talent
  • Processes and procedures to help manage the chaos of a business
  • Project management for integrators
  • And more

Watch Episode #23: an Industry Q&A with John Galante

Exploring Technology Trends and Events

Watch Episode #23: an Industry Q&A with John Galante

In this interview, Ron Callis interviews John Galante, President of AE Ventures from his office in Easton, MA. Watch the interview to learn about John's background, his involvement with technology summits and trends in residential technology. 

About John Galante

John Galante is president of AE Ventures. Prior to founding AE Ventures in 2008, Galante headed EH Publishing’s events division and contributed to the development of its publications, online media and new business ventures. At the conclusion of his tenure there, EH annually produced seven trade events, several awards programs and other special seminars, among them, the Electronic House Expos and the Worship Facilities Conference & Expo, both named to Trade Show Week‘s prestigious Fastest 50 Growing Shows list. Galante started his career at EH Publishing as editor-in-chief of its Custom Electronics Professional (CE Pro) magazine and in 2001 led the launch of TecHome Builder magazine as publisher/editor.

Before joining EH, Galante was with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), where he handled membership and program development for the Integrated Home Systems, Video and Accessories Divisions of the association. Galante has also served the Security Industry Association as executive director; Reed Exhibition Companies in variety of event management, marketing and business development positions; and Spiegel, Inc. as a creative services staff member and manager.

Galante spearheaded the founding of the Home Lighting Control Alliance, the Distributed Audio Alliance and the Consortium for Electronic Systems Technician Training. He is a past director of the International Association for Exhibitions and Events’ (IAEE) and past chair of its strategic development task force. In addition he has served as member of Convention Data Services’ Client Advisory Board and the Orange County Convention Center’s Client Advisory Board and as a director of CTA’s TechHome Division. In 2001, the Home Automation & Networking Association (now CTA TechHome) named Galante its industry leader of the year.

He has presented at a number of prestigious industry conferences including the Total Tech Summit, TecHome Builder Summit, TecHomeX, IAEE’s Expo!Expo!, TS2, the International Builders’ Show, the Electronic House Expo, the Electronic Security Expo, the ESA Leadership Summit and the California Alarm Association’s Winter Convention. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Rhetoric and Speech Communications from the University of Illinois-Urbana.

Interview Recap

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

  • John's current role, company and varied background
  • Highlights from Total Tech Summit in Orlando
  • What he's looking forward to at TecHome Builder Summit
  • Trends he's seeing in residential construction and their incorporation of technologies
  • The role of technology in new construction
  • And more

Watch Episode #22: an Industry Q&A with Todd Girdis

Strategizing the Future of Home Theater

Watch Episode #22: an Industry Q&A with Todd Girdis

In this interview, Ron Callis interviews Todd Girdis, Director of AV Sales and Marketing for RowOne Home Entertainment from his home office in Ann Arbor, MI. Watch the interview to learn about Todd's background, HTSA and the future of home theater.

About Todd Girdis

Todd Girdis is the Director of AV Sales and Marketing for RowOne Home Entertainment. He owned and operated Intelli Home Systems, an AV integration company, in SE Michigan for more than 10 years name. Todd also has experience in sales for the app-based universal remote control and automation, iRule, as the Director of Business Development for the AiN Group, and as the Senior Sales Representative for AE Ventures and Relidy. In his current role as Director of Sales and Marketing for RowOne, Todd oversees the strategic positioning of RowOne’s home entertainment seating offerings.

Interview Recap

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

  • Todd's current role and the products offered by RowOne
  • The CEDIA show
  • How integrators may be limiting themselves
  • The value in having an established relationship with a furniture company
  • RowOne's approach to delivering furniture
  • And more

Watch Episode #21: an Industry Q&A with Paul Harris

Exploring the Process of New Product Development

Watch Episode #21: an Industry Q&A with Paul Harris

In this interview, Ron Callis interviews Paul Harris, CEO/CTO of Aurora Multimedia Corp from his office Morganville, NJ. Watch the interview to learn about Paul's background, approach to product innovation and love for MMA. 

About Paul Harris

Paul Harris, CEO/CTO of Aurora Multimedia Corp, has been developing bleeding edge products for the A/V industry for over 25 years. Starting with the creation of real-time image rotation for videowalls to setting the bar with many world’s firsts with AV over IP and HDBaseT, Paul continues to push the limits of technology. He founded Aurora in 1998 and continues to develop integrator friendly solutions that meet the demand for today and the future.

Interview Recap

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

  • Paul's background in the industry and how he got started in AV
  • After 25+ years in the industry, have things changed much?
  • Being involved as one of the first companies to develop IP control and AV over IP
  • Aurora Multimedia Corp's R&D process
  • MMA and the recent Mayweather - McGregor fight
  • And more

Watch Episode #20: an Industry Q&A with Bryan Stanley

Exploring Networking, Customer Service, and the Importance of Preparedness

Watch Episode #20: an Industry Q&A with Bryan Stanley

In this interview, Ron Callis interviews Bryan Stanley, owner of Spycom Technology Solutions. Spycom Technology Solutions provides quality technology solutions in home and commercial automation, networks and wifi, security, theaters, and audio/video. Watch the interview to learnabout Bryan's background, business strategies and his operating a successful business in Amish country.

About Bryan Stanley

As an AV & Home Automation specialist with over two decades in the business, Bryan Stanley, owner of Spycom Technology Solutions has worked with everyone from mission projects for the homeless to local media moguls. He was born in Lancaster County and became a top car audio salesman while still in high school, which led to his current love of all things tech. Spycom thrives in the heart of Amish country, which is a fascinating backdrop for cutting edge technology. Bryan is a member of CEDIA and his company was named one of CEPro’s Rising Stars. When he’s not running his business, you can find him on his motorcycle meandering roads surrounded by farmland or flying a Cessna as a licensed pilot. He enjoys getting to know his customers, which often end up as friends. He always goes the extra mile to make sure to provide quality products backed by great people, which has provided Spycom increased success every year.

Interview Recap

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

  • Bryan’s background in the industry and how his longtime interest in AV and electronics influenced it
  • The history behind the name Spycom
  • Typical projects that he considers to be their “bread and butter”
  • His takeaways from CEDIA
  • How he networks with other business owners and the importance of learning from others
  • Managing clients’ expectations and understanding their perspective
  • The demand for his industry in Amish country
  • The importance of preparedness to find solutions
  • And more