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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 #146: An Industry Q&A With Pat and Phil Mulligan

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Pat and Phil Mulligan of Pacific Audio & Communications share logistical hurdles faced when running a Hawaii based business.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #146: An Industry Q&A With Pat and Phil Mulligan

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Pat and Phil Mulligan. Recorded live on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. EST.

About Pat and Phil Mulligan

Today's show features brothers Phil Mulligan, President at Pacific Audio & Communications Hawaii and Vice President, Pat Mulligan.

Phil founded Maui-based integration firm Pacific Audio & Communication in 1991 to help homeowners achieve their goal of integrated home control and entertainment systems.

Later in 1998, Pat joined Phil in the family business and used his military electronics experience and degree in electrical engineering to help run the CI side of the operation, including all Crestron programming.

Pacific Audio & Communications is a CEDIA Member, HTA Luxury Certified integration firm, and a Veteran Owned Business.

Interview Recap

  • Logistical hurdles faced when running a Hawaii based business
  • Pat's time in the Army and the transition into the custom integration industry
  • How Pat and Phil prepare their projects for extreme weather conditions
  • The Ballistic Missle scare from 2018

Home Automation Podcast Episode #145: An Industry Q&A With Bert Herrero and Joel Hernandez

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Bert Herrero and Joel Hernandez of First Priority Audio share how COVID-19 has impacted their custom integration firm and their innovative use of social media marketing to drive company growth.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #145: An Industry Q&A With Bert Herrero and Joel Hernandez

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Bert Herrero and Joel Hernandez. Recorded live on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Bert Herrero and Joel Hernandez

Today's show features Bert Herrero, CEO of First Priority Audio, and General Manager Joel Hernandez.

Bert started his entrepreneurial journey early, at the age of 18, installing and servicing satellite dish installations throughout South Florida. His cousin, Joel Hernandez, started his own AV integration company in the early 2000s and later joined forces with Bert at First Priority Audio in 2014.

Fort Lauderdale based First Priority Audio comprises a team of 22 staff with a fleet of 9 service vehicles. Their award-winning family run business offers residential smart home automation and audio video solutions.

Interview Recap

  • Creating a balance as a family-owned business
  • Bert’s passion for re-investing in his community, including his partnerships with ministries around South Florida
  • How COVID-19 has impacted First Priority Audio
  • Their innovative use of social media marketing to drive company growth

Home Automation Podcast Episode #144: An Industry Q&A With Patrick Hartman

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Patrick Hartman of DSI shares on his focus on work/life balance and his participation in Spartan Races.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #144: An Industry Q&A With Patrick Hartman

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Patrick Hartman. Recorded live on Wednesday, November 11th, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Patrick Hartman

Today's show features Patrick Hartman, General Manager at Diversified Systems International.

With 29 years in the A/V and systems integration industry, Patrick has extensive experience in roles such as project management, business development, System design & engineering, and installation in both residential and commercial verticals.

Patrick joined DSI, a Reno-based integration firm ten years ago, and spearheaded their residential sector. Today, Patrick’s extensive list of repeat customers reflects his trademark level of customer service from smaller projects all the way to projects that span years with budgets over $3M.

Interview Recap

  • Patrick’s experience as a CEDIA volunteer 
  • Recap of the Virtual CEDIA 2020 educational offering
  • What industry events might look like in 2021
  • Patrick’s focus on work/life balance and his participation in Spartan Races.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #143: An Industry Q&A With Jeff Goldstein

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jeff Goldstein of Sony shares what managing the radio business for Sony looked like in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #143: An Industry Q&A With Jeff Goldstein

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jeff Goldstein. Recorded live on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Jeff Goldstein

With decades of experience in the CI space, Jeff landed at Sony early in his career and held executive-level positions for 25 years.

In 2013, Jeff decided to leave Sony to pursue other interests before realizing his true passion was working in the CI space.

Today, Jeff manages Sony’s CI channel where he has been navigating the challenges and opportunities that this year has brought to our industry.

Interview Recap

  • How Jeff’s passion for audio landed him at Sony
  • What managing the radio business for Sony looked like in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s
  • Jeff’s approach to building relationships with the CI channel
  • Jeff’s experience since returning to Sony in the midst of a pandemic

Home Automation Podcast Episode #142: An Industry Q&A With Tina Baker

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Tina Baker of One Firefly shares tools One Firefly has implemented to improve their company culture as a fully remote team.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #142: An Industry Q&A With Tina Baker

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Tina Baker. Recorded live on Monday, October 30th, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Tina Baker

With over 15 years working in Recruiting and Human Resources, Tina joined One Firefly in the beginning of 2020 with a proven track record of implementing programs that focus on company culture and improving employee satisfaction.

At One Firefly, Tina’s responsibilities encompass all areas of Human Resources such as talent acquisition, performance management, benefits enrollment, and employee engagement.

Interview Recap

  • The importance of company culture
  • Best practices around hiring the right people
  • How the hiring process has changed at One Firefly since Tina joined the team
  • Tools One Firefly has implemented to improve their company culture as a fully remote team.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #141: An Industry Q&A With Harshul Parikh

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Harshul Parikh of Trescent Lifestyles shares thoughts on the potential boom that will come from the increased interest in smart home automation.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #141: An Industry Q&A With Harshul Parikh

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Harshul Parikh. Recorded live on Wednesday, October 21st, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. EST.

About Harshul Parikh

Harshul founded Trescent Lifestyles in 2006 after he returned to India following a career stint in Silicon Valley. Back in India he observed the growing demand for smart technology in the home and the shortage of integration firms available while he was renovating his own home in Mumbai.

Harshul understood that India needed World Class System Integrators with the growing demand for Smart Homes and Home Theatres and he decided to be part of the solution.

Harshul is a founding member of CEDIA India and has been instrumental in bringing CEDIA into the country. Since its founding, Trescent has grown to a team size of 35 employees and completed residential projects over 100,000 sq. ft with budgets of $2.5+ million USD.

Interview Recap

  • Harshul’s role in bringing a CEDIA chapter to India
  • How the custom integration space has been impacted due to COVID
  • Harshul’s thoughts on the potential boom that will come from the increased interest in smart home automation
  • An exciting AI software Harshul and his team are working on to make projects more seamless for Integrators and the design-build community