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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 #101: An Industry Q&A with Alexa and Angel Centeno

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Alexa, and Angel Centeno of SDI Boston share their passion for the custom integration industry from their recent merger with audioDave to their impressive smart home showroom.

Watch Episode #101: An Industry Q&A with Alexa and Angel Centeno

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Alexa and Angel Centeno. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2020, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Alexa and Angel Centeno

Husband and wife duo, Alexa and Angel Centeno, are the owners of Systems Design & Integration also known as SDI in the Boston area. After working with one of the largest AV integration firms in Orlando, Florida since 2006, Angel founded SDI in 2012. Once Alexa joined shortly thereafter, the company began shifting away from simple TV installations and surround sound projects to implementing complete smart home automation systems and full integrations for larger homes.

SDI was awarded Savant's 2018 Through & Through Award and named Best of Boston in 2019 by Boston Magazine for Smart Home Specialist. Alexa and Angel are one of the youngest businesses in the country to pick up and offer the exclusive McIntosh product line. In mid-2019, they finalized their merger well known Savant integration firm audioDave out of Newton, Mass. SDI’s impressive 6,500 square foot showroom in Needham welcomes builders, designers, and homeowners to experience what technology truly is today and how it can be implemented into the design industry.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Alexa and Angel Centeno:

  • How they've accomplished running a business as husband and wife
  • Their recent merger with audioDave, a company with over 38 years in the industry
  • The response from customers and the design trade on their 6,500 sqft showroom
  • How they approach Instagram to help build their platform and reach a larger audience

Watch Episode #100: An Industry Q&A with Lee Travis

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Lee Travis, innovator and thought leader in the home automation industry, brings a unique perspective as an owner of two custom integration firms in different markets.

Watch Episode #100: An Industry Q&A with Lee Travis

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Lee Travis. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Lee Travis

Lee got his start in car audio over 30 years prior to founding Wipliance in 2006. With two locations, one in Bellevue, WA, and the other in Scottsdale, AZ Wipliance has 35 employees, made $5 million in revenue, and was named Integrator of the Year for 2019 by the Consumer Technology Association and CES. 

Wipliance’s unique approach to marketing efforts includes a dynamic video portfolio, exciting showcase events, and a sister company, Obot Electric, that offers a seamless experience for clients. 

Interview Recap

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

  • His process in integrating electrical contracting to his business
  • Challenges and advantages to operating in two different markets, Washington State and Arizona
  • The importance and benefits of being part of a buying group
  • The future of 5G and how it might impact the custom integration industry

Watch Episode #99: An Industry Q&A with Cesar Quintero

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, coach and EOS Implementor, Cesar Quintero shares his experience with the EOS process for optimal growth and company structure.

Watch Episode #99: An Industry Q&A with Cesar Quintero

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Cesar Quintero. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 7th, 2019, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Cesar Quintero

At 24 years old, Cesar moved from his home country of Venezuela to start a meal delivery service that was ahead of its time. After 5 years, the company made over six figures and had 27 employees, but he was stuck in the business running most functions in the leadership team. He then joined the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and learned about the book Traction, and implemented EOS in his company.

With 2 years of implementing EOS, the business doubled in size, and Cesar was able to pull back and work on the business solely as Visionary. That freed up his time to start 2 other businesses and started to mentor and coach entrepreneurs that wanted to scale.

Interview Recap

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

  • What entrepreneurs can expect from working with an EOS Implementer
  • Defining the 6 key components in EOS
  • Type of businesses that would benefit from the EOS system
  • The EOS proven process of implementation

Watch Episode #98: An Industry Q&A with Nigel Dessau

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, mentor and coach, Nigel Dessau is transforming marketing in a way that can help technology professionals think about the end-user experience in a different and profitable way.

Watch Episode #98: An Industry Q&A with Nigel Dessau

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Nigel Dessau. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 7th, 2019, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Nigel Dessau

Nigel Dessau, who got his start with IBM, has been a respected leader of business product marketing and product management for 25 years. He has been recognized for transforming marketing and driving business revenue to the next level and is now a CMO for Bravas, a national provider for multiple Fortune 500 technology companies. Nigel’s commitment to mentoring technology professionals expands to his business, The 3 Minute Mentor. He is also the author of Becoming a 21st Century Executive.

Interview Recap

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

  • How the shift in market consumerism will likely affect the custom integrator
  • Building your business using his "Content Approach Network" strategy
  • What the next year looks like for Bravas and their plans for growth within our space
  • His perspective on wellness and how integrators should position this solution to consumers

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.