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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.

Articles in Category: Industry Professionals

Home Automation Podcast Episode #147: An Industry Q&A With Jon Robbins

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jon Robbins of HTSA shares on HTSA's sales training approach and membership and growth opportunities.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #147: An Industry Q&A With Jon Robbins

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

About Jon Robbins

With 44 years of experience in the custom integration industry, Jon got his start leading Hi-Fidelity House based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania back in 1975, when he took over the family business.

Today, Jon serves as Executive Director at HTSA where he crafts annual strategic business plans to help propel the organization forward. Jon is also responsible for building strong relationships with the finest technology brands and the nation’s top AV specialists –creating a powerful collective whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Interview Recap

  • HTSA's sales training approach
  • Jon's view on how the recent 2020 election turnout will impact the custom integration space
  • How Jon defines leadership
  • HTSA membership growth and opportunities

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 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 #138: An Industry Q&A With Murray Kunis

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Murray Kunis of Future Home, shares thoughts on the current state of our industry and what 2021 might have in store.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #138: An Industry Q&A With Murray Kunis

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Murray Kunis. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 30th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Murray Kunis

Murray Kunis got his start in the music industry where he worked with top names including Prince, Van Halen, Barbara Streisand, and Michael Jackson. In 1990, Murray founded Future Home out of the demand from his clients for help with their home technology.

Murray was one of the founding integration firms of the trade organization CEDIA, he installed America’s first home THX system, and is the only Two Time Best-Of-Show winner of the International Home Technology Expo.

Interview Recap

  • Murray’s thoughts on the first 2020 Presidential Debate
  • Murray’s experience with installing America’s first home THX system
  • His recommendations for business just getting started in the custom integration industry.
  • Murray’s thoughts on the current state of our industry and what 2021 might have in store

Home Automation Podcast Episode #136: An Industry Q&A With Josh Willits

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Josh Willits of Portal, shares thoughts on the rest of 2020 and the future of our industry.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #136: An Industry Q&A With Josh Willits

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Josh Willits. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 9th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Josh Willits

With over 16 years in CI industry, Josh got his start in AV by selling speakers online out of his college dorm room. He spent years running operations at an integration firm before taking on the role of  Director of Operations at Jetson Systems, a Crestron CSP.

Later in 2012, he founded Invenshare, a website for dealers to buy, sell, and trade excess inventory, before merging his business with SupplyStream two years later.

After the merger, Josh helped rebrand the company that is now known as Portal and was part of their turnaround in 2019, where they shifted business models into a subscription based SAAS model.

Portal has also won multiple industry awards for customer service thanks to their Dealer Happiness team.

Interview Recap

  • Josh experiences in the CI industry that ultimately led to his role as President of Portal.
  • Portal’s turnaround strategy deployed in May 2019 that saved the company
  • Proposal trends during that last 6 months including the amazing growth since June
  • Josh’s thoughts on the rest of 2020 and the future of our industry

Home Automation Podcast Episode #135: An Industry Q&A With Jeff Brewer

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jeff Brewer of Sonance, shares ways he and his team are leveraging virtual trainings and meetings to strengthen relationships.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #135: An Industry Q&A With Jeff Brewer

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jeff Brewer. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 2nd at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Jeff Brewer

Since joining Sonance and James Loudspeaker in 2012, Jeff has led their sales directors team and currently coaches over 100 Sonance & James Loudspeaker Representatives. Jeff is also a current board member of the Azione Buying Group.

Jeff graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a degree in Marketing. Before Sonance, Jeff worked for companies including Best Buy for Business as their VP and Sr. Director and even for the late Steven Covey.

Interview Recap

  • Leadership strategies Jeff learned while working for the late Steven Covey where he was Master Certified
  • The James Loudspeaker acquisition and their approach to their rep network
  • Ways Jeff and his team are leveraging virtual trainings and meetings to strengthen relationships 
  • Exclusive announcement regarding the new Sonance Invisible Speaker Series

Home Automation Podcast Episode #134: An Industry Q&A With Taylor Whipple

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Taylor Whipple of One Firefly, shares how an analytical approach to brainstorming ideas has helped further empower One Firefly’s growth.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #134: An Industry Q&A With Taylor Whipple

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Taylor Whipple. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 26th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Taylor Whipple

Having just celebrated his 7 year anniversary with One Firefly, Taylor has been responsible for overseeing the organization's financial and production management.

Throughout the years, Taylor has been a key member of the leadership team in overseeing One Firefly’s operations and providing guidance to the CEO. One Firefly has recorded a period of record growth including 4 years of 30%+ YOY growth culminating with a place in the 2020 Inc. 5000.

Interview Recap

  • His rewarding time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa - he even spoke to us in Wolof! 
  • Taylor’s start in the music industry where he spent some time working for Madonna’s music label before he decided to go back to school to pursue his MBA in Finance. 
  • How an analytical approach to brainstorming ideas has helped further empower One Firefly’s growth
  • One Firefly receiving a placement on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list