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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: Integrators

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #209: An Industry Q&A with Tomas Wing

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Tomas Wing,Owner and GM of High Tech Solutions Panama shares the power of networks and advisors in running and growing a business.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #209: An Industry Q&A with Tomas Wing

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewingTomas Wing. Recorded live on Wednesday, April 6th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Tomas Wing

Tomas started in the audio business doing car audio systems around the late 80s. In 1993, he got the chance to open his car audio shop, which was mainly oriented to High-End Audio installs. In 2000, he went to work for the biggest electronic retailer in Panama and managed the car audio shop while also gaining exposure to the home AV department. 

In early 2010, he decided to venture out on his own and open High Tech Solutions Panama with a family friend who proposed starting a business together to serve the small but wealthy residential market in Panama City.

Interview Recap

  • Similarities running an integration business in Panama City, Panama to the States
  • The power of networks and advisors in running and growing a business
  • How Covid-19 has affected supply chain and inventory in Latin America

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #208: An Industry Q&A with Chuck Breaux

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Chuck Breaux, Owner of Assurance AV Solutions, LLC shares his experiences and lessons learned working with House of Worship Pro AV systems

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #208: An Industry Q&A with Chuck Breaux

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Chuck Breaux. Recorded live on Thursday, March 24th, 2022, at 2:30 pm. EST.

About Chuck Breaux

Chuck founded AAVS in 2015. With years of experience in retail management, AV productions, and working as the technical director for one of the largest churches in the area, it was a natural transition for him to start a professional integration company. For Chuck and his team, relationships are the top priority. As a result, AAVS has grown on average 20% in business each year. The team comprises techs with 30+ years of combined experience with installations and live shows and 2 Boston Terriers that can be found lounging around the office.

Interview Recap

  • His experiences and lessons learned working with House of Worship Pro AV systems
  • How to confront the current labor shortages and the challenges being faced with supply chain
  • Operational challenges with design and accounting software platform rollouts

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #207: An Industry Q&A with Keith Harrison

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Keith Harrison, Owner and Founder of Total Home Technologies shares how using the “Leasing” model in the AV industry benefits clients and your business.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #207: An Industry Q&A with Keith Harrison

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Keith Harrison. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Keith Harrison

In 1992, Keith started Total Home Technologies with the idea to "Question Everything." 30 years later, Total Home Technologies now has 3 Control4 certified showrooms (so far), two in New Jersey and one in New York. They are also one of the highest volume Control 4 dealers in the North East. Additionally, they have won countless awards, most recently ProSource dealer of the year for 2021.

Interview Recap

  • Using the “Leasing” model in the AV industry and how it benefits clients and your business
  • How customer service and building relationships can leave a lasting effect in a company.
  • Why our industry needs to rethink integrators role in providing maintenance and ongoing support services

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #206: An Industry Q&A with John Campbell

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, John Campbell, Owner and Director of Sales at HomeTroniX of Arkansas shares how empowering your team can help with retention of talent and create a sense of trust within a team.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #206: An Industry Q&A with John Campbell

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing John Campbell. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 9th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About John Campbell

John was hired as the first employee when Hometronix was gearing up to open in 2013. His primary role was serving as a prewire "guy," but he quickly transitioned into sales and running the company. With some background knowledge in the IT/Network world, John accepted the transition, not knowing exactly what the AV world was all about. 

As Hometronix was growing rapidly year after year and not knowing what was next, John decided to make an offer to purchase the company along with some lifelong friends in December. John's goal was to build the right team and refocus the ownership role to creating the best culture possible as a leader versus a boss. In the last two months, Hometronix has added six new roles and continues to grow.

Interview Recap

  • The importance of creating a healthy culture 
  • How empowering your team can help with retention of talent and create a sense of trust within a team.
  • The benefits of loving what you do professionally and personally

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #204: An Industry Q&A with Wade Stephens

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Wade Stephens, Vice-president of sales at DeVance Electronic Lifestyles shares techniques to successfully manage projects affected by supply chain issues.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #204: An Industry Q&A with Wade Stephens

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Wade Stephens. Recorded live on Monday, February 21st, 2022, at 4:00 pm. EST.

About Wade Stephens

Wade Stephens began his career in the AV industry in 1993 with a small company named Best Buy. He remained in that company for over 13 years during the huge growth of the company, including when Best Buy was named Forbes company of the year in 2004. During that time, Wade was a segment manager for Magnolia HiFi in the Dallas area and was then promoted to Sales Manager to one of the largest revenue producing stores in Texas.  Along the way, Wade expanded his skillset to include many industry certifications like Control4, Crestron, Lutron, and Savant. 

Wade is now the Vice President of Sales with DeVance Electronic Lifestyles which has seen an amazing growth over the last three years. DeVance specializes in residential, commercial, automation, lighting, and lighting control, with a focus on luxury two channel HiFi. Wade works very closely with owners Matt and Dana DeVance daily through the EOS operating system which has helped DeVance grow significantly while continuing to live by their vision to treat customers like family.

Interview Recap

  • Techniques to successfully manage projects affected by supply chain issues
  • How the Entrepreneurial Operating System can benefit a team and its development.
  • How marketing helps drive referral sales

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #200: An Industry Q&A with Lee Travis

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Lee Travis, Owner of Wipliance LLC shares lessons learned from his years in business.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #200: An Industry Q&A with Lee Travis

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Lee Travis. Recorded live on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Lee Travis

Lee Travis got his start with the custom integration industry through car audio and transitioned to full residential integration soon after. He founded Wipliance in 2006 in Bellevue, WA and later expanded to Scottsdale, AZ, in 2016 with a focus on delighting clients and building leaders. Wipliance has won Integrator of the Year at CES, is recognized consistently in the CEPRO 100 and takes pride in the industry-leading approach for video and online marketing.

Interview Recap

  • Update from Lee since the Feb 2020 recording of Automation Unplugged show #100
  • CES 2022 Update - Live from Vegas
  • The importance of video in marketing 
  • Lessons learned from years in business