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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 Podcast Episode #158: An Industry Q&A With Matt Cwiokowski

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Matt Cwiokowski, CEO at Avidia, shares the marketing changes and business implementations made that led the company to a strong 35% YOY growth for 2020.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #158: An Industry Q&A With Matt Cwiokowski

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Matt Cwiokowski. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Matt Cwiokowski

In 2010, Matt and two other colleagues founded the Chicagoland automation company, Avidia, with a goal to create a more focused, hands-on approach to home automation.

At inception, Matt managed Avidia’s programming and system design efforts. In 2018 Matt and Kamil bought their 3rd partner out and Matt assumed the role of CEO where his role involves leading the company forward through client-focused sales and marketing activities.

Today, Avidia is a team of 12 with a strong focus on residential projects. The company realized a strong 35% YOY growth for 2020 over 2019 and even beat their highest sales month in company history here in the first quarter of 2021.

Interview Recap

  • What ultimately led Avidia to have a 35% YOY growth in 2020
  • How a re-brand in 2018 and strategic marketing helped raise the company's brand awareness and overall visibility
  • Avidia's pivot to an RMR-based approach for system service support
  • Ways Matt has made it possible to enjoy a healthy work-life balance as a business owner with a growing company

Home Automation Podcast Episode #156: An Industry Q&A With Ron Callis

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Ron Callis, CEO at One Firefly shares ways the structure and process of EOS helped One Firefly prepare for the challenges that came with COVID-19.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #156: An Industry Q&A With Ron Callis

This week's home automation podcast features our host Chris Smith interviewing Ron Callis. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. EST. 

About Ron Callis

Ron got his start in the Custom Integration industry back in 2000, after graduating from VA Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and starting his career with Lutron Electronics. He also spent time at Crestron Electronics before he started Firefly Design Group in 2007.

In 2012 the company rebranded and became the company everyone knows today as One Firefly. One Firefly is an Inc. 5000 company and award-winning marketing agency serving residential and commercial technology professionals.

Interview Recap

  • How Ron found his way into the custom integration industry
  • Ron’s unique experience being part of a human-powered submarine team while a student at Virginia Tech
  • The One Firefly company culture and how they were able to shift to a fully remote company in 2016
  • Ways the structure and process of EOS helped One Firefly prepare for the challenges that came with COVID-19

Home Automation Podcast Episode #151: An Industry Q&A With Marc Fulker

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Marc Fulker of Greenstar Technologies shares how they were able to use their showroom to change the customer experience dynamic.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #151: An Industry Q&A With Marc Fulker

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Marc Fulker. Recorded live on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

About Marc Fulker

Based out of Melbourne, Australia, Marc started Greenstar Technologies in 2011 after spending 10 years working as an electrician in the residential and industrial sectors.

Today, Greenstar Technologies consists of a team of nine staff members, has been a Control4 dealer since 2016, and just recently opened a beautiful new showroom and office space in their central Melbourne location.

Interview Recap

  • The state of COVID-19 in the country of Australia
  • How Marc was able to use his showroom to change the customer experience dynamic
  • Marc's transition from an electrician to the home automation space
  • We even got a video tour of his new showroom which is featured on our One Firefly Facebook page

Home Automation Podcast Episode #150: An Industry Q&A With Brian Perreault

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Brian Perreault of Barrett's Technology Solutions shares the benefit of building relationships and being a resource for clients.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #150: An Industry Q&A With Brian Perreault

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Brian Perreault. Recorded live on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Brian Perreault

Today's show features Brian Perreault, COO at Barrett's Technology Solutions.

With nearly thirty years of experience at Barrett's and as COO and partner, Brian oversees all aspects of the business and has been instrumental in helping to guide the company to become a highly respected residential and commercial technology integration company in the greater Chicago-land area.

Active members of the ASID, CEDIA, and HTSA (of which Brian serves on the Board and is the current President), Brian and the Barrett's team take great pride in surrounding themselves with inspiring trade organizations and a network of peers with whom they can share insight, learn from and grow alongside.

Interview Recap

  • Brian's near 30-year career with Barrett's Technology
  • The benefit of building relationships and being a resource for clients
  • Why embracing change is crucial for the growth of a small business
  • How integrating Google Ads into their marketing strategy has helped their business

Home Automation Podcast Episode #148: An Industry Q&A With Gregg Dixon

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Gregg Dixon of AV Specialists, shares his approach to making 2020 their most successful year.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #148: An Industry Q&A With Gregg Dixon

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Gregg Dixon. Recorded live on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. EST.

About Gregg Dixon

Tampa-based AV Specialists, was founded in 1995 by Gregg Dixon once he and his family moved to Florida from Buffalo, NY. Gregg decided to open up shop and focus on installing the same technologies he loved designing into his own home.

Now 25 years later, AV Specialists is having their most successful year in company history thanks to his dedicated and growing team and a renewed focus on home construction and remodeling from his core customer base.

Interview Recap

  • Gregg's approach to making 2020 their most successful year
  • What projects looked like for Gregg in 1995
  • Major changes Gregg made to help take AV Specialists to the next level
  • Gregg's approach to company culture

 

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