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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: Manufacturers

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #224: An Industry Q&A with Jeff Goldstein and Mark Hoffenberg

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Mark Hoffenberg, President at AUDIOVISIONS and Jeff Goldstein, Head of Sales at Sony share about the role marketing plays in positioning a company in growth markets and downturns.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #224: An Industry Q&A with Jeff Goldstein and Mark Hoffenberg

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Mark Bolduc. Recorded live on Friday,  September 9th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Jeff Goldstein

As head of sales, Jeff Goldstein oversees Sony’s relationships with leading audio and video integrators. With decades of Sony experience in numerous executive-level positions, including director of sales for the Consumer Integrated Systems division, as well as vice president of marketing for the company's Home Audio/Video and Television divisions. He most recently served as a strategic consultant to premium custom installation and optical companies, helping to expand their distribution channels, and refine customer engagement. Jeff brings deep experience in product development and planning and was instrumental in creating Sony's home theater projector line, as well as driving custom integration features for Sony ES, Home Video and TV products. 

About Mark Hoffenberg

Mark Hoffenberg founded AUDIOVISIONS in 1989, and led the company’s rapid growth to becoming one of the nation's largest and most respected home automation companies. In 2005, Mark directed the acquisition of AUDIOVISIONS to Best Buy, the world's largest consumer electronics retailer. For the subsequent 9 years following the acquisition, he served as Vice President of Services for Best Buy while remaining President of AUDIOVISIONS. In 2014, he successfully navigated the re-acquisition of AUDIOVISIONS from Best Buy. Today, Mark leads a talented team of nearly 100 employees in four geographic markets from Orange County to the San Francisco Bay Area in California. He is responsible for the company’s overall vision, business strategy, partnerships, ventures and key initiatives.

Interview Recap

  • Retail sales are the canary in the coal mine
  • The role marketing plays in positioning a company in growth markets and downturns
  • How to think about your brand when also driving a manufacturers marketing program
  • Builders, Architects and Designers as the source for local project forecasting

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #210: An Industry Q&A with Tobi Tungl

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Tobi Tungl, Vice President of Sales, North America at Epiphan Video shares how he uses and leverages Twitter to connect with his industry.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #210: An Industry Q&A with Tobi Tungl

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Tobi Tungl. Recorded live on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Tobi Tungl

Tobi began his professional career in the IT world during the dot-com boom (and crash). In 2005, he jumped from IT to the AV industry. Since then, he has helped grow system integrator organizations by creating and implementing client retention strategies to drive top-line revenue and open new physical locations across the US.  

In 2022, Tobi joined Epiphan Video as Vice President of Sales, North America. He is responsible for managing all brands, distribution channels, and sales deployment in North America. In addition, he develops strategic sales objectives based on company goals to promote growth and customer satisfaction for the organization. Tobi is an entrepreneurial, development and profit-oriented leader who communicates an innovative vision for the future and inspires his team to execute the transformation.

Interview Recap

  • How Tobi uses and leverages Twitter to connect with his industry
  • The current state of UCC solutions in the Pro AV space
  • The mind and body health of an ultra athlete
  • The importance of building and curating your network

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #201: An Industry Q&A with Mike Sajecki

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Mike Sajecki, President and CEO at C&E Marketing and M.A.G Sales shares the art and science of consultative selling

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #201: An Industry Q&A with Mike Sajecki

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Mike Sajecki. Recorded live on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Mike Sajecki

Mike began his career in the A.V. industry while installing car alarms in high school. During his time in college, he ascended to sales manager at a local retailer and began doing Custom Home Installations before they were even a category. His scope of work included: running wires in walls, mounting televisions, building custom speakers, and more.

In 1991, Mike became a rep for a small rep firm, and in 1993 he became a junior salesperson at C&E Marketing/M.A.G. Sales, the company he owns today. With a total of 16 salespeople and coverage of the U.S. Southeast region, Florida and the Caribbean, C&E Marketing / M.A.G. Sales is one of the largest rep firms in the country.

Interview Recap

  • The art and science of consultative selling
  • The importance of a CRM and ERP system in tracking and managing a sales team
  • What makes for a successful salesperson
  • Potential challenges ahead in the economy

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #198: An Industry Q&A with Michael Libman

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Michael Libman, National Sales Director for DMF Lighting shares why integrators should consider getting into the lighting fixture business

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #198: An Industry Q&A with Michael Libman

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Michael Libman. Recorded live on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Michael Libman

DMF Lighting is a lighting manufacturer that takes a creative approach to lighting and offers industry-leading technology to set the bar for performance, quality, and flexibility. Mike was one of the first advocates of Custom Integrators adopting light fixtures as part of their business, turning DMF Lighting into a CE Pro Bullet Brand in 2020. He has a Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University and has worked in technology for over ten years. Mike works with Custom Integrators across North America to provide beautiful Lighting Solutions to their clients.  In 2021, Michael was named Dealerscope 40 under 40, an awards program that recognizes the brightest idea-generators in the consumer technology industry.

Interview Recap

  • Why integrators should consider getting into the lighting fixture business
  • How to choose the right manufacturer to partner with in your business
  • How lighting will likely grow in significance within our industry

Home Automation Podcast Episode #112: An Industry Q&A With John Clancy

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, John Clancy, Crestron VP of Residential, shares exciting news about Crestron Home and ways Crestron is helping their dealers and clients during this pandemic.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #112: An Industry Q&A With John Clancy

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing John Clancy. Recorded live on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About John Clancy

With almost 30 years in the custom integration industry, John has experience as both a manufacturer, integrator and has served two years on the CEDIA Board of Directors.

John started his career with New York-based Audio Command Systems, working his way up from installer all the way to becoming Executive VP, CTO, and co-owner.

In 2016, John joined Crestron as VP of Residential where he uses his unique understanding of what his channel needs and what end-users want to continue positively impacting Crestron’s place in the global market. 

Interview Recap

  • Ways John is seeing COVID-19 impacting dealers throughout the world
  • Steps Crestron has been taking since February to keep his global team and consumers safe
  • Exciting updates Crestron is making as a response to the lifestyle changes caused by COVID-19
  • How Crestron is adding value to the industry by offering virtual resources, such as virtual product trainings and CEU course offerings

Home Automation Podcast Episode #107: An Industry Q&A With Mike Giffin

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Industry veteran, Mike Giffin VP at Help Lightning shares his experience in the CE space and the benefits of a remote servicing solution for smart home integrators.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #107: An Industry Q&A With Mike Giffin

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Mike Giffin. Recorded live on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Mike Giffin

With nearly 45 years in the CE space, Mike Giffin is an industry veteran with experience in wireless and high-fidelity audio. Before joining Help Lightning, Mike founded Wren Sound Systems, a pioneering premium brand in wireless audio after his 22-year tenure with Harman International.

As Vice President at Help Lightning, Mike develops the custom integration and consumer electronics channel to provide integrators and service technicians hands-on servicing sessions through virtual and merged reality.

Interview Recap

  • The increased demand for virtual servicing during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How integrators can benefit from a solution like Help Lightning as more  consumers begin to depend on technology
  • Mike's perspective on ways integrators can make it through these uncertain times