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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 #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

Home Automation Podcast Episode #95: An Industry Q&A With Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher of Origin Acoustics share the philosophy around investing in yourself, your business, and our industry.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #95: An Industry Q&A With Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher. Recorded live on Friday January 24th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher

Miranda has been with Origin Acoustics as their National Sales Manager for three years and quickly climbed to her National Sales Manager by age 24. Miranda started in the AV Industry with Metra Electronics at age 22 as a West Coast Regional. She was elected Top 40 under 40 at age 26 and recently elected as one of the most powerful women on the rise in consumer technology.

Marc is a consumer electronics veteran and joined Origin Acoustics four years ago. Marc has been titled Salesman of the Year twice in a row and was twice named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by the industry’s leading trade publication. Now, President of Sales, Marc continues to set the standard for sales professionalism and endeavors to share those skills with an entirely new generation of salespeople who are following in his footsteps.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher:

  • The importance of a strong company culture
  • The philosophy around investing in yourself, your business, and our industry
  • Insight on what training and coaching looks like for Origin dealers
  • The advantage of joining a buying group like ProSource