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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.

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Home Automation Unplugged Episode #213: An Industry Q&A with Ed Gilmore

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Ed Gilmore, CEO and Founder of Gilmore’s Sound Advice, Inc. shares a personal story and why his showroom was designed with such warmth.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #213: An Industry Q&A with Ed Gilmore

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Ed Gilmore. Recorded live on Wednesday, May 25th 2022, at 12:30PM EST

About Ed Gilmore

In 1988 Edward Gilmore, a professional classical musician, began a parallel career as an audio consultant to a leading Architectural and Interior Design firm. By 1991, he formed his own full-service company, Gilmore’s Sound Advice, Inc. For many years, Gilmore’s Sound Advice strictly adhered to a word-of-mouth recommendation policy to ensure the company’s commitment to superior installation and client support. 

Now, directly responsible for an impressive, high-profile client resume. With the move to an 8,000-square-foot facility in 2016, Gilmore created one of the most unique showrooms and event spaces in New York City. Their new workspace allows GSA staff to build, program, and test all systems before leaving the facility. An active member of CEDIA, HTSA, and HTA, a commitment to ongoing education and certification underscores GSA’s commitment to providing clients with an informed assessment of the industry’s best available options and practices.

Interview Recap

  • Ed’s professional background in classical music 
  • A personal story from Ed and why his showroom was designed with such warmth
  • A few celebrity stories including the work he did for Richard Gear and Cindy Crawford back in the 80’s and 90’s

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #212 An Industry Q&A with Paul Bochner

 

Transcript

Ron:  Hello, hello, Ron Callis here with another episode of Automation Unplugged. Looks like I turned my branding off, actually. So let me put that back on. There we go. It just showed up right up there; my logo. I hope you all are doing well. We did not have a show last week. Actually, the reason I'll describe now; I am coming off COVID and I could hardly speak last week, fortunately, I would say the bad part of COVID was rather mild. I'm fully vaccinated, my family's fully vaccinated, but I did. So what does that mean? That means I had a fever for a couple of days. I had headaches. But the annoying part is I have a cough and a cough that won't leave me. So now I'm three weeks out from COVID. So I've got my bag of Halls and cough drops, and I'm going to be pounding these, and I'm going to do my best to not cough into the microphone. I'll try to go on mute, but the show must go on. So we are here today. Today is Wednesday, May 25. It is 12:38 p.m.. And we are here for show 213. Look at that. What is it? It's May. So that would make last month our five year anniversary of doing these interviews. So five year anniversary of Automation Unplugged. And we have a really special guest. I'm so excited that we were able to match up schedules and make this happen. I know that when the announcement of this guest actually went out on the social media platforms, a lot of positive feedback, both to me privately and on the social platforms, immediately happened because everyone knows of Ed, even if you don't know Ed. So our guest is Ed Gilmore, CEO and Founder of Gilmore's Sound Advice. I'm really excited, both for myself and for all of you to be able to tune in here and learn more about Ed's experience and stories. Oh, my goodness, can Ed tell stories about neat things he's done and people he's worked with and a lot of sound advice. His name rings so true. So a lot of sound advice that we're going to be able to learn from Ed. So let's go ahead and bring him in and see how he's doing. Bear with me here, Ed, How are you, sir?

Ed: Hey, Ron. Great to be here, man. Thanks, I didn't know. This is an honor to be the fifth anniversary guest. That's pretty cool.

Ron:  Thank you, man. I appreciate that. I started doing these shows at the very beginning, I started because Facebook this concept of being live, okay, live on social media. So often we get into our pattern, our daily habit, and we think going live and doing video conferencing and all these things is super normal. Right back in 2016, Facebook had just launched going live on video on Facebook. And it was only for a select group. I applied to gain access and they only gave me access in early 17. So launching the show happened as a result of, well, let me go and test this out and figure out what it is to go live. I said, well, who better to interview than all my friends around the industry? Then let's hear their stories. So that was the Inception story.

Ed: It's been great, too. I love following along, seeing some of the people that I know and respect on your show, and you always done a great job leading them. So don't fail now.

Ron:  Here we are now. No pressure, right? No pressure at all. I'll start out I was saying that I just came off of COVID, and so I've got a mild cough. I know it's annoying. I'll try to keep it to a minimum. In fact, on that note, I'm going to pop another cough drop now. But you were sharing with me just before we went live. You had COVID back in 20, and this was pre-vaccinations. What was that like for you?

Ed: It was near death, it was what it was like for me. I had never been that sick, ever. The problem then was that nobody knew anything. If you turn on the television in New York City during those days, all you saw were lines around hospitals and people being put on ventilators. I think it was like 80% didn't make it off those ventilators. So for me, it was a struggle for really four weeks just to the 6 hours a day I was awake because you were vaccinated and you were boosted, so you don't have I mean, I had COVID again more recently. It was like a two day, three day thing.

Ron:  Yeah, it was a two day, three day thing. It was really not a big deal just recently.

Ed: But back in the Alpha days, you know what I mean? It was a killer. So it was very difficult, and I was very depleted. I was about a month in bed and it took me about two weeks just to do normal, I mean, just to walk seven blocks to the office took all the strength I had after two weeks. But there's a silver lining to all that stuff. Silver lining was it was a wake up call for me in terms of taking better care of myself and making sure that physically I was as fit as I could be. So it was good.

Ron:  You mentioned ventilators. Were you that point, did you have to go on a ventilator?

Ed: I didn't have a pulse Ox, you know, but I knew my blood oxygen level was really super low. One of the things that I think saved me and it really helped me was the fact that I am a win player musician.

Ron:  You have strong lungs.

Ed: Well, no, but you know how to breathe. I think what's happened to a lot of people is that it was a spiraling fact. They start freaking out because they couldn't breathe, and then it would lead to more anxiety and it would be more acute and they could actually stress themselves to a point where you're pushing cardiac arrest, actually. So my whole thing was that just monitoring the most shallow breathing I could possibly get away with. Just enough to keep going. That's what I focused on when I was awake. So it was bad, but for a lot of other people, it was way worse. I count myself as being super lucky.

Ron:  Amen. All right, so for those that do not know you or know your business, let's go super high level. Where are you located? What type of work do you do? Where do you do that work?

Ed: Yeah. So we've been based in Manhattan, really since 1991. We've been business centric in Manhattan. We never did like going outside of the borough. We're kind of island bound. My office right now in the showroom is on 45th street, 11th Avenue, and that's where I'm coming from today is in my office. Our business is that we've always been a kind of small boutique mom and pop shop and stayed off the radar for a very long time. The way we got into the industry led us to having high profile clients off the bat. So we were super lucky that way. We do everything that an integrator typically would do today, meaning through the years, and I can take you through those years.

Ron:  No, I want to go there.

Ed: It goes all the way back. But everything from stereo, audio, home theater, now, of course, lighting initiative, we've experienced that entire journey. So when people start doing lighting control, we started doing light control. When shades became a thing, we were doing shades. When fixtures happen, we belong to HD.

Ron:  You're generally at the forefront of the new trends.

Ed: Yeah. I want to say HTSA was always a big part of that. Their initiatives have been phenomenal for us, for our growth. So we follow those trends, and then, of course, we're able to see, I think, predict what some of these other trends are going to be. And I'm really super excited right now. I'm probably more excited about our industry than I ever have been. It just happens to be at a time when it's been the most difficult time to run a business like ours. We'll go in the beginning, if you want to go back to the beginning in 1988.

Ron:  Yeah. There's lots of threads to pull with what's exciting and the challenges and how you're dealing with it. But before we go there, I am on the edge of my seat. I want to hear your story. I know you were a professional musician so maybe start there and your musical background and there's lots of fun cross sections with lots of fun, famous people. I know you work with people that we've all heard of. A lot of the people listening and watching this work with people we've all heard of. You have some particularly just fun, neat stories. Take us back in time and let's see where that takes us.

Ed: Yeah. So I've always loved music. As I said, I was a classical musician; but even when I was in College at Indiana University, it was a situation where I became infatuated with big sound, if I could get it. So in my little one room dorm room, I had four Advents. I had actually was a Kenwood receiver and then a Pioneer receiver, one of the guys that came back from Vietnam War, God, this is old. He bought it there and I traded in some stuff for it and got this really great system, which I think was really a dual turntable, a cassette deck, because that's all we had, this receiver and these four Advent speakers. But man, it was great. Interesting thing happened at IU. A friend of mine knew Jim Fozgate. So we went down to his place. He was really the first surround sound. He had this barn, and it was 70s, kind of a hazy time for people who grew up in the 70s. We all sat in these cushions and we were all enveloped by these speakers that went around us in the circle. And he played The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd. And it may have been the drugs, I don't know, but I never heard anything like that in my life. You know what I mean? That was like really early on and I'm precursor to everything. So after I actually got on tour at IU with Leonard Bernstein, who we met. I won't get into that story. It's a whole different thing. But through that tour of Israel and then through Europe, it became evident to me that I had to get out of Bloomington and get back to New York City. So I came back to New York City and I was a musician doing my graduate work over at Juilliard. My love for stereo was getting deeper. At the time we were doing these real esoteric recordings and the recordings of this very dry, intellectual contemporary classical music. It's the music of our times. So the only people that were covering these recordings were stereo pile, absolute sound, those types of magazines. And I had all these subscriptions and I had stupidly gotten married at a very young age to a woman that I was totally incompatible with. She was resentful of these magazine subscriptions and she was actually resentful of me. But that comes later.

Ron:  That's another story.

Ed: She was working in, really the infancy of financial software. Coming up, with these custom solutions for businesses. One day she calls me and she says, hey, I'm at a general contractor's office, I had no idea what a general contractor was. Different from everybody who gets into this industry today, and almost everybody that back in those days, there were a lot of musicians who got into Avia, got into audio. So I think that one of the really cool things about that was that nobody was doing this really. So this general contractor I knew nothing about gets on the phone with me, and he describes the fact that he has a client, and the client got two bids. One bid was for $85,000, was for 65. But he only wanted to spend 45 tops. So did I know anybody who could actually design a system and deliver it? So I thought about it for a while, and I thought, well, I'll do it. The idea was that my wife wanted me to give it off to one of my engineer friends that did it on the side. But I thought, well, you know what? I learned enough. I read enough. I could do this. When I was at Juilliard, I used to stop off at the stereo shops in the area on Upper West Side, Lyrica Show. It's bad Karma to admit this, but I used to go and pretend I had a lot of money. I read the articles from Sarafile and I said, yeah, I'd like to hear that Conrad Johnson preamp with that Mark Levinson amplifier and those Genesis speakers. Let's see what you got. I would put these guys through the Ringer and listen to it.

Ron:  They had no idea you had no intent to buy, but you were just hearing.

Ed: Except the fact I was a 21 year old kid.

Ron:  Maybe there was a hint there that they should have caught on.

Ed: So I did this proposal, and it was like a 20 page treatise on the super cheese of all this stuff. And so I'll tell you what it was, because I think people go back far enough. It was a Kyocera multi zone audio system. Kyocera is a company that has long gone and audio, but they were known for their ceramics. So basically, it was an AV receiver with infrared control. This is brand new. Okay? It's four zones. They had a cassette deck, their own proprietary cassette deck, and they have their own CD player. So we did four rooms. Then we put in the newfangled ads in wall speakers. They were brand new in wall speakers. In the main space, which is the living room, I had a Proton 35 inch television Vector Research VCR. I mean, it's crazy. I didn't have entree to really super high end stuff at the time. So we did some Adcom with, I believe, some BMW. I want to say they were eight or three or whatever that we put in there and a nice turntable. I can't remember what the turntable was at this point. Anyway, I got the job, and it wasn't so much who the client was, but the client was Richard Gear and Cindy Crawford. It was who the architect and the designer was. The architect was this guy named Allan Wanserbe and his partner in life and business partner was Jeff Johnson, who was an amazing interior designer, worked with Andy Warhol for years. Did his townhouse had an unbelievable Rolodex.

Ron:  What would have been the year, approximately?

Ed: 88.

Ron:  So Richard Gear, officer and a gentleman, had already come out?

Ed: Yeah.

Ron:  He was already big time, right?

Ed: He was already big time, and Pretty Woman hadn't come out yet. I don't think I think that came out a little bit later. He had also done, like, King David, I think at that time or something that was just a flop. But it was my entry into high-end design. Forget about AV at that time was me plugging the receiver into the Vector Research VCR into preamp. That was AV. You know what I mean? We didn't even have surround sound back then, but it was a really interesting job. It was an eye opening job because I was coming out of this industry, coming out of the music industry, where I knew nothing about this at all. But there was a kind of a weird lateral shift of understanding plans. For some reason, I saw plans, cross sections, different elevations, and I could relate to them almost instantly in terms of they were so what ended up happening was that I had noticed that they had built some cabinetry millwork for the equipment that was not going to work. I saved them a lot of money in terms of that, a lot of heartache in terms of that. And so Alan came to me after that and said, we'd never really done this before. Would you be interested in taking on consultants? It's consultancy with my best clients. I said, sure. So my wife was thrilled that I had this extra source of income coming in. It wasn't like I wasn't a successful musician. I was making plenty of money as a classical musician. Everything is relative, guys.

Ron:  What instruments did you play?

Ed: I'm a clarinetist.

Ron:  I so happen to know, because I know you, that you have a jingle out there in the world that everybody in the world probably has heard 100, if not a thousand times. Do you mind sharing what that is?

Ed: Yeah, that came later and a little bit down the pike and just the whole story.

Ron:  All right, I'll let you get to it.

Ed: Anyway, I got the job. I started working with Alan. He started funneling clients to me. I started funding my Chamber group. With the money I was making from this, I didn't put anything into my own pocket. It was just going right into my Chamber group, which really pissed off my wife. We ended up splitting up anyway. And that's when I can start telling the story that I started going out to Chicago. I was always doing work in Chicago, but I had really gone out, I was spending a lot of time in January through May going back and forth to Chicago, New York. What I was doing there was playing in University of Chicago at a contemporary group. But also to supplement that, I got set up with a jingle house. So I was playing jingles in the morning. I was going in and playing all kinds of it doesn't matter what it is. All kinds of cruise line stuff, Mazda commercials. The one that you're referring to is the most famous one was, I'm a clarinetist. So United had Championed a campaign, but I used Gershwin's Rhapsody and Blue. So that whole swoop of the Rhapsody in Blue that played for I don't know how many years we made so much money on that. It was crazy.

Ron:  That's amazing.

Ed: All the time I started doing this and I was actually basically going to retail stores, you know what I mean? And having them supply the equipment. I was just charging consultancy and PM's, really in a very elementary way, these jobs. Then after sitting around waiting and watching these guys not show up and I thought to myself, this isn't really very hard. I can just do the whole thing, so I started doing that. There were a lot of people who are really important who helped me in those days because I wasn't the brick and mortar retail shop. So it was really hard to get a product. So basically it was backdooring. It was backdooring it from reps, backdooring it even from sorry, Franklin carp, but even hardened. I think one year I probably sold more Macintosh systems for Harvey's than they did. And then I got a cease order from Franklin saying I couldn't do it, but I was doing it all legit above the board. They had the warranties, they had the whole thing. I wasn't trying to undermine anything. But anyway, that's how it started. And I started learning at the right time. Every mistake you could possibly make, I made. But because I was a one armed paper hanger in those days, I kind of survived. There was a big downturn in 91. I don't know if you guys remember back, there are a couple of bad times. 87 was a really bad time. I started in 88. They're still recovering from a real estate bubble that broke at that time. 91 was awful. I remember I was working for some really high profile people and I was working on Park Avenue apartment. When I came back in the end of 92 to finish that job, I was only one of two subs that were still in business. Everyone was gone; electricians, plumbers, everyone. It was brutal at that time. But by that time, I was starting to do Sony DST systems. We're starting to get into this idea of multi room audio. We're getting into the idea of really preliminary Dolby surround sound systems that were coming out. Sure, I did the IST training and we were doing convergence on projectors and CRT televisions. If any of you guys have ever actually converged a CRT projector, you'll know, the pain I'm talking about, it was crazy, but we picked up as the industry matured. So when you went into audio, then you went into audio video, then you went into control. So by this time we're talking about 1993, I think I had really moved into Manhattan, which is where I still live today. I had an apartment that I was renting at the time. It was a an apartment. And at that time I was starting to meet with reps and manufacturers directly to sell directly to me. The condo that I lived in allowed me to have storage space in the basement. They let my guys come in that time. I had a couple of guys and actually come in the morning, get their stuff, pull it out. We stored equipment there until it got broken into.

Ron:  You were running the business out of the basement in the condo that you were in the penthouse? END 00:19:54.044 END

Ed: Yeah, I was in the penthouse. So the really fun part about this is that people would come up and they would sign me up for dealerships in my apartment. So Mahler Suttonburg from Crestron came in, I think, 1994. And she was so uncomfortable just tell she was like, this is a totally alien to her, right. But she heard about me and I was really interested in Crestron. So she reluctantly signed these papers and signed me on. Then there was this guy who owned Shortborn Technologies. They're an amplifier, I think, Taiwan. His name was Ron Phone, I'll never forget. He came up and he was just blown away by my view. I to this day still have a great view up there. And he's Scottish and he'd say, I'm up here on a penthouse in New York City and I'm just signed on a great dealer. It was like having Sean Connery shaking. He's calling a guy in Taiwan and telling him about it. Paul Bochner just wrote "I'm the original trunk Slammer." Yes, I am. But back then there was no such thing as a trunk slammer. We're all trunk Slammers. So we evolved and then we ended up actually buying a one bedroom apartment seven floors below our apartment and we moved down there and then we bought another one bedroom apartment. That was for the guys. So I literally had the world's most expensive real estate for storage and for my guys working in an office. That went on for a few years. Quite a few years, I think we're talking about. By this point. I was renting in 93. I think we took the spaces in 95 and we had to get out and find a commercial space. So that was a search in its own way. We found a space about two blocks away, my current wife, Jennifer, and this is what ties in the whole music thing. I had known her for about five years to seven years as a voice on the phone. She would only call me. She was a contractor in Chicago for a jingle house. She was probably one of the most powerful people at that time in Chicago, if you're a musician. So when she called, man, you took that call, right? Whether it was your pager, Skytell pager, whether it's your motor, you took that call and it was a lot of money. In those days, you could fly to Chicago for $100 round trip. So nothing you do the OJ and you'd run through the get there right before they close the gate and you're good. It's not like today. So in 93, she ended up moving to New York because she could do her business totally remotely by then, she had a Fax machine, had a modem, phone.

Ron:  She was virtual before that was a thing.

Ed: She was virtual before it was a thing. Then nobody knew she was in New York. She would fly back to Chicago when these events were happening just to make sure everything was going okay. She came right back. We had a place in Chicago, so I would go and hang out there. It was really a lot of fun. It was a really heavy time, actually. We started getting a reputation. Again, only word of mouth. I didn't have a public phone number. I had a private phone number. If somebody was going to get to me, they had to be referred to me and they had to be provided my phone number. That was the only way. We did that literally until almost 2001, zero presence anywhere. But as things kept on moving, we got into the whole control aspect, right, and struggled with that streaming. That wasn't the type of stream we're talking about, but they're really primitive forms of music servers, if you will, the audio request. But this is even before Audio request, there was a company called I want to say it was Arackus It was not Araknis the Snap One company, but I think it was called Arackus. It was commercial and we were using that. It was really reliable, but it was painful to load any music into. It was really difficult and it was not client friendly at all. There was a module for it for Crestron. We were doing that for a while. Then Order research came in. Order request already came in, and we struggled through that too. That was really hard. And there was Ashant with Tom Doherty, of course.

Ron:  I remember that.

Ed: All that stuff. So we experienced all that and all the pain and the joy that came with those technologies and really that kind of convergence of it and how important that was going to play. But back in those days, nobody really had mobile devices. Nobody had anything. It was a very simple type of time back then, and it allowed us to grow organically and slowly. I could never have done today what I was able to do for that entire time. I think that people forget that. When I see people starting new businesses, new integration firms. They've been a technician, they've been a PM, they've been a programmer, and then they go off.

Ron:  You were out there inventing this category. It didn't exist before. You just started putting pieces together and you were inventing it.

Ed: I don't know if I invented it. I was just a beneficiary, you know what I mean? And I kind of went along with it. I would never say I was a pioneer in any of this stuff. I never came from a technical background. That's the other thing.

Ron:  People would call you a pioneer. We got some comments in here. Michael Restrepo says, "My man, Ed." Amanda Wildman, she goes, "Amazing. I love Ed Gilmore".

Ed: All those people are inspirational in their own way. Amanda, she's like a human sponge. She learns so much and so quickly and puts it into play. It's really inspiring to watch that even guy looking up here. Bochner, right? Misspells my name. Thanks, Paul. Bochner had that whole trajectory. He was a technician who came in and super bright, smart guy and knows what he wants to do. I admire Paul on so many different levels.

Ron:  I had Paul on the show twice, and we talked most of the show just about motorcycles, just because I'm not a motorcycle guy, but I watch what he does. I'm like, that looks so damn cool. Let's just talk about that.

Ed: Yeah, he's great. There are so many great people in this industry. I think that's the thing that being in New York, we're really blessed. I was having this conversation with it. I'll get to the showroom and I'll get to all this. You can pull me in and wrote me in when you need to.

Ron:  That's okay.

Ed: I got the idea for the showroom, and this is much later, and I'm really cutting going back and forth years here. But I got the idea from the showroom when I went to a Planar event, and it was probably around 2013 or 14. And I was being introduced to Plano for the very first time by the rep. He was representing at the time with his dad had a company for years. His dad was like the King of New York in the 90s. In the early 2000s, he owned every great brand; Macintosh, Celestian, Belladine, APC. It went on and on down the line, the stuff that he wrapped. And if you got in with Joe Fatasy man, you were good. You'd made it right? So Johnny was following in the family business. But I'll get into the whole how John helped with our showroom. But I went to this planar event, and Johnny accompanied me to it. And it was weird. We were in a furniture showroom. They were setting up on their road cases, all their stuff. And then we had to go down, like, 42 flights. And then go across the street to some CD bar, have a drink. I just thought, this is so inefficient. This is so weird. At the same time, I've been going to CEDIA since, like, 1996, I think, or 97. I'd see all the integrators from New York. I never saw them in New York. I never saw them the whole year. But I'd see them at CEDIA. We'd have a great time and we'd share stories. We were like colleagues. We weren't competitors. We were colleagues. I realized now that New York is very different from other parts of the country. Because they call New York the Big Apple. But I call it the Big Onion, because there's so many layers to New York in terms of the money and the strata and our orbits go around. So I could literally be twelve blocks away from Tim Michaels and never bid against him. He has his client reps. I have my client reps. He has his architects. I have my architects. We just orbit in just slightly different ways that we never really intersect. That's true to this day. I think that's why we have such a close knit group of integrators here in New York. I know most of them, I think, at this point. We have a small group. We call ourselves the Jerks. And I'm kind of abbreviating that, I can't say what we really call ourselves. Bochner is part of that, Victor Clemente is part of that. We have a rep. Mike Polovsky is part of that group. We communicate almost all the time with each other, almost every day about almost everything.

Ron:  Polovsky and I started at Lutron together 22 years ago within a couple of months of each other.

Ed: So it's great, then there's a larger group of us that get together and play poker, which is an infamous poker game that's here in New York with reps. A couple of...

Ron:  I've heard of it.

Ed: Yeah, I know. It's been out there for a while. So we find ourselves that we tend to collaborate a little bit more. So when I did my space, the idea was that it would be a place where integrators could come. I knew how hard it was to demo. I knew that even the space I had in 52nd street, it wasn't appropriate for me to demo some of the equipment.

Ron:  While you're talking, I'm going to put some of the pictures up on the screen. So that our audience that's watching. And if you're listening to the podcast, then go over to either our Facebook or my LinkedIn or go over to the One Firefly website and look for the content. We'll put it up there as well. But go ahead and tell the story of the showroom.

Ed: So my concept was that it was a place where if we could get manufacturers to come in as partners. And I apologize for the sirens, but if we could get people to partner in the space, the concept was that anybody can come in, if they were dealers of that product, could come in and bring their clients and demo it. We kept it extremely agnostic. I mean, there's almost no branding for Gilmore Sound Advice in the space at all. We call it 599 west or 599W. The story about it is that I went with my plans in 2015 to CEDIA, and I was super excited. I brought my plans. I had elevations, I had floor plans, RCP the whole thing. I went around to all the different manufacturers. I kid you, not every single of them goes, yeah, good luck with that, man. Good luck. No commitments, nothing. I couldn't get anybody outside of Triad at the time. Then audio control to say, hey, we'll give you some product. So I came back to New York really depressed, you know what I mean? Because I didn't have any partners and I knew Ryan Donher with Meridian, but they had a showroom down in Green Street and he didn't really have a pressing need. But one of the people I met at CEDIA was actually the new regional rep for Plain Art. And he said something really interesting to me, and I didn't connect the dots until way later. He said, when you actually have some studs up, give me a call. So we actually had all the studying up. I was talking to John, because he is the rep for Plane. He said, yeah, I can get Tonnie over there today. Tonnie walks in the showroom. He took one look and he said, you're going to put a video wall right on that main wall over there. Actually, you can see it in the lower Quadrant. You're going to put one right there. And by that time, it was a three by three clarity wall. So separate panels. It wasn't MicroLED or direct view Led.

Ron:  That's a MicroLED we're seeing now.

Ed: Yeah, you're seeing direct view Led is point nine is what you're seeing.

Ron:  Okay.

Ed: 00:34:23.936 So I got a great demo deal from him on that. Then I bought an 86 inch Led just for the conference room. That's not within the conference room that you're seeing right now. So it started there. Literally the day we closed and it was a white box, Tonnie calls me up and says, we're having a training session over in your space. What do you want? How much money do you want for it? So we negotiated a price. He came in with all those road boxes, put them behind those windows and had big displays, and they did that. We had no furniture, we had nothing. We had no rugs, nothing in this place. It's just a little white box. Then we had brought out the beer and the wine afterwards and had a party. It was exactly as I envisioned it, a little crude, but it was envisioned it. Then we had a conversation with Catherine Spiller from Steinway Lindorf. I could not refuse the deal. She gave me Dolby Atmos Theater, so we did that. Then I bought my S demo from her, which we have in the conference room. And then she said, We've got a pair of model DS. Would you like to have them? Sure. Who wouldn't want to have it? By that time, everybody kind of got in the bandwagon. And we have a lot of different manufacturers that are in the space, partnering; Stewart, Kaleidescape, Leon Media Decor, Lutron of course, I'm not sure how much of a partnership that was, but we did get some demo pricing on that color beam, came in and did all the kind of RGB stuff at the time. Five years ago, everybody jumped on that bandwagon since then. So a lot of different companies. Then Planar brought in T One V, which is a collaborative software, as well as Cyvis, which is kind of a competing control system that came in that does really cool control room system, multi tiling and pipping, really easy and scaling it's pretty cool stuff. Not really germane to the residential system, though. But what happened is that Planar negotiated with me and started putting more and more product in with my guidance because I wasn't going to just let them throw up stuff on the walls. Everything looked like it was really thoughtful, that the process was thoughtful and design oriented. Basically they came to us and said, hey, man, we just want to be in the space. So there are partners in the space in the sense that they're sub tenants to us. We call it the Planar New York City showroom for sure. And then other people do it as well. Soniq came in, so we have a lot of Soniq furniture now. So Soniq goes at the New York City showroom, everybody has a barcode is involved. So we got a lot of really great manufacturers involved, and we're starting to see other integrators feel safe enough to come down and have demos here with me running the demo for them or doing it on their own if they're capable of doing it, understanding it. So it's been a great experience. Finally, we're getting to the point where we can start having events again and paid events. That was the other part of a showroom, which is almost 8000 sqft in the heart of New York City. Not for the faint of heart. You'll correct me.

Ron:  I want to say it was summer, maybe summer or fall of 19. I was in your showroom for the HTA event. Does that sound about right?

Ed: It was in the summer, I think it was like in August, actually.

Ron:  Yeah. I had never been in your space, and I was like, man, and you had a lot of people in there. It was packed, but there were places for everyone to sit, and it was just such a beautiful space, so warm and inviting. Tell us about that, because many people listening, maybe they have a space or they desire to have a space, but just one characteristic of your space is when you enter, just your attention to detail, with the finishes and the colors, it feels like a really warm, inviting, comfortable space. You want to spend time and just so happen to be exposed to technology. How did you did, you have an interior designer help you? Or how did you did you and your wife figure all those things out? How did that happen?

Ed: Yeah. So first of all, I give a lot of credit to all the architects and interior designers that I've learned from over the last 30 years. I mean, it's impossible to do a space like this, and it's impossible to be involved in those projects and not have that rub off on you. The aesthetics rub off on you. So we knew when we got the space, it was completely raw. And actually, there was one photo you didn't see that I gave you downloaded, which was the raw space itself.

Ron:  There was a white box. You're right.

Ed: It's an amazing when you look at it from that standpoint, it was this an industrial manufacturing building on the Far West Side of Manhattan. It's about a 100 year old building. We walked into that space, and we would just sit by the elevator and just stare at it and think about what it was. But we did engage an architect that we had known in some projects that we thought were great. But the most important thing was that we had worked with a contractor who was a really great design and build contractor. So he had some really terrific ideas and steered us the right way. We knew we wanted to keep it open. We knew that we wanted to maintain the openness. That's Jennifer actually mapping out the space right there. So we saw that. And like a lot of things with Jennifer and I, we see something. We really want it, even if we can't afford it, we try to make it happen. We got to find a way to make this happen. So we did. Oddly enough, at that time, we were still at 52nd street, and we were on a month to month lease with our landlord. So we knew that the time was ticking. We had to get out. So we're paying a pretty high rent over there. This place was out of the world expensive, you know what I mean? For us. So we had these two rents going on at the same time. Then there was a third factor that happened right as we started designing the space. Like I said, our story is deeply personal, and this is really personal. But my daughter had just turned into a teenager, 13. As a cautionary tale to all your young parents out there.

Ron:  My son just turned 13.

Ed: Social media is crushing. We saw things only after the fact, when we got into seeing her social media stuff, and it was brutal. I mean, she responded in a very bad way, lost all of her self-esteem, really went off on the rails, started just taking off from home. We had to find her. There were weeks where she was gone for five days, and she would show up when we weren't home just to shower, change her clothes, and she was gone again. We couldn't find her. Finally, we enlisted NYPD, and we flushed her out and got her. We had to send her away. It's like wilderness in the therapeutic boarding school for almost two and a half years. So none of that is covered by insurance. None of that. And one of the things that the guy who ran therapeutic boarding school said to me was he said, you know, you're really lucky. And Lily is really lucky. My daughter's name is Lily. He goes, she's really lucky, because for every Lily, there are 10,000 who don't get this help.

Ron:  Wow.

Ed: Which really hit hard. That truth. So that was going on while we were designing this place. So it was like a suction of money every month that was just coming out. Then we had to build this space, and we had to deal with it.

Ron:  That had to be very scary. That whole process.

Ed: It was really intense. It was really intense. But what the byproduct is, is that we had this hole, just this huge, gigantic hole in our hearts, and we needed to fill it somehow. We wanted a place that was warm and invited that we felt safe in. That, I really think, is what happened with the space. Almost everybody says it when they walk off the elevator, they feel like it's so warm.

Ron:  I remember when I visited the space, I went up to Josh at HTA. How did you find this? Like, I've never been here, but this place is amazing.

Ed: Yeah.

Ron:  So it comes across. And I appreciate you sharing that personal story, and I know everyone listening appreciates that as well.

Ed: But we pulled through it all. And the great thing is that I couldn't be proud of my kids right now than where they are in their lives.

Ron:  Lily's doing well?

Ed: She's a rock star. I mean, not literal sense of rock star.

Ron:  Because, you know, rock stars.

Ed: But she is a rock star, she's going to conquer the world. She's fantastic.

Ron:  How did this. I mean, you said it a couple of times, this is a big, expensive space. How did you handle the last couple of years with COVID? Were you able to bring anybody through the space or do you just have to suck it up or what did you do?

Ed: New York was really shut down. New York was shut down all of 2020 and through halfway of 2021, it wasn't really until this fall. And we were still following guidelines, being masked and being 6ft away from each other. That planner start having some people in. We started having architects and clients come in and having our meetings here. That really was starting. So it's very difficult without that. Thank God for PPP. I mean, I don't know if we could have survived without that, but there was no work really happening. I mean, everybody knows what happened in 2020. The fact that people started paying attention to their networks, started paying attention to the upgrades they should have been doing for years before. We tried to tell them it's time for you to upgrade, they say, oh, it's fine, it's fine. We're okay. All of a sudden it's not okay. Kids are home, wives are home. Everybody's working from home. School is happening and things are crashing. So there was a lot of that kind of work that kind of helped sustain us a little bit like everybody else. But New York City itself was dead because everybody moved out of New York City. They were all out in the Hamptons, they were all out in other places. So it was really difficult for us.

Ron:  Was your work Ed, primarily and historically in Manhattan?

Ed: Always Manhattan.

Ron:  I know this because I've worked with folks all over North America. There were many parts of the country that it was business as usual. Even in the worst of times, it was business as usual. But there were pockets like Manhattan or San Francisco or LA where you were shut down, like there was no conducting business. I had so many conversations with people I've known for a long time during those times. There was fear and anxiety and just so many palpable emotions right there because it was so much unknown. Yet your obligations, your financial obligations and your obligations to your team and your staff were so real.

Ed: But in a way, it was interesting because it was frightening and it was difficult. But I had taken on a partner in 2019, a guy who came from us, from a really big AV firm, from Audio Video Systems, and he was a senior VP of sales and really ran their Armonk division, Dave Frieda, and you now know from our little backstory that, you know, you ran into him literally in CEDIA several years prior. But Dave came on board, and I had to respect the fact that he came from AVS. So really, for a year, 2019, he was on a very short leash in terms of what we could let him do. I didn't want a whiff of any blowback coming back from impropriety or behavior or anything. He had to learn, really, what he was getting himself into here, because we're a very different type of company. He came with a very structured company with 85 guys coming into a very small firm. It was a big jump, right? But he wanted to grow a business with me and really want to grow this. So that all happened in 2019. Then 2020 happened and we're shut down. So it afforded us the time to start doing a lot of design work. But also in 2020, he started reaching out to some people that he had known, and he covered a very different territory than what I ever, because I was really in Manhattan. And then, yes, I would do Hamptons work, but there was a New York client that really wanted me to come out to the Hamptons. I would do it. I value my weekends way too much in the summer to actually do the Hamptons. But until technology caught up and we could do remote accessing of systems, it was hard in the early two thousand s to do that kind of work out there unless you had a team. So we started expanding up north and doing work up north, and we started actually doing something that I think a lot of integrators need to do, which was aligning ourselves with an electrical contractor and big electrical contractor because it gets us in early, and we found a way to do business with them that I think is really beneficial. It was a win win scenario, and things started really happening. So now I would say that I'm looking at our business as being maybe 35% up there and 65% down here, although that balance is changing very, very, very quickly. So I think what probably going to happen for us if I had to roadmap the next couple of years that we are kind of sharing space about an hour of New York with the electrical contractor, but I see us probably having a real full production space there, and then New York being more of just a meeting space, showroom, dog and pony kind of place for us as we let our partnerships evolve and take over more of that fiscal responsibility of the space. So that's kind of the direction that I'd like to see us maintain. I'm super excited about the work that we're getting upstate because these are compounds and these are things that we can't do in New York. Everyone has a theater there. Everyone has a wine cellar with a wine tasting area that's property. .

Ron:  Multiple building, multi building campuses.

Ed: Fiber and outdoor and outdoor audio, video and power management. These are things that are super important to our industry right now. Then there are other things that are great through our showroom here with plain art, meaning NFTs, how do we work that whole thing with those creatives.

Ron:  All right, let's go down that path that's close to near and dear to my heart, I'm a crypto hobbyist.

Ed: Sorry.

Ron:  It actually worked out pretty well. But you got to know what you're doing and all of that stuff. But NFT nonfungible tokens. So this is the idea that there's Jpegart, that's one of a kind, and it's provably one of a kind nonfungible. What I know to be the case is that there are high net worth individuals buying this art, and it needs to be presented in a digital signage fashion. II'm starting to hear more and more of this. And so that's the set up. What are you seeing and how are you dealing with it?

Ed: So what we're seeing and also what we're hearing. Because we're getting a lot of commercial people that are coming through. We've always had a lot of C clients coming through here, whether they're coming here for their corporate headquarters and then seeing what we do and asking us about what we do. What we're seeing is that there's a distinct divide with NFT. So the people that buy stuff for $5,000, like a piece of art, but they're not going to use a direct view Led for that. There are other companies that are putting out smaller and different types. Well, here's the thing. An FT artist doesn't want to scale. They don't want it scaled.

Ron:  They want their art to be presented in the form factor that they've designed it for. This art could be $5,000 or this art could be $5 million. People sold a piece of art last year for what was it, $65 million a JPEG.

Ed: Insanity, but okay, I'll go with it.

Ron:  It's definitely some craziness involved.

Ed: So what we're seeing is you're seeing a response from some of these manufacturers that have been doing direct view Led and plain art since they're in my backyard. One of them. So for the guy that's buying a million dollars worth of NFT, they want a display that's going to really show it and it's best for them. We're starting to see them come around to how do we do a 40 inch by 40 inch Cube? What's the scaling for that? What's the resolution for that? How can we do a 20 X 23 inch panel? I think what you're going to start to see is instead of having these cookie cutter panels that are coming out from LG or coming out from Samsung or Plainer or whoever, you're going to start seeing varying sizes and stuff.

Ron:  I agree.

Ed: The other thing that's happening is that pitch size is getting smaller and smaller and smaller every year. So we have right now a .7 that's in our theater, and we're feeding it with just a media player. There's nothing special about it, but we're feeding it to 4K content in it. It's jaw dropping how fantastic it looks. It's really hard to go back to projection after you see something, especially when it's at 20% brightness in that room and you know that you can have it in any environment. It's non-reflective. It's putting out an unbelievable amount of light. You could get radiation poisoning from it. It does require a lot of power. It does require a lot of ventilation. You do have to plan it really carefully. But what's so exciting about that is that it's going to lead to different technologies. How do we deal with a better cinema solution using whether or not it's the wall by Samsung or whether it's a plane or somebody else's product? How do you deal with the audio components of that whole thing?

Ron:  I'm curious. What is the audio solution for that panel? How do you deliver good audio?

Ed: You're trying to actually reflect the sound off of it. That's what they're trying to do. Get that center channel. You want to get that sound to actually reflect off of that panel back to the audience.

Ron:  So you're hitting the panel and bouncing it into the audience.

Ed: That's how I think it's going to work, and I think it's really going to come from the ceiling, not so much from below. So there's a lot of thought processes about that, and we're super excited about that whole area. The other thing that's coming about, and nobody really knows about this, I do, because I'm working for them and with them right now. But style piano has been working for a long time called Spirio, and this is an experience that I think I'm probably shooting myself in the foot by even talking about this. But they're in my backyard, too. But I think that people should be thinking about what is the ultimate experience you can have in your home. We know that there's an ultimate cinema experience, right. And it's getting better all the time and more realistic all the time. But what about music? I care about music. So probably about four years ago, Steinway came out with this thing called Spirio Piano, and Spirio Piano at the time was just a recordable piano. We had no idea really what they were doing with it, but then they started going back in their library recordings, and somehow they were actually applying this. Again, I don't know the nuts and bolts of this, but I do know that when they had artists come in and actually hit that piano key, they were measuring the strike. They were measuring the force against the hammer, against the strings, even the color of how they would touch that.

Ron:  They roll out off of each key.

Ed: Yeah. So this isn't like a West World type or even like the Amaja disc Clavier thing that came out in the late ninety s and early 2000s. This is like really replicating how somebody plays the piano. So they were rolling out this library of like, Duke Ellington, Eric Garner, Horowitz or Rubenstein for Classical world playing. It's astonishing to see the video of them hitting a key and there's zero latency as it plays on that piano. So I thought, well, this is really cool, right? Why is it cool? Because, sure, every one of my clients has a piano in the living room that's collecting dust. It gets played maybe once a year when they have a holiday party and they hire some guy to come and play some holiday tunes. And the rest of the time is just sitting there as a status symbol, a lot like the Porsche in the garage in the Hamptons. But everybody has to have one. So here's something that could actually work in your living room. Right. And that piano becomes an instrument for us. But now they're introducing this and then we came at Technology Design had a cover on it just this month. So I'm not spilling any beans on this, but they're coming out with live streaming of concerts. So now you can see Long playing in LA in your living room at exactly the same time. The video the video guys should be front and center, and there's your piano. Then when the Orchestra comes out, you want to play it through that great audio system and becomes this unique experience. A very high end experience. A super high end experience. Because these pianos started about 180,000 go up to half a million, and they can go even more than that. I find this fascinating. You know what I mean? In this technology, I want to be a part of it.

Ron:  Do you have a demo in your showroom or you're going to maybe have a demo or there might be something there.

Ed: Well, it shouldn't be any secret to those guys. Over at Steinway, that I'm anchoring. Yes. I want it here.

Ron:  For sure. You're in the perfect market. You just said, how many of your customers probably have I won't use the right terminology, but a Steinway piano or a grand piano in their apartment or condo.

Ed: Easily 75% easily. Right. And they'll trade in. They'll do trade in for these things, for sure. But what's exciting to me in my space, and I think I can showcase it probably better than they can in their retail place is the fact that we do have 165 inch 4K point nine pitch display sitting right above where that panel will be. And it's being flanked by a pair of Model D Samuel door. Model D.

Ron:  You could have your customers in and hold wine and cheese events when these live streaming events are happening and you're going to sell the bananas off of this, that's going to be crazy. That sounds amazing.

Ed: I'm so excited about this development. I think that everybody that is in our industry that's listening in and watching this should really be keeping an eye on this and seeing how it's relevant to their showrooms. What they can offer, even decision makers who come in, I mean, I'm talking about the interior designers, architects, people like that. It's a no brainer. And it's an experience that no one's ever seen before.

Ron:  I see a lot of trend in our industry. It's probably been the last three to five years, but it's been accelerating as far as I can see, as a trend towards lighting and our channel getting into lighting. So there's the controls business, which we've arguably been in for a couple of decades now. But there's now the fixture business, which is fast growing, if not the fastest growing category. Are you seeing that or what's your take on that? From a business standpoint.

Ed: One of the great byproducts of us joining, and I think all the buying groups are starting to get behind this now. But HTSA was really the pioneer, I think, putting together really initiative, a lighting initiative. Tom brought these manufacturers in and it was on a very small basis. It was like a trial basis for the manufacturers. And HTSA has some of the largest integrators in the country as part of it. So who better than to try this out with than these guys? These guys all have process, right. They got tons and tons of process that I don't have. So they got PMS, some of them are married and have partnerships with electrical contracting companies. They do it all. So it was a natural thing for them to bring this initiative to all the members. So I got in very early with that. So we've been selling pictures probably for a good three years here. What I'll tell you about it is that historically fixtures been sold by electricians. Whoever has that contract and usually electrical contractor has with the general contractor and the architect specifies the line designer specifies, but doesn't supply. We're seeing a lot of designers now. Leading designers actually have distribution centers that maybe go under another name.

Ron:  And they'll actually check it and then supply it?

Ed: Yeah. They'll supply it. It's not really kosher, but we're seeing a lot of it.

Ron:  You're seeing it? Yeah, sure.

Ed: Yeah. But the problem is the electricians have been treating fixtures as commodities. It's a fixture. I'm getting the money to install it. I don't really care about making money. They're selling it like 5% over what they're getting for. So we have manufacturers telling us, hey, this is where our fixture sells for whether it's $500 for a warmed in or $700 whether it's Tetra, it could be $1,100 for a fixture. With Ketra, we came on to Ketra really early. I had a guy who since left us, our firm created his own firm, really smart guy, really created our lighting design. I owe a lot to him. But when we did the Ketra installation at the Steinway factory for their vault, which is their exclusive room for only big benefactors for one of a kind of pianos, it hadn't even been bought by Lutron yet. I mean, it was in that kind of...

Ron:  Prior to the Lutron acquisition.

Ed: It was in that transition, you know what I mean? So we didn't even have control. That would work. When we sold this thing, it was a little hairy.

Ron:  But you're early. If you found Ketra before Lutron got involved, you were tuned into something there. Yeah, we were in super early on this. So we've been doing lighting for a long time with it. The cautionary tale is this is that you can't sell it for what we sell our normal product for. If you think you're going to make 40 points or 50 points on lighting, you're not okay. You're lucky if you're going to make 25% on a fixed rate. Once it's bid, it's getting bid to the bottom. So it's difficult. If you have your own lighting design team involved with this, you can get some cushion in there. If you can work with electrical contractors bidding and you're not selling it to them and they have to bid it with another electrical contractor bidding on the job, then it's not going to get cannibalized so badly. But again, they set the bar so low on what clients or GCs expect that cost to be that it's really, really hard to break in there. The other thing I would say to anybody that's listening wants to get into lighting is that there's a lot of PM that is involved in this. You can't just hand a fixer to an electrician, say, here, install it. It doesn't work like that. You really have to be on these guys like anybody. They'll say, yeah, we install fixtures all the time. Yeah. They get the trim wrong. They get the yoke wrong for a solid surface ceiling, and you're screwed because you're on the hook for that. So you have to really be careful. You have to make sure you have the resources to be able to cross check everything. We're good about doing our circuitry design. We're good about our panel layouts. We're good about all those things. But you have to stand these electricians as they install it. The last thing you need is them installing a wall washed trim in a down light scenario. But it happens all the time, so you've got to be careful. It does take a lot of energy. .

Ron:  Ed, believe it or not, we're actually over an hour here. I think you and I could go for hours and hours more. So we're definitely going to have you back. You're going to be another one of my returning guests, if you'll have me.

Ed: Please do.

Ron:  But at a high level, I always love to leave with some advice. So we got a lot of folks in our industry. They're going to be listening live or in replay, on video or audio, and they are at varying stages of their business lifecycle. Some are going to be at the beginning of their life cycle, some of the middle, some towards the end. What is maybe a parting lesson or two that you wish you knew when you begin?

Ed: Well, I would say that I wish I knew that I wanted the company to go on without me. I think that's something that a lot of people get into and don't really think about early enough and what that plan means and how you actually execute on that plan. So I think that it's always good. Like anything, like any agreement or partnership that you get in with is to start with how it's going to end. And work your way backwards from that point.

Ron:  Again with the end in mind.

Ed: Absolutely! So I think if I look at my experience, I really do think that we thought at the time that we would just have a good run. And when it's time that I say goodbye. See you later. You know what I mean? But that's not really what I want right now. I think I owe it to my employees. I owe it to people who work really hard for this company, for them to have something to move forward with. We're right in the process right now of all that process. That's another thing I would say. Get into the process game early. It's really hard to do it, especially when you're starting out and you're wearing ten hats. I've been wearing ten hats for 30 years. I know what that's like. Not everybody can do that. I actually think it's a blessing if you can't do it because then you got to find people to do it for you and it's way better to delegate it. So I really do believe that try to get in the process. Try to think about there are people out there who are really great. I'm going to give two plugs to two guys that I've been really instrumental in the last year. Jason Saying, who does process mapping, and Chris Smith, who is part of the Co team. Chris was a CEO of an integration company, and he's been in manufacturing. He's been part of integration. He understands all the different worlds that are there. These guys. It's been invaluable advice for us and seek out advice, find people that can help and try to give up some of those hats along the way, as many as you possibly can.

Ron:  Delegation is a powerful thing and I know everyone listening. That is a hard thing for you to do. I get it, Ed and I get it. But that's sound advice from Gilmore's Sound Advice is to find a way to delegate. I want to thank everyone that's tuned in here and Ed, I want to thank you, sir. Thank you for joining us here on show 213 and we're definitely going to ask you back and we'll have to make that happen sooner than later.

Ed: You got it. Thanks, Ron. Appreciate it.

Ron:  Awesome. Thanks so much, Ed. All right, folks, there you have it. I'm admitting I've never eaten so many cough drops in my entire life as I have here in the past week trying to conduct to the best of my ability to conduct business as usual while suffering from the COVID cough. I've been warned from some friends, even some members of my team, that it goes on for months. So I'm hopeful and optimistic that won't be the case again. Appreciate everyone tuning in and join me next week and into the summer. Got a ton of great guests and fun conversations to have. So I look forward to seeing you all. For those of you that want to get in touch with me or my team, join us at onefirefly.com. Give us a call as well and we will see you all soon. Thanks so much, everybody.

SHOW NOTES:

In 1988 Edward Gilmore, a professional classical musician, began a parallel career as an audio consultant to a leading Architectural and Interior Design firm. By 1991, he formed his own full-service company, Gilmore’s Sound Advice, Inc. For many years, Gilmore’s Sound Advice strictly adhered to a word-of-mouth recommendation policy to ensure the company’s commitment to superior installation and client support. 

Now, directly responsible for an impressive, high-profile client resume. With the move to an 8,000-square-foot facility in 2016, Gilmore created one of the most unique showrooms and event spaces in New York City. Their new workspace allows GSA staff to build, program, and test all systems before leaving the facility. An active member of CEDIA, HTSA, and HTA, a commitment to ongoing education and certification underscores GSA’s commitment to providing clients with an informed assessment of the industry’s best available options and practices.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly become the leading marketing firm specializing in integrated technology and security. The One Firefly team works hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution Mercury Pro.

Resources and links from the interview:

Ed can be reached directly by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

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