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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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Articles tagged with: AV industry

Home Automation Podcast Episode #163: An Industry Q&A With Aaron Cowden and Andrew Wactor

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Aaron Cowden and Aaron Wactor of Fusion Audio Video share how 2020 impacted Fusion's commercial market and their growth after enlisting the help of a business consultant.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #163: An Industry Q&A With Aaron Cowden and Andrew Wactor

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Aaron Cowden and Andrew Wactor. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Aaron Cowden and Andrew Wactor

Aaron founded Fusion A/V during his senior year in college with a few of his friends. Their focus was on keeping technology fun and fresh for clients.

Today, Aaron wears many hats in the company and participates in sales, operations, marketing, vendor relations, and charities. With a passion for music, Andrew studied Audio Engineering in Nashville before discovering the world of A/V.

Andrew’s background includes system design, sales, and management positions in both residential and commercial A/V firms.

In 2012, Andrew rejoined Fusion, where he now oversees the commercial division as Vice President of Commercial.

Fusion A/V has two locations, one in Greenville, South Carolina, and the other in Ashville, North Carolina.

Interview Recap

  • Fusion's origin story
  • How 2020 impacted Fusion's commercial market
  • How they have enlisted a business consultant to help them grow
  • Tips on delegating and getting out of your own way

Home Automation Podcast Episode #162: An Industry Q&A With Ryan Davis

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Ryan Davis, President at Ratio AV, shares his acceptance into the HTSA buying group and his predictions for the future of the custom integration channel.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #162: An Industry Q&A With Ryan Davis

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Ryan Davis. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 24th, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Ryan Davis

Ryan founded Ratio AV in March 2002 while pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah. Ryan's emphasis on human-factors engineering while in college drove much of his design criteria for systems and led him to discover that the simple approach is usually the best approach.

Today, Ratio AV is a team of 7 with an annual sales revenue of $2.3M and focuses on high-end residential systems with some light commercial systems.

Interview Recap

  • Serving as a crew chief for a multi-year winning team of the Baja 1000
  • His recent acceptance into the HTSA buying group
  • Ryans approach to work/life balance
  • Ryan’s predictions for 2021 and beyond

Home Automation Podcast Episode #161: An Industry Q&A With Chris Worthington

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Chris Worthington, CEO at Personal Technology, shares his excitement around energy automation and battery storage within the custom integration space.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #161: An Industry Q&A With Chris Worthington

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Chris Worthington. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 24th, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Chris Worthington

Chris’s passion for technology and electronics started from a young age where he would tear apart computers and put them back together. Chris even started working at a local computer shop at the age of 14.

It wasn’t until he took a job as an installer for a local audio/video shop after graduating with a BE in Chemical Engineering where he discovered the world of lighting control and home automation.

In 2004, Chris decided to chart his own course and founded Personal Technology out of Alhambra, California, and has grown steadily over 15 years to become a full-service integration firm.

Today, Personal Technology aims to deliver excitement and enjoyment around home technology while focusing on the client's journey from concept through construction and into support.

Interview Recap

  • The current state of the custom installation marketing in California
  • Chris' excitement around energy automation and battery storage
  • His move from lighting control into lighting fixtures and human-centric lighting
  • How the maturation of the industry may affect the stratification of firms

Home Automation Podcast Episode #160: An Industry Q&A With Mark Coxon

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Mark Coxon, Sales Director at Tangram Technology, shares his approach to human-centric design and how the modern office will look like in the years to come.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #160: An Industry Q&A With Mark Coxon

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Mark Coxon. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 10th, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Mark Coxon

As a proclaimed accidental technologist, Mark was set to pursue a career as a zoo veterinarian before discovering the technology space in 2000 when he took a position at IBM as a direct sales representative.

Today, Mark uses his interest in zoology and love for behavioral psychology to approach technology and human-centered design from a unique perspective at Tangram Technology.

Interview Recap

  • What led Mark from pursuing veterinary school to working at a residential integration company
  • The future of work as companies begin to bring employees back to the office.
  • Mark's approach to human-centric design and how the modern office will look like in the years to come
  • Mark's creative endeavors, including a book he's currently writing and his podcasts, Daybreak and Selling AV.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #159: An Industry Q&A With Shawn Lemay

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Shawn Lemay, President at Sound and Theater, shares consumer behaviors based in the Buffalo, New York marketplace and Shawn’s thoughts on the future of trade shows

Home Automation Podcast Episode #159: An Industry Q&A With Shawn Lemay

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

About Shawn Lemay

With over 30 years in the industry, Shawn got his start in IT and Computer system sales before discovering the world of smart home automation when he and his business partner attended their first CEDIA trade show event in 2004.

Their Buffalo, New York-based automation company, Sound & Theater, was created to provide consumers easy-to-use, simple, and concealed smart technology throughout their homes.

Shawn is a CEDIA Registered Outreach Instructor and volunteer. He holds various vendor certifications and is an active writer with multiple published articles to his credit.

Interview Recap

  • Shawn’s origin story and how he went from creating an ISP company competing with AOL to venturing into the smart home automation space
  • Consumer behaviors based in the Buffalo, New York marketplace and how 2020 treated Sound & Theater
  • How his business has weathered the storm caused by vendor supply chain issues.
  • Shawn’s thoughts on the future of trade shows & events

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
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