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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 #124: An Industry Q&A With Steve Haas

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Steve Haas shares the importance of having conversations around race and Steve’s plans to bring in more diversity into our industry as well as Steve’s approach to educating end-users and integrat

Home Automation Podcast Episode #124: An Industry Q&A With Steve Haas

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

About Steve Haas

With over 30 years of experience as an acoustic and audio designer, Steve discovered the field of acoustics while studying at Cornell University.

Steve has consulted on a variety of high-end projects ranging from concert halls to Broadway theaters and residential spaces throughout the New England area.

Over the last two decades, Steve has brought the quality audio experience into the high-end residential market where he works with homeowners, architects, interior designers, builders, and technology integrators to help keep sound quality and control top of mind.

Interview Recap

  • Steve’s origin story and his transition into the high-end residential space
  • Steve’s approach to educating end-users and integrators about home audio
  • Changes Steve and his team are making in light of COVID, such as offering webinars revolving residential acoustics
  • The importance of having conversations around race and Steve’s plans to bring in more diversity into our industry

Watch Episode #123: An Industry Q&A With Alex Camara

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Alex Camara shares thoughts on approaching conversations within the workplace revolving race and creating a safe space for all employees as well as the importance of a "restart" after COVID 19.

Watch Episode #123: An Industry Q&A With Alex Camara

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Alex Camara. Recorded live on Wednesday, June 3rd at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Alex Camara

After an exciting career in technology startups including Coinstar and Redbox, London Native, Alex joined Seattle based Audio Control in 2011 and ultimately acquired the company in 2013.

At AudioControl, Alex and his team of obsessive audio experts focus on designing, engineering, and manufacturing in the USA some of the most innovative, high-performance audio solutions for residential, commercial, and automotive markets.

Interview Recap

  • Alex’s backstory in technology startups before acquiring Audio Control
  • Alex's thoughts on approaching conversations within the workplace revolving race and creating a safe space for all employees
  • Audio Control’s “restart” message means in light of COVD-19
  • How demand for “home entertainment” has increased and what he is seeing in demand for audio control solutions throughout the country.

Watch Episode #122: An Industry Q&A With Ariel Gutierrez

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Ariel Gutierrez shares about the impact COVID-19 has had on the Latin American economy and currencies as well as his reaction to the Savant acquisition of GE Lighting.

Watch Episode #122: An Industry Q&A With Ariel Gutierrez

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Ariel Gutierrez. Recorded live on Wednesday, May 27th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Ariel Gutierrez

Founded in 2009, Ariel and his wife co-founded Miami-based Polaris Controls, a manufacturer representative firm that covers Latin American and The Caribbean.

Since their founding, Polaris Controls has built a network of over 500 dealers across both regions and developed their A/V and building automation offering for residential and commercial projects including government and hospitality.

Interview Recap

  • Origin story behind Polaris Controls
  • Ariel’s reaction to the Savant acquisition of GE Lighting
  • The impact COVID-19 has had on the Latin American economy and currencies
  • The webinar and podcast strategy launched by Polaris Controls to better help their dealers

Watch Episode #119: An Industry Q&A with Matt DeVance

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Matt DeVance, Founder of DeVance Electronic LIfestyle, shares his perspective on the shift in demand for technology in homes and how integrators can prepare.

Watch Episode #119: An Industry Q&A with Matt DeVance

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Matt DeVance. Recorded live on Friday, May 8th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Matt DeVance

With over 25 years in the custom audio/video industry, Matt got his start in-car audio after spending his youth watching his father repair home electronics from their home basement as a side-hustle.

After spending 4 years at Dallas based audio-video retailer, Home Entertainment, he ultimately decided to strike out on his own and starting his own integration firm, DeVance Electronic Lifestyles, in 2002.

Today, DeVance is constantly growing. They are expanding their business by buying a building that will double their current space. They have annual revenues approaching $3M with a staff of 11 people.

Interview Recap

  • Ways in which previous life-changing events, such as 9/11 and the Great Recession, has prepared Matt to better handle this pandemic
  • Matt’s perspective on the shift in demand for technology in homes and how integrators can prepare
  • How EOS evolved Matt’s business and communications approach 
  • The importance of company culture and the mentoring of employees

Watch 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.

Watch Episode #112: An Industry Q&A with John Clancy

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing John Clancy. Recorded live on 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

Watch Episode #111: An Industry Q&A with Matt Lien

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Matt Lien, VP of Sales at DES shares his two-goal approach for integrators during these difficult times and perspective on how lighting for wellness can be used in smart homes.

Watch Episode #111: An Industry Q&A with Matt Lien

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Matt Lien. Recorded live on April 15th, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. EST. 

About Matt Lien

Matt got his start in the custom integration industry as an installer at Missouri-based integration firm, The Sound Room, before joining Crestron Electronics as a Regional Sales Manager for Residential Products.

During his seven years at Crestron, Matt met the team at Arkansas based DES and later joined them as VP of Sales in 2013. DES is also well known for developing the HomeSuite iPad app for Crestron systems, which has won the Crestron CEDIA Integration Award five years in a row. 

Interview Recap

  • How DES supports multiple smart home platforms including Crestron, Savant, and Control4 
  • Matt’s thoughts on LED and tunable lighting and how it’s resonating with his customers
  • Why they started offering electrical contracting services
  • Matt’s two-goal approach to taking on projects and how he’s using that to create a silver lining during these difficult times
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