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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: Automation Industry

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

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

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

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

About Jeff Goldstein

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

About Mark Hoffenberg

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

Interview Recap

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

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #222: An Industry Q&A with Josh Christian

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Josh Christian, CEO of Home Technology Association shares how HTA has advanced since Josh’s last appearance in this show 3 years ago.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #222: An Industry Q&A with Josh Christian

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Mark Bolduc. Recorded live on Wednesday, Wednesday August 31st, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Josh Christian

Josh entered the home technology industry in 1995 when he began working at a locally owned audio/video retailer. Three years later, he moved to a custom technology integration company, where he helped the firm grow into one of the largest custom AV integration companies in the industry. In 2015, Josh joined a low-voltage technology consulting firm specializing in designing and engineering home technology systems, where he stayed until co-founding the Home Technology Association (HTA) in 2017.

Interview Recap

  • Why HTA certification matters
  • How HTA has advanced since Josh’s last appearance in this show 3 years ago.
  • The importance of building and leveraging relationships with the different trades involved in the luxury residential construction market

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #221: An Industry Q&A with Mark Bolduc

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Mark Bolduc, Founder and President at Wicked Smart Homes shares the lessons learned during the Great Recession that have helped his business thrive.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #221: An Industry Q&A with Mark Bolduc

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Mark Bolduc. Recorded live on Wednesday, Wednesday August 24th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Mark Bolduc

Mark is an accomplished systems integration specialist with 18+ years of experience working with architects, builders and interior designers on large-scale residential and commercial projects for a broad client base throughout the U.S. 

Founded in 2009, Wicked Smart Homes is one of the highest-volume Lutron dealers in the country.

Interview Recap

  • Lessons learned during the Great Recession that have helped their business thrive.
  • Mark’s entrepreneurial journey
  • How and why he has focused on growing his Lutron and Ketra business

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #220: An Industry Q&A with Hovik Mirzakhanian

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Hovik Mirzakhanian, Founder and Vice President of Engineering at Matrix Audio Visual Designs shares more about how he has seen the AV industry evolve throughout his 30-year career.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #220: An Industry Q&A with Hovik Mirzakhanian

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Hovik Mirzakhanian. Recorded live on Wednesday, Wednesday August 10th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Hovik Mirzakhanian

Hovik is a 30-year AV veteran who founded Matrix Audio Visual Designs in 1991. Matrix AV specializes in integrating technology-based solutions like AV distribution and building automation systems for private businesses, educational institutions, houses of worship, the military, and the government. 

As VP of Engineering, Hovik uses his extensive engineering knowledge to recommend products and design concepts that create the perfect environment for end users. He seeks to delight customers and find the best technology solutions that help businesses meet or exceed their short and long-term goals.

Interview Recap

  • Hovik’s background story and how he has seen the AV industry evolve throughout his career
  • How he has been managing the current supply-chain issues 
  • The importance of diversification as a strategy to help manage risk

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #219: An Industry Q&A with Andrew Pino

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Andrew Pino, Director of Digital Marketing at One Firefly shares more about the importance of genuine humility to be a successful leader.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #219: An Industry Q&A with Andrew Pino

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Andrew Pino. Recorded live on Wednesday, Wednesday August 3rd, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Andrew Pino

In his role as Director of Digital Marketing, Andrew is responsible for the general management of our robust digital marketing team, providing leadership, focus, and support. Andrew has spent the last 20 years equipping creatives with the skills they need to grow professionally and thrive in their careers. Since graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in business management, Andrew has embraced his journey from nonprofit work, to senior leadership in a national media company, and then executive consulting.

He uses his varied experience to propel others forward on their path. When he’s not working, Andrew loves “adventuring” with his wife, two daughters, and two sons. They’ve done everything from renovating a 100-year old inner city home to running a small horse farm in the country, to full-time RVing around the U.S. for nearly two years.

Interview Recap

  • Andrew’s background as a marketer, consultant, entrepreneur
  • The importance of genuine humility to be a successful leader
  • The “why” behind defining your businesses mission, vision, values and leadership guidelines contribute to your success

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #218: An Industry Q&A with Jeff Singer

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jeff Singer, Independent Marketing Strategist shares more about how knowing your customers can help develop your market and grow your business.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #218: An Industry Q&A with Jeff Singer

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jeff Singer. Recorded live on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Jeff Singer

Jeff has worked in the high-end technology industry for over 20 years as a specialist for marketing B2B and B2B2C in, AV, UC and Digital Workplace, enterprise management, and luxury home automation. He’s an expert in all aspects of product marketing, including positioning, strategy, planning, and execution. Jeff is skilled at developing content and telling compelling stories while making complex ideas understandable and relatable. In this way, he communicates value and earns loyal, long-term client relationships and brand affinity. Jeff received his BS from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and an MBA in Marketing and Management from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. Jeff was most recently the Executive Director of Product Marketing at Crestron Electronics.

Interview Recap

  • Jeff’s journey from broadcasting to teaching and eventually landing as a marketing strategist in the AV industry
  • The importance of employee success and growth for a company
  • How knowing your customers can help develop your market and grow your business
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