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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 Perspective

Home Automation Podcast Episode #137: An Industry Q&A With Matt Fowler

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Matt Fowler of HomeTroniX, shares his approach to marketing and creating a strong digital presence.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #137: An Industry Q&A With Matt Fowler

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jeff Brewer. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 16th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Matt Fowler

In 2014, Matt invested in HomeTroniX with his father while a senior at Tulane University but chose to pursue his career in the Marine Corps and later in the wine industry. 

In 2019, with the company at a crossroads between growing at a faster rate or keeping the status quo, Matt agreed to join the family business as an executive with the goal of growing and scaling the integration firm.

Interview Recap

  • How Matt’s time in the Marine Corps impacted his role as a leader
  • How to grow and scale an integration firm
  • HomeTroniX’s growth during COVID 
  • Matt’s approach to marketing and creating a strong digital presence

Home Automation Podcast Episode #136: An Industry Q&A With Josh Willits

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Josh Willits of Portal, shares thoughts on the rest of 2020 and the future of our industry.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #136: An Industry Q&A With Josh Willits

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jeff Brewer. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 9th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Josh Willits

With over 16 years in CI industry, Josh got his start in AV by selling speakers online out of his college dorm room. He spent years running operations at an integration firm before taking on the role of  Director of Operations at Jetson Systems, a Crestron CSP.

Later in 2012, he founded Invenshare, a website for dealers to buy, sell, and trade excess inventory, before merging his business with SupplyStream two years later.

After the merger, Josh helped rebrand the company that is now known as Portal and was part of their turnaround in 2019, where they shifted business models into a subscription based SAAS model.

Portal has also won multiple industry awards for customer service thanks to their Dealer Happiness team.

Interview Recap

  • Josh experiences in the CI industry that ultimately led to his role as President of Portal.
  • Portal’s turnaround strategy deployed in May 2019 that saved the company
  • Proposal trends during that last 6 months including the amazing growth since June
  • Josh’s thoughts on the rest of 2020 and the future of our industry

Home Automation Podcast Episode #135: An Industry Q&A With Jeff Brewer

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jeff Brewer of Sonance, shares ways he and his team are leveraging virtual trainings and meetings to strengthen relationships.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #135: An Industry Q&A With Jeff Brewer

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jeff Brewer. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 2nd at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Jeff Brewer

Since joining Sonance and James Loudspeaker in 2012, Jeff has led their sales directors team and currently coaches over 100 Sonance & James Loudspeaker Representatives. Jeff is also a current board member of the Azione Buying Group.

Jeff graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a degree in Marketing. Before Sonance, Jeff worked for companies including Best Buy for Business as their VP and Sr. Director and even for the late Steven Covey.

Interview Recap

  • Leadership strategies Jeff learned while working for the late Steven Covey where he was Master Certified
  • The James Loudspeaker acquisition and their approach to their rep network
  • Ways Jeff and his team are leveraging virtual trainings and meetings to strengthen relationships 
  • Exclusive announcement regarding the new Sonance Invisible Speaker Series

Home Automation Podcast Episode #134: An Industry Q&A With Taylor Whipple

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Taylor Whipple of One Firefly, shares how an analytical approach to brainstorming ideas has helped further empower One Firefly’s growth.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #134: An Industry Q&A With Taylor Whipple

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Taylor Whipple. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 26th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Taylor Whipple

Having just celebrated his 7 year anniversary with One Firefly, Taylor has been responsible for overseeing the organization's financial and production management.

Throughout the years, Taylor has been a key member of the leadership team in overseeing One Firefly’s operations and providing guidance to the CEO. One Firefly has recorded a period of record growth including 4 years of 30%+ YOY growth culminating with a place in the 2020 Inc. 5000.

Interview Recap

  • His rewarding time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa - he even spoke to us in Wolof! 
  • Taylor’s start in the music industry where he spent some time working for Madonna’s music label before he decided to go back to school to pursue his MBA in Finance. 
  • How an analytical approach to brainstorming ideas has helped further empower One Firefly’s growth
  • One Firefly receiving a placement on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list

Home Automation Podcast Episode #133: An Industry Q&A With Jeremy Elsesser

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jeremy Elsesser of Level 3 Audiovisual shares about the acceleration of software and cloud based communication platform solutions for the new global focus on work from home environments.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #133: An Industry Q&A With Jeremy Elsesser

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jeremy Elsesser. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 19th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Jeremy Elsesser

Jeremy has been in the technology industry for nearly 20 years and has worked on a broad range of projects, including broadcast, production, and communications for higher education, corporate, healthcare, and hospitality clients.

In 2019, Jeremy was awarded the Educator of the Year at AVIXA's InfoComm. Most recently, Level3 Audiovisual received "Best Healthcare Project" in the 2020 Commercial Integrator Integration Awards for their project with the University of Texas (UT) Health's nursing center.

Interview Recap

  • Jeremy’s 16 year career track at Level 3 Audiovisual, leading to his achieving the position of President of the company in 2017
  • The importance of company culture and hiring for passion
  • The transition from Commercial Integrator over to Managed Services
  • The acceleration of software and cloud based communication platform  solutions for the new global focus on work from home environments

Home Automation Podcast Episode #132: An Industry Q&A With Paul Lopez

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Paul Lopez of Integrated Lifestyles, shares on their transition from a majority commercial focus pre-COVID to a majority residential focus post COVID.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #132: An Industry Q&A With Paul Lopez

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Paul Lopez. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 5th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Paul Lopez

Throughout his 20 years in the custom integration industry, Paul has run up the ranks of audio, video, and custom installations from pulling cables in hot attics to now running a multi-million dollar business since their inception 3 years ago.

Today, Paul runs Dallas-based custom integration firm, Integrated Lifestyles where they focus on creating a collaborative work environment with a “client first” approach.

Interview Recap

  • What experiences led Paul to opening his own integration firm.
  • What it’s like being a Dolphins fan living in Dallas
  • Paul’s transition from a majority commercial focus pre-covid to a majority residential focus post covid.
  • Why Integrated Lifestyles chose to join the ProSource buying group
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