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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: High-End Audio

Watch Episode #109: An Industry Q&A with Eric Joy

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Eric Joy, Chief Experience Officer at GHT Group is back to discuss the importance of communication and leaning on other integrators in our industry during this pandemic.

Watch Episode #109: An Industry Q&A with Eric Joy

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Eric Joy. Recorded live on Friday, April 10th, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. EST. 

About Eric Joy

With his vast experience in the CE space as an integrator and manufacturer, Eric shares his unique perspective on approaching communication with manufacturers and your team during a time of crisis while also advocating on the importance of leaning on other integrators and building community.

GHT Group is a proud member of CEDIA and the HTSA buying group with a single 20,000 square foot facility located in Marietta, GA.

Interview Recap

  • Eric’s recommendations on the approach manufacturers and vendors should be taking to help integrators
  • The importance of having a clear, open communication between your team and manufacturers
  • Types of discussions Eric has been having with other dealers to help keep the industry booming through this crisis
  • Steps Eric and his team are taking to keep their employees and clients safe when going out to projects

Watch Episode #104: An Industry Q&A with Erick Burton

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, industry leader and VP of Western Audio/Video, Erick Burton shares his background as a custom integrator and how him and his business are approaching this pandemic with stride.

Watch Episode #104: An Industry Q&A with Erick Burton

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Erick Burton. Recorded live on Monday, March 30th, 2020, at 3:15 pm EST.

About Erick Burton

After meeting David Wilson of Wilson Audio as a teen over 25 years ago, Erick was inspired by David’s passion and began spending his time experimenting with audio and custom installations. In 1999, Erick began his career in Salt Lake City when he joined Audition Audio as an installer. The following year, he founded The Media Room. Although The Media Room ultimately failed, Erick says that the lessons he learned led to his career as an independent AV contractor specializing in estate level projects and interior design.

Later in 2014, Erick joined San Francisco-based integration firm, Western Audio/Video, where here is now a partner and Vice President. WAV was founded in 1977 and while their roots are with high-level residential AV integration, they’ve transitioned into a firm with an 80/20 focus on commercial AV over the last five years.

Interview Recap

  • How Erick and his team are handling the challenges brought by COVID-19.
  • How Erick's unique experience with Cystic Fibrosis prepared him, his family, and company to stay safe during this pandemic
  • Why Erick limits his media consumption and ways he limits anxiety during these stressful times
  • Erick's thoughts on preparing for the new normal after the Coronavirus pandemic is cleared

Watch Episode #101: An Industry Q&A with Alexa and Angel Centeno

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Alexa, and Angel Centeno of SDI Boston share their passion for the custom integration industry from their recent merger with audioDave to their impressive smart home showroom.

Watch Episode #101: An Industry Q&A with Alexa and Angel Centeno

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Alexa and Angel Centeno. Recorded live on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2020, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Alexa and Angel Centeno

Husband and wife duo, Alexa and Angel Centeno, are the owners of Systems Design & Integration also known as SDI in the Boston area. After working with one of the largest AV integration firms in Orlando, Florida since 2006, Angel founded SDI in 2012. Once Alexa joined shortly thereafter, the company began shifting away from simple TV installations and surround sound projects to implementing complete smart home automation systems and full integrations for larger homes.

SDI was awarded Savant's 2018 Through & Through Award and named Best of Boston in 2019 by Boston Magazine for Smart Home Specialist. Alexa and Angel are one of the youngest businesses in the country to pick up and offer the exclusive McIntosh product line. In mid-2019, they finalized their merger well known Savant integration firm audioDave out of Newton, Mass. SDI’s impressive 6,500 square foot showroom in Needham welcomes builders, designers, and homeowners to experience what technology truly is today and how it can be implemented into the design industry.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Alexa and Angel Centeno:

  • How they've accomplished running a business as husband and wife
  • Their recent merger with audioDave, a company with over 38 years in the industry
  • The response from customers and the design trade on their 6,500 sqft showroom
  • How they approach Instagram to help build their platform and reach a larger audience

Watch Episode #100: An Industry Q&A with Lee Travis

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Lee Travis, innovator and thought leader in the home automation industry, brings a unique perspective as an owner of two custom integration firms in different markets.

Watch Episode #100: An Industry Q&A with Lee Travis

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Lee Travis. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Lee Travis

Lee got his start in car audio over 30 years prior to founding Wipliance in 2006. With two locations, one in Bellevue, WA, and the other in Scottsdale, AZ Wipliance has 35 employees, made $5 million in revenue, and was named Integrator of the Year for 2019 by the Consumer Technology Association and CES. 

Wipliance’s unique approach to marketing efforts includes a dynamic video portfolio, exciting showcase events, and a sister company, Obot Electric, that offers a seamless experience for clients. 

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Lee Travis:

  • His process in integrating electrical contracting to his business
  • Challenges and advantages to operating in two different markets, Washington State and Arizona
  • The importance and benefits of being part of a buying group
  • The future of 5G and how it might impact the custom integration industry

Watch Episode #97: An Industry Q&A with Pete Baker

Watch Episode #97: An Industry Q&A with Pete Baker

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Pete Baker. Recorded live on Wednesday, February 5th, 2019, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Pete Baker

Pete Baker, President of The BIG Corp, is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years of global experience making large strides in the CE industry. Pete began his career as a licensed low voltage technician and contractor before becoming the founder and CEO of Custom Home Integration, a leading installation firm that he created and later sold.

Pete has had numerous roles in the industry, from President of several leading Integration companies to keynote speaker, CEDIA Subject Matter Expert, and VP of Sales and Marketing for a major control system manufacturer. In his recent years, Pete was titled President of The BIG Corp, a global sales rep and business development agency providing support to the finest brands in CE. He also founded CE Business Academy that educates to CE professionals worldwide.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Pete Baker:

  • The benefit of developing a strong company brand
  • Why he became a CEDIA Certified Outreach Instructor
  • How he approaches representing and working for international corporations
  • The similarities between the CI space in North America and markets around the world
  • Handling customer expectations through feedback and communication with your sales team

Watch Episode #95: An Industry Q&A with Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher

Watch Episode #95: An Industry Q&A with Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher

This week's show features our host Ron Callis interviewing Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher. Recorded live on Friday, January 24, 2019, at 12:30 pm EST.

About Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher

Miranda has been with Origin Acoustics as their National Sales Manager for three years and quickly climbed to her National Sales Manager by age 24. Miranda started in the AV Industry with Metra Electronics at age 22 as a West Coast Regional. She was elected Top 40 under 40 at age 26 and recently elected as one of the most powerful women on the rise in consumer technology.

Marc is a consumer electronics veteran and joined Origin Acoustics four years ago. Marc has been titled Salesman of the Year twice in a row and was twice named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by the industry’s leading trade publication. Now, President of Sales, Marc continues to set the standard for sales professionalism and endeavors to share those skills with an entirely new generation of salespeople who are following in his footsteps.

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Miranda Grantham and Marc Fisher:

  • The importance of a strong company culture
  • The philosophy around investing in yourself, your business, and our industry
  • Insight on what training and coaching looks like for Origin dealers
  • The advantage of joining a buying group like ProSource
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