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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.

Articles in Category: Industry Professionals

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #231: A Lightapalooza Special

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Ron sat down to discuss event logistics including vendors, attendees and trainings offered for the upcoming Lightapalooza show.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #231: A Lightapalooza Special

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Tom Doherty, Michael Libman and David Warfel. Recorded live on Thursday, December 15th, 2022, at 2:00 pm. EST.

About Lightapalooza

Lightapalooza 2023 is the 2nd Annual Lighting Conference exclusively for the Custom Integration Industry. This special show will include Lighting Fundamentals Training, Lighting Design Workshops, Expert Panel Discussions and Manufacturer Training Sessions.

It will also provide a unique opportunity for the top Custom Integrators and Lighting segment manufacturers to gather and engage over three days with the subject and conversations strictly around the emerging lighting category. Lightapalooza will provide the perfect launch for your company's success and growth in the lighting category in 2023.

Interview Recap

  • The history behind Lightapalooza 
  • Event logistics including vendors, attendees and trainings offered
  • The growing importance of lighting in the custom integration industry

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #230: An Industry Q&A with Sarah Dresher

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Sarah Dresher, Owner and Director of Business Development at Luxury Integrated Technologies shares her point of view between ageism and sexism in the AV industry.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #230: An Industry Q&A with Sarah Dresher

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Sarah Dresher. Recorded live on Wednesday, November 30th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Sarah Dresher

Sarah Dresher founded Luxury Integrated Technologies, in early 2022, as a service and consulting agency for the southeast, representing best-in-category brands. Upon completing her electrical engineering degree in 2016 and later earning a MBA from Rutgers Business School, she worked for Lutron and Sonnen. Sarah also gained experience working directly for a Lutron rep agency in the Carolinas, prior to taking the plunge and founding Luxury Integrated Technologies.

Interview Recap

  • Sarah’s journey leading up to her becoming an entrepreneur
  • Ageism vs Sexism in the AV industry
  • Sarah’s perspective on the role of reps vs a direct sales force in the CEDIA space

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #229: An Industry Q&A with Dan Ferrisi

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Dan Ferrisi, Editor-In-Chief at Commercial Integrator shares his background in AV journalism and his trajectory that led him to being Editor-In-Chief at Commercial Integrator.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #229: An Industry Q&A with Dan Ferrisi

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Dan Ferrisi. Recorded live on Wednesday, November 16th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Dan Ferrisi

Dan is a veteran technology journalist who has been covering commercial AV technologies, applications, trends and business practices since 2004. He started his career at Sound & Communications where he eventually rose through the editorial ranks and became editor in 2017. 

In November 2021, Dan joined Commercial Integrator, the first publication dedicated to address the business needs of professional integrators. At Commercial Integrator, he assumed the role of editor-in-chief. His passion lies in helping integrators run their businesses better by informing them of emerging opportunities, strategic pivots and the need to continually evolve.

Interview Recap

  • Dan´s background in AV journalism and his trajectory that led him to being Editor-In-Chief at Commercial Integrator
  • The differences between residential and commercial integrators 
  • Dan’s input on strategies and actions for integration businesses to be able to face supply chain challenges

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #228: An Industry Q&A with Susan Grossweiler

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Susan Grossweiler, Vice-President of Products and Operations at HAVRION shares the importance and role of technology in schools to improve safety.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #228: An Industry Q&A with Susan Grossweiler

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Susan Grossweiler. Recorded live on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Susan Grossweiler

As Vice President of Products and Operations for HAVRION, Susan is focused on data-driven action & activations approach to deliver outcomes that provide protection and performance solutions in schools and facilities. 

Susan has an impressive background with experience in design concept, product forecasting, on site management, budgeting, event planning, project management, and sales & marketing. She has worked for big-name companies like Samsung, ESPN Radio-Brevard FL, MassAV, and Kennedy Space Center to support and execute exceptional service, guidance, and solution insights to the end customers. 

Susan attended Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island where she graduated with degrees in business management and marketing communications.

Interview Recap

  • Current state of school shootings in the USA
  • The importance and role of technology in schools to improve safety
  • HAVRION´s ¨Protect and Perform” technology strategy for school systems

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #227: An Industry Q&A with Tina Peters

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Tina Peters, Executive Vice-President of SVT shares her passion as an NSCA Ignite ambassador to help educate rising talent in our industry.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #227: An Industry Q&A with Tina Peters

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Tina Peters. Recorded live on Thursday, October 20th, 2022, at 3:30 pm. EST.

About Tina Peters

Tina has over 15 years of experience in the industry and a passion for building and developing teams for businesses to scale. Her hands-on leadership approach and experience in project management and service operations has been critical to her success. Tina’s determination to provide a premium customer experience both internally and externally really helps SVT’s culture stand out in everything they do. Tina is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and an NSCA Ignite ambassador. She is also a passionate advocate for helping women leaders grow and rise in the industry.

Interview Recap

  • NSCA’s Pivot to profit 2022 event that took place in Chicago
  • SVT’s history and current service offering
  • The importance of a strong company culture to attract talent. 
  • Tina’s passion as an NSCA Ignite ambassador to help educate rising talent in our industry
  • Growing leaders within SVT organization

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #226: An Industry Q&A with Chad Russell

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Chad Russell, Director of Residential Sales at SurgeX shares his background and history working the AV industry for 25 years.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #226: An Industry Q&A with Chad Russell

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Chad Russell. Recorded live on Friday, September 23rd, 2022, at 12:00 pm. EST.

About Chad Russell

As Director of Residential Sales, Chad Russell oversees all residential sales for SurgeX and guides the sales team toward achieving new milestones. With over 25 years of experience, Chad is known throughout the industry for his training style, knowledge of cutting-edge control systems, and creation of best practice resources for dealers to help with sales, profitability, and efficiency across their businesses.

Chad has been involved in the custom installation space since his college years. He has also focused on the manufacturing side of the business, where he cultivated his dynamic background. Throughout his nearly three-decade career, he has served as Regional Sales Manager for both Kaleidescape and Crestron Electronics, the Territory Sales Manager for VUDU, Vice President of Sales for ICE Cable Systems, and most recently, the Director of Sales for Josh.ai.

Interview Recap

  • Chad’s background and history working the AV industry for 25 years 
  • The CEDIA 2022 Expo in Dallas and everything SurgeX was taking to the show, including SQUID, their new power solutions product.
  • His perspective on the labor shortage we are experiencing and different actions that can help pull talent into the industry.