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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 #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.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #225: An Industry Q&A with Angel and Alexandra Centeno

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Alexandra and Angel Centeno, Owners at Systems Design & Integration, Inc. share how their business has grown since their appearance on the show, including their new location in Florida.

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #225: An Industry Q&A with Angel and Alexandra Centeno

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Alexandra and Angel Centeno. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Alexandra and Angel Centeno

In 2010 Alexa and Angel co-founded SDI, a company specializing in the sales, design & installation of automation systems for residential and commercial spaces. 

As the business began to grow, Alexa began branching out creatively by designing systems and mixing technology and art with a touch of audio. Additionally, she channeled her passion for lighting design into turning clients’ creative lighting visions into reality. Boston Magazine recently recognized her for her achievements as a female co-owner in the Boston area.

Angel has piloted the many facets of the operational and installation processes at SDI since 2010. This includes utilizing his vast industry knowledge about equipment and programming to propel each project to completion. He’s the driving force behind every system design and integration project  and has been recognized as a premier integrator by Boston Magazine in the 2019 “Best of Boston” edition.

Interview Recap

  • SDI’s new showroom experience in Needham, MA and what prompted the move to the new showroom.
  • Their new roadside billboard and prompted this new strategy
  • How their business has grown since their appearance on the show, including their new location in Boca Raton, Florida

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 #223: An Industry Q&A with Carson Morby

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Carson Morby, Director of Marketing at Advanced Integrated Systems shares why brand awareness is so important to an integration business

Home Automation Unplugged Episode #223: An Industry Q&A with Carson Morby

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Carson Morby. Recorded live on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022, at 12:30 pm. EST.

About Carson Morby

AIS was founded in 2000 as a design and installation firm for AV systems and automated home and business systems. Over the years, the company has grown from a 2-3 man operation into a crew of 15 full time employees with a design & engineering department and a 24/7 client care plan.

Carson joined AIS in December of 2021, and took over the role as Director of Marketing in early 2022. Since then, AIS has been scaling their growth by implementing a marketing plan targeted toward luxury clients. AIS continues to rapidly grow in the Northern Utah area, and is projected to more than double its annual revenue for the second consecutive year.

Interview Recap

  • As a newcomer to the CI Channel: Carson’s point of view 
  • The importance of corporate marketing programs and how they can have a positive impact on a business
  • Why brand awareness is so important to an integration business
  • The role of video in marketing

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
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