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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: sonnen

Home Automation Podcast Episode #57: An Industry Q&A With Jessica Weiss

Changing the world through Energy Automation

Home Automation Podcast Episode #57: An Industry Q&A With Jessica Weiss

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jessica Weiss. Recorded live on Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Jessica Weiss

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Jessica Weiss graduated summa cum laude from Temple University with a degree in Public Relations. Upon graduation, she first entered the hospitality industry as a Group Sales Manager for a major hotel in Center City Philadelphia - The Crowne Plaza Hotel (which eventually became Sonesta Hotel). There, she managed rate negotiation across multiple market segments to drive millions of dollars in revenue for the Hotel.

After several years in hospitality, Jessica decided to use and expand her skills in a new industry - home automation & lighting control - when she joined Lutron Electronics in 2013. At Lutron, she spent over 4 years on both the Shades and Residential Systems Marketing Teams to successfully promote and expand Lutron Shading Solutions, Caséta Wireless, RadioRA 2, and HomeWorks QS across Lutron’s various channels. During this time, she also developed, launched, and managed a highly successful Contractor Rewards Program - Lutron PRO.

In December 2017, Jessica decided to bring her passion for lighting control and home automation to an entirely new industry - renewable energy - upon joining the Sonnen Team. With her background at Lutron, Jessica brought a new perspective of “clean tech” to the renewable energy industry where she would serve several different roles at Sonnen - including a Sales & Marketing Leader for the Northeast, Program Manager to develop and launch several Preferred Partner programs, and (most currently) Business Development Manager for Energy Automation and AI.

In her current role, Jessica is using her passion and expertise in both home automation and renewable energy to educate and inspire others about energy automation with ecoLinx - a concept now possible for the very first time. Today, she focuses on merging both the solar and home automation industries to help industry partners elevate and differentiate their business with this groundbreaking, unique innovation that takes the ultimate smart home to the next level. In her spare time, Jessica loves to run, bike, and spend time with her family.

Interview Recap

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

  • Jessica’s background in the industry
  • Who is Sonnen?
  • Importance of energy automation - value to homeowners
  • Relationship between the integrator and solar contractor

Home Automation Podcast Episode #15: An Industry Q&A With Blake Richetta

It's time for integrators to go solar.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #15: An Industry Q&A With Blake Richetta

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Blake Richetta. Recorded live on Thursday, August 30th, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. EST. 

About Blake Richetta

Blake Richetta graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a Masters in Business Administration in 2001 and shortly thereafter he began a 15-year career at Lutron Electronics, the world leader in lighting control. While at Lutron, Blake successfully designed and implemented an industry-leading business model for the RadioRA and RadioRA2 products. His approach to building the distributor and installer channels and the overall channel strategy for the RadioRA business advanced the global market for smart home lighting and automated shading, contributing to the overall growth of the home automation industry.

After departing Lutron, Blake joined Tesla Motors as North American Powerwall Sales Manager, bringing his expertise in selling high-end residential technologies to the nascent energy storage industry.  After a brief stint at Tesla, Blake joined Sonnen, Inc. as Vice President of Sales, drawn by the company’s innovative capabilities and high quality, technologically advanced residential storage products and services. Sonnen’s innovation in energy storage goes beyond smart batteries to include the “Sonnen Community”, a peer-to-peer clean energy trading as well as Grid Services platform which uses a “Virtual Power Plant” by way of aggregation.

In June of 2017, Blake was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sonnen, Inc. and named “Representative of the Global CEO” for North American operations. In his short time at Sonnen, Blake has led the US organization into a period of rapid sales and organizational growth. The company’s new manufacturing facility and “InnovationHub” in Atlanta, Georgia opened in April 2017. Outside of work, Blake enjoys spending time with his family, including his wife Priya, and is an active volunteer and philanthropist in his hometown of Santa Monica, CA.

Interview Recap

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

  • Blake's background with Lutron Electronics and Tesla Powerwall
  • How Blake landed in the solar power/cleantech industry
  • What Sonnen batterie has planned for the U.S. and CEDIA in particular
  • Why integrators should be interested in solar storage

Blake breaks down the state of clean energy technology and the role that it will soon play in the AV and automation industry.

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