Technology Integrator Top Talent Under 40: Lynne Jaeger, Audio Experts
In a brief survey, we asked our Technology Integrator Top Talent Under 40 honoree to answer a few questions about themselves and about the industry. To see the full list of winners, click here.
Part 1: Profile Questions
Name: Lynne Jaeger
Title and company: CFO/Lead Installation Technician/Lead Programmer - Audio Experts, Inc.; CFO - Audio Experts Corridor, Inc.
Brief description of your role there: What don't I do? My primary role during the workweek is lead installation technician, lead programmer, and service technician. On the weekends, I manage the books for our two company locations.
Years in industry: 14 years in the industry
Where you grew up: Dubuque, Iowa
Where you live now: Dubuque, Iowa
College: Clarke College (now Clarke University), Dubuque, Iowa
Accomplishments and why those are important to you or your company: Control4 certified programmer, Lutron certified programmer, ESA Certified, Level II Cedia Certified - Having these certifications and training not only gives me the tools to perform the best possible work for my clients but also gives me the ability to teach others within the company these skills.
Industry awards: 2017 Lutron International Award for Best Use of Lighting Controls in a Commercial Space
Part 2: Fun Questions
What I like best about my job: I love working with other trades on job sites, and the camaraderie that comes from working with the same people from one job to the next. I love cabling racks and firing up a system for the first time, and seeing everything come together at the end of a job.
What I like least about my job: The least favorite part of my job, being a small business owner, is never having enough time. It seems like there's always something pulling me in one direction or another, and too few hours in a day, too few days in a week. The word vacation does not exist in my vocabulary.
Favorite pastime/hobby: Reading. I love to sit down with a good book, but admit that iBooks make it easier to read in bed! Favorite hobby: I started trail running 4 years ago, and have gone from 5k to 50 miles, with my first 100-mile race this fall. Both allow me to just relax and escape the hustle and bustle of work, clear my head and reset.
Last book I read: The last books I read were the Bluegrass Series by Kathleen Brooks. Suspense and romance, I can't resist!
Favorite movie: My favorite movie is also my favorite book: Gone with the Wind. I read it once a year.
Best concert ever seen: I have been to several big country concerts over the years, but the best I have ever seen was on my Bucket List - Garth Brooks.
Who’s my hero, and why: My hero is my great-grandmother Katherine; she is 94 years old and has taught me that in life, as long as you work hard, follow the golden rule, keep your chin up and hold your head high, you can do anything you want.
Favorite new tech: One of the newer technology items I enjoy is voice control products that tie into home automation systems. I love geeking out and doing cool things both at my home and showroom, then being able to show off what clients can do at their own home.
If you could be anyplace else right now, where would it be and what would you be doing?: If I could be anyplace else right now, I would be either in Nashville exploring the country music Capitol of the world or in Kentucky visiting all of the horse racing stables. If I had to choose another profession, I would be a writer.
Part 3: More Serious Questions
What do you think is the major problem with the industry today, and what needs to be done to fix it?
There are several major problems within the industry today. Manufacturers need stricter policies to protect products from eroding margins, so local CI companies can compete on an even playing field. At the same time, you need to be able to get the products; lack of availability has been an issue we have all run up against. Manufacturers also need to improve their tech support - better hold times, faster callbacks, and agents you can understand on the phone. Last but certainly not least is the lack of skilled technicians in the industry. There are fewer younger people getting into the industry and aging technicians that are starting to slow down or leave the industry altogether.
What makes you believe the CI industry will get healthier and thrive during the next five years? Why?
As long as manufacturers keep engaging customers with cool, new products the market will continue to thrive. Looking back 10 years, the home automation marketplace has exploded. But at the same time, lack of communication/integration between manufacturers, and convincing non-CI manufacturers to join the home automation platform has been a weakness in the industry.