$20M Project: Integration Company Sold

It's been a war of attrition among nearly all the electronics contractors on the job, who have been slowed by the client.

Mark Sipe · July 21, 2011

It’s been four months since my last update, and the project has slowed down over the past few months putting pressure on those left standing.

Meanwhile, the integrator - CineMagic - was sold, but that has not interrupted its work on the job.

Client Hires Own Labor
The client has tried to hire anyone he can in-house to keep labor costs down. That includes bringing in his own labor to assist in the electronics. I have kept the actual integrator out of this mix, but the pre-wire team did use people hired by the client to pull wire and test. Some were local and some he brought over from Las Vegas. None are left now and the integrator, CineMagic, stops in for the occasional jobsite meeting to see the progress.

No one person runs the project other than the client, making everyone expendable. It isn’t just about having the “right” guy in charge, it’s as much about the owner giving enough control to that person to be effective.

The client has a very, very strong personality. He runs multi-million dollar jobs in his own business. Throw in the fact it’s his house and the job supervisor (Mike Runyon) has his back up against the wall. The job super also has skill with operating the front-end loader and other miscellaneous equipment that can take a project manager’s eye off the goal line.

In terms of the electronics, the installation team gets with lots of support, but not always when, or where we need it. So here we stand with years of jobsite experience, but we need a sign-off from the client to let someone actually run the project when he’s not on site.

CineMagic Sold, but Work Continues
Meanwhile, Terry Kohler of CineMagic has a new boss in Ron Sierzenski, who purchased the company from Cary Christie II. Kohler is now a director and effectively is managing the business. Control4 has been very supportive with vice presidents and regional managers stopping in on a regular basis to show support and ask if there is anything that would be of use to the project. Everyone knows that with this project being so much in the spotlight, it’s in their best interest to make sure we have a successful outcome.

I tend to fall back on my electrician, Darryl Gregory of Canyon Creek Electric, who keeps the whole project on his radar and is still able to do his job. His last employee was laid off last month leaving him as the lone ranger of electrical. The architect (Jim Lloyd) is skilled and has a great creative mind but can’t get out from under the owner’s thumb at times.

  About the Author

Mark has been both a commercial and residential integrator and systems engineer for over 25 years. He works with Builders, Homeowners and Architects to design and support all types of projects around the world. He is also a software developer (SalezToolz) and mad scientist/inventor (Xspot Products) all developed around what he saw as a need for the businesses he works with and supports. He has been a CEA Mark of Excellence judge the last 6 years and CE Pro Best awards Judge. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Mark at

Follow Mark on social media:

Mark also participates in these groups:
LinkedIn · Google+

View Mark Sipe's complete profile.

  Article Topics

News · Media · Slideshow · Installation · All Topics
CE Pro Magazine

Read More Articles Like This… With A Free Subscription

CE Pro magazine is the resource you need to keep up-to-date on the latest products, techniques, designs and business practices. Subscribe today!

Subscribe Today!