ControlTalk Now The HVAC and Smart Building Controls Podcast

My guest this week is Jeff Kimmel. Jeff is the Co-founder and CEO of

If you are looking for ways to reduce the costs it takes to run your building or factory, and if you are looking to cut energy and maintenance costs, then this episode is for you!

Elipsa is an automated AI platform.They put the AI capabilities in your hands, enabling you to be proactive in your approach saving time and money addressing problems before they occur. Epipsa works with the Niagara data service. is a tool for users through a simple point and click to be able to create AI algorithms that are applicable to industrial use cases and machinery.

Here are some benefits of using Elipsa in concert with your building management system and why it’s the smart choice for building management Jeff discusses on this episode

 1. Power Usage Reduction:

One of the biggest benefits of using Elipsa is its ability to reduce power usage in buildings. With its advanced analytics and predictive maintenance capabilities, Elipsa can help identify and resolve energy inefficiencies in real-time, allowing businesses to save money on energy costs and reduce their environmental footprint.

2. Predictive Maintenance:

Another key benefit of using Elipsa is its predictive maintenance capabilities. By monitoring and analyzing data from building systems and equipment, Elipsa can identify potential issues before they become major problems, allowing businesses to proactively address maintenance needs and avoid costly downtime.

3. Scenario Testing Through Digital Twins:

Elipsa’s AI-based scenario testing feature allows businesses to model different scenarios and test the impact of potential changes before implementing them. This helps businesses make informed decisions and avoid unintended consequences that can negatively impact operations and the bottom line.

4. Customizable Dashboards and Alerts:

Elipsa’s customizable dashboards allow businesses to easily monitor and manage building systems and equipment in real-time. This provides businesses with a clear and comprehensive view of building operations, allowing them to make informed decisions and quickly respond to issues as they arise.

5. Integrations:

Elipsa is designed to integrate with a wide range of building systems and equipment, including HVAC, lighting, security, and more. This allows businesses to centralize and streamline their building management operations, reducing complexity and increasing efficiency.

Overall, the benefits of using Elipsa are clear. By providing operators with powerful analytics, predictive maintenance, and scenario testing capabilities, Elipsa can help businesses save money, increase efficiency, and reduce their environmental impact. If you’re looking for a smarter, more effective way to manage your building operations, look no further than Elipsa.

Contact Elipsa today at

Sarah Monteleone, the President of Controls Group North America is my guest this week on Controltalk Now the HVAC and Smart Building Controls Video Cast. Starting her career in controls with Functional Devices, Sarah has worked her way up to becoming the president of Controls Group North America. Controls Group North America is a group of elite HVAC and Smart Buildings control distributors and progressive HVAC manufacturers. Sarah shares the skills needed to lead this group of accomplished individuals, plus the challenges of selling smart building controls in a highly competitive market. Be sure to tune in and join us as we discuss the latest trends, technology, and strategies in HVAC and Smart Building Controls with Sarah Monteleone. It’s sure to be an enlightening conversation! 


This week, Control Talk Now is taking a look at leadership and the skills needed to lead a team of strong personalities without the ability to give raises or fire people. As an example, the host( Eric Stromquist) talks about his younger cousin who was on the fast track at a Fortune 100 company. He was given a billion-dollar project with aggressive and unrealistic goals, and he could not hire or fire anyone nor offer any type of monetary incentive. His success at this project was the ultimate test and it was both challenging and rewarding. The guest this week is someone who is creating great results under the same constraints in the HVAC and smart building controls industry.

The conversation discussed the importance of nonverbal communication in the communication process and the importance of timing in communication. Eric explained the technique of mirroring, which involves adopting the same postures and gestures as the person you are talking to, to create a meaningful connection. This technique can be used to establish rapport and as a timing mechanism called pacing and leading. Eric also suggested that if a conversation is going off the rails, one should shut up, cross their arms and mirror the other person until they follow the nonverbal lead. Eric also mentioned that they are considering offering a nonverbal communication training class and asked listeners to send an email to if they are interested.

John Sublett, the former CTO of Tridium and current chair of the company was interviewed on Control Talk Now. John discussed the early days at Tritium and the lessons he learned along the way. He discussed how technology has changed and evolved since the company first began and how it has impacted the industry. He also discussed how the company has grown and how it has become an industry leader in the process. Sarah Montelione, the president of Cgna, was also featured in the episode. She discussed how Cgna has been supporting the industry as a whole and how they are redefining distribution. She also discussed the various benefits Cgna provides to its members and how they are helping to create real value for customers.

Sarah and the speaker have been friends for 25 years and have worked in the same industry for that time. Sarah is known for her skills in building relationships and making impressions, which the speaker noticed when they first met. Sarah began her journey in wholesale distribution when she completed an internship with a large industrial distributor after college and was offered a sales training program. This began her six-year journey with the company, and she has been working in the industry ever since. The speaker appreciates Sarah's skills and the impact she has had on the industry.


0:00:00 "Leading Without Fear or Money: A Discussion on Leadership with Eric Stranquist"

0:02:38 Nonverbal Communication Tips for Leaders: Mirroring, Pacing, and Leading

0:07:45 New Episode of Legacy Voices  with Eric's guest, John Sublett, CTO of Tritium and this weeks Controltalk Now Guest Sarah Montelione, President of CGNA

0:09:37 Conversation with Sarah, 25-Year Veteran of the Industrial Distribution Industry

0:11:29 Conversation with Sarah Ritman: From Functional Devices to Cgna

0:17:16 Conversation on Developing Relationships and Consensus with Customers and Employees

0:22:19 "Managing Employee Performance: A Conversation with Sarah Smith"

0:27:23 Heading: Benefits of Joining CGNA for Manufacturers

0:29:41 Interview with Sarah Montelone, Cgna Controls: Celebrating 40 Years of Success


But I talked to a vendor recently, and they said, Sarah, we use Cgna to help us launch and sell our product, and fast forward 20 years. We are successful because of the member distributors and the services the organization provides. Okay? That is crazy if you think about that. So for vendors, even mature business vendors, products that have been out for 30 years, Eric, this, more than anybody is technology changes.. Okay? The industry changes. COVID changed things, right? Everything was going e-commerce for years. Guess what? Through COVID, this organization of stocking wholesalers survived and increased their business because they had inventory. And so these vendors, you want to partner with distributors that obviously buy your product, stock it, but also get it specified, support it, technically talk about it. There's absolutely a need for e-commerce.

You know what? First of all, we're celebrating 40 years this year. Congratulations to us. That is crazy, right? It's a major milestone, 40 years. The foundation of Cgna really is still intact. It's a distribution member-owned distribution network with that manufacturer piece and what's. So great. And again, I just joined in June, but I've been a vendor member for my entire career with Functional and Connect Air, who are still part of this organization and actually still selling more products. That's the greatest part.

I know that certain organizations have protocols regarding performance plans and sort of action items when maybe an employee is struggling with the job. But also you need to understand why their performance isn't up to par. It may be understanding, it might not be a situation where the employee is just not doing the job. There may be an issue with that employee doing that job. And it may be a home life situation.. It may be an understanding of the job responsibilities. So figure it out, be respectful, have an honest conversation, and be part of the solution.

There is a lot of mental discussion with myself before that, right? I get all of the emotion out of the way for the most part and really just stick with the facts. Eric right. It's pretty clear-cut today. Everybody's got job responsibilities, and everybody knows what their role is, right? So remove the emotion, be respectful, stick with the facts, and just talk about what the issue is. And I've always been a proponent of second chances, third chances, be part of the solution.

My role at Cgna is really not to transform or convert our members into people with a single thought, idea, direction, or feeling. What makes this group so special and powerful is I'm working with those different personalities, right? And people with different strengths and knowledge. It's the collective differences and collaboration that really provide the results in the direction of Cgna. Right. It's not one person.. So I love the fact that I'm working with a lot of personalities. My role is really listening, guiding, obtaining information, and sometimes refereeing this crowd, right? But ultimately just pulled their words together and put a plan together.



My guest on ControlTalk Now this week is Tom Joslin. Tom is one of the control pros with a newer smart building control vendor, 75F.

75F is a leading provider of building automation solutions that are designed to optimize energy consumption, improve indoor air quality, and enhance occupant comfort in commercial buildings. Using a vertically integrated and IoT-based wireless system, 75F's technology can analyze and control existing HVAC equipment and systems to achieve greater efficiency and cost savings. With sophisticated algorithms running in the cloud, the system can make micro-adjustments every 60 seconds to ensure optimal performance, and each customer site receives roughly 150,000 individual decisions each day. With a focus on sustainability, affordability, and customer satisfaction, 75F is revolutionizing the way businesses manage their buildings and reduce their carbon footprint.

In addition to my interview with Tom, I explain another nonverbal communication technique, mirroring. Mirroring is a subconscious behavior that is used to establish rapport and influence others. In essence, it involves adopting another person's posture, breathing patterns, and speed of speaking. Mirroring can help to build trust and strengthen relationships when used judiciously. I discuss how mirroring works in this episode.

Direct download: CTN_409_75F.mp3
Category:HVAC and Building Automation Controls -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

My guest this week is an industry legend, Dennis Floro. Before becoming a consultant, Dennis took well know distributor Wilson Mohr from 8 million dollars a year in sales to over 100 million dollars.

In addition to teaching us about business strategy, Dennis shares 5 ttraits that great laeders have in common:


1) Great Leaders are Great Listeners

The best leaders understand the value of humble listening. They recognize the need to consider different perspectives before making decisions. A great leader is patient enough to listen and absorb information before responding; they will use input from others to make informed decisions moving forward. This type of communication builds trust with colleagues and helps create an open dialogue that empowers employees to be creative and innovative.

2) Set Measurable Goals

Successful leaders set measurable goals for themselves and their team members in order to stay informed about the operations of their business. Setting targets and tracking progress towards them, it helps keep everyone on track with what needs to be done and done well in order to reach those goals. This can also be used as a way for leaders to evaluate their own performance, as well as that of their staff members.

3) Understand Needs & How Best To Communicate With Them

Leaders must take the time to get to know both their staff members and customers on an individual basis in order to understand their needs better. Knowing how best to communicate with each person is critical in helping them feel valued while also meeting the company's objectives. Doing this allows leaders better leverage when communicating with team members or customers; they’ll come off as more knowledgeable because they have taken the time necessary for understanding their wants/needs better than anyone else could have done so easily!

4) Adapt Quickly & Re-evaluate Often

Great leaders understand that things change quickly in today’s world, which means they must be prepared to adapt quickly while also being willing to re-evaluate often so they can hold fresh perspectives on any situation or challenge. Remaining flexible with ideas or processes, it allows them more room for growth without sacrificing quality work or dedication from staff members who may become stagnant if left unchanged over long periods of time!

5) Humility Is Essential                                                                           

The ability of one person to lead hundreds is something truly remarkable - yet humility is essential if you want your leadership style to be respected by those you manage. Achieving greatness doesn't have anything at all to do with being boastful, rather it has everything to do with having the right attitude; understanding that employees should always come first no matter what other interests may arise during times of stress or success!  

Conclusion: Being an effective leader isn't easy—it takes hard work, patience, and dedication—but it's worth it when you see your team thrive under your guidance! Building trust among colleagues while striving toward measurable goals sets up businesses for success while allowing them room to grow to even greater heights than ever imagined before! Taking the time to get to know staff/customers' needs helps build strong relationships within an organization while remaining humble is key to helping maintain respect between superiors/subordinates alike - these five qualities make up just some major elements great leadership embodies!  Making sure to apply these principles day-to-day basis will ensure you continue to grow as a leader in business at full potential reachable heights!  So if you're looking to become a great leader don't forget to look at yourself and ask “Do I embody these qualities?” If the answer is yes then go out there and show the world what made capable of doing!! Good luck on your journey to greatness!                                                                                        ​​

Direct download: 408_Dennis_Floro_on_Leading.mp3
Category:HVAC and Building Automation Controls -- posted at: 1:45pm EDT