We often say we have the best team members. And that's true across our three brands: Wolfers Lighting, System 7, and The Boston Shade Company.
Today, we shine the spotlight on Dan Vassallo, who works as a field manager on the project finish team for System 7.
How did you first learn about System 7? What drew you to the company?
Dan: Todd Gaito, our director of sales, used to work with my wife at a previous company. I had only met him a few times, but he remembered that I was in the A/V industry and reached out when System 7 was growing and looking for field technicians.
At the time, I was on the commercial side of the region's A/V industry. For five years, I'd been working on big commercial build-outs as a field technician. Then, I spent about a year as an outside salesperson for a smaller commercial A/V integrator.
So Todd called, and we talked at length about System 7, the culture, and the caliber of work. That led to a call with the president of the company, Gerry Lynch. This conversation completely shattered my preconceived assumptions about the "dreaded" residential A/V industry.
After my conversation with Gerry and a little research on my own, it was clear to me that System 7 is one of the elite residential integration firms in the Northeast. At the same time, there was definitely a collaborative and nimble feel to the company—characteristics that I'm naturally drawn to and tend to thrive in.
What do you find most exciting about working at System 7?
Dan: This is kind of two-fold. Every single day we are working on the cutting edge of home technology. We're installing the latest lighting technology, A/V, and automation in some of the most premier properties in the entire northeast. Think multi-building private compounds on Cape Cod, ultra-modern homes on Martha's Vineyard, and the newest luxury high-rises in Boston. We are constantly working on projects that could easily be featured on the latest "Ultimate Homes" episode on TV. That alone is exciting.
The second layer to this is that because of the type of work we do and the pace of the residential technology industry as a whole, System 7 is growing rapidly, which is truly exciting to be a part of.
Can you give us an idea of a typical workday for you? Perhaps in the office, field, or both?
Dan: I'm on the project finish team, and I currently straddle working in the field and working in the office. I'm sort of a bridge between the field and the office. It varies week by week, depending on how many projects are closing out. If I'm in the field, my day usually starts at the warehouse to pick up any equipment needed for the job that day. From there, I head to the job site and dive right into completing the finish stages of the job. That means I'm working on lighting programming, completing TV installations, configuring networks, configuring any automation on the job (lots of Amazon Alexa integrations on the horizon!), and putting everything through its paces.
Beyond that, I complete much of the client hand-off interactions, which is one of the more rewarding tasks I have. It's great seeing the clients' faces when they can control their entire house from their phone or their kids' faces when they can control things by talking to Alexa.
When I'm not needed in the field, I'm working in the office, which means I'm assisting the operations team on all phases of projects, identifying and implementing company standards based on our discoveries in the field, and building client hand-off packages.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
Dan: My wife and I have a beautiful 9-month-old daughter who has been our latest adventure. We try to spend as much of our free time as possible having fun with her and exploring life through her eyes.
Beyond that, I play drums in a working cover band, which has me busy on weekends playing gigs throughout the Northshore and Merrimack Valley. I went to Berklee College of Music, which is how I ended up here to begin with (I'm from New York: GO GIANTS).
I've played drums since I was a kid and have been in bands off and on since I started. I've been lucky enough to travel a lot of the country playing original music and have had a few opportunities that allowed me to play in front of thousands of people. Although it's toned down now, it's definitely something fun that remains steady for me outside of System 7.
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