River City 6: Sam Guarino
Echo Systems is the residential and commercial automation and lighting design division of Echo Group, Inc., which has roots in the community dating back more than 60 years. Sam Guarino is the Operations Manager at Echo Systems.
Tell us a little about your business. – We have quietly emerged as the Midwest’s fastest growing provider of professional electronic systems for residential, corporate, education, hospitality, healthcare, and houses of worship. Our Experience Center is second to none and should be your destination stop before building begins, while designing is in process, or if you are thinking about upgrading technology.
How did you get started in the business? – I have always been drawn to technology and its ability to make people’s lives easier. After college I got started by working some retail and then quickly migrated over to the CI (custom installation) side of electronics integration.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – In my industry there is no training or schooling to prepare an individual for what we do. Everything is learned via on-the-job training. To gain experience and grow professionally, the best thing to do sometimes is work from the bottom, absorb knowledge like a sponge and capitalize on opportunities to improve.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – The ability to learn from a wide variety of circumstances, including clients, colleagues, and manufacturers over the years. In every situation, even if it’s negative one, is to find the positives and learn from it.
Tell us a little about your family. – My wife, Riann, and I have been married for 12 years. We have three great kids: Marlee, Cecilia, and Sam IV. My family is and has always been my biggest supporters. They have encouraged me every step along the way and I would not be who I am today without them.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – It was making the decision to move my wife and myself to Hawaii about 11 years ago. I was hesitant to make a long distant move after growing up my whole life in Nebraska. After making that initial jump, other moves have been easy for my family. It has springboarded my career and opened up a number of opportunities that I’ve been able to take advantage of.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – This really isn’t about me, but about our industry. Most people don’t understand everything that goes on behind the scenes in order to deliver a simple solution to a client. There’s so much effort on the integrator’s part to make it a seamless process, from needs assessment and planning to design and implementation.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – Feel free to reach out to our team at Echo Systems at (402) 334-4900, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at echosystemsmidwest.com.