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Christopher Sterle of Acoustic Design Systems: “Be of service to everyone, all of the time!”

A smart home offers convenience, safety and is also customizable as it can be built around anyone’s specific wants and needs. It uses technology to automate everyday house controls such as lighting, climate, audio and visual and appliances. Most people are familiar with the Ring Doorbell, Amazon Alexa or the ecobee thermostat — three examples of what […]

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A smart home offers convenience, safety and is also customizable as it can be built around anyone’s specific wants and needs. It uses technology to automate everyday house controls such as lighting, climate, audio and visual and appliances. Most people are familiar with the Ring Doorbell, Amazon Alexa or the ecobee thermostat — three examples of what can be incorporated into a smart home. It can also include security and monitoring systems, fire systems, control panels, smart entertainment systems, lighting and shade control, acoustic panels and more. Smart homes are designed and developed to fit each person’s lifestyle. If someone entertains often, they may want to be able to control all of their televisions and surround sound through an app on their phone. A family with children may care more about smart home door locks which make it possible to lock and unlock doors remotely, or a security camera system so they can see who is going in and out of their house. The beauty of smart homes is that no two are alike and with today’s technology, we are able to make anyone’s vision a reality.


As a part of our series about “Homes Of The Future”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christopher Sterle.

Nearly two decades ago, Christopher Sterle founded Acoustic Design Systems (ADS), a Las Vegas-based leader in commercial and residential home automation and security solutions, that provides custom-designed solutions to fit every lifestyle. ADS specializes in integrating smart technology driven by artificial intelligence, RFID, voice control and facial recognition that enable connectivity throughout the home or office — from singular solutions to complete infrastructure. Sterle is an active member of CEDIA, CEA, TechHome Builder, Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, the Better Business Bureau, Henderson Chamber of Commerce, NAIOP, ASID, is THX Installer Certified and is on the National Advisory Board for SnapAV.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I was born and grew up in Mentor, Ohio, where I went Lakeland Community College. In 1995, my career began in audio visual (AV) when I started selling and installing home electronics for a “big box” retail store. While there, I started going to training classes for various AV manufacturers to gain an overall knowledge on their product offerings and capabilities.

I quickly learned that I was passionate and very interested in the industry, and then decided to begin working in home electronic installations full time and joined a local company specializing in home AV and custom installs. In 1998 I relocated to Las Vegas to become a field manager for a local residential AV company. For the next two years, I worked attentively with customers to gain a deeper knowledge of the custom AV field.

I joined the Las Vegas show “EFX” at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in 2000 and expanded my knowledge about commercial projects and the professional AV gear and installations. A year later, I left the show and began to plan and build the foundation to start my own business, and then launched ADS in 2003.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I moved to Las Vegas at 20 years old with no money and not knowing a single soul. Prior to relocating, I lacked clear direction, and was fired from every job I ever had in Ohio. I started this company in my garage, where I handled sales, installation, ordering parts and every other aspect that was needed to get the business going from the ground up. I never received any loans or asked anyone for help. Once the first project was completed, I would take the money I made and put it into parts for the second job I sold, and so on. Now, after nearly 20 years, I have grown that small startup to having an amazing team of experts that totals 50 employees and 30 wrapped vans in an 8,000 square-foot building. I am extremely proud when I look back at how far we’ve come.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

The largest tipping point of when our company really took off was when I hired who is now our Vice President. I was looking for a bookkeeper to help with accounting, ordering office supplies and running the administrative side of company when we only had six employees. Little did I know, she would help launch us into another playing field. She had previously owned her own security camera, fire and alarm business in California, and leveraged her experience to not only get our financials in order, but to start a whole new profitable division of our company. I could not be prouder of that turning point and I’m blessed to still have her as a partner today.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

As mentioned, our Vice President was an amazing addition to our team whom I am incredibly grateful to have helped get the company to where we are now. In fact, today I am surrounded by several strong businesswomen and top talent who have helped continue taking our company to another level. We have been able to grow large enough to find talent who I never expected to acquire. For example, across the country, not many companies in our industry have a dedicated Director of Marketing and Sales. Our Director of Marketing has been a huge piece of our success in bringing us to another level. She has worked to rebrand our entire business, get our messaging out to the community, provide support for our sales team, start new divisions for additional revenue opportunities and truly solidify the reputation we have worked for many years to build. She brings a new energy, level of professionalism and polish that I believe our industry needs.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

“The E Myth” by Michael E. Gerber has had an impact on my thinking as it discusses the separation of jobs that is necessary in any type of company. This book is beneficial for both employees and owners, as it talks about the importance and respect for every single position in a company and how even though you can take on one role, you cannot do them all. Another book is “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki because it provides insight on how to responsibly handle money, and speaks to the myth that getting a job, saving money, getting out of debt and planning for retirement does not all work as proclaimed.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Always be of service!” In business and in everyday life, if you are always in service, you will go further and be appreciated by those around you. Genuine kindness is contagious, and it needs to be spread!

Homebuilding in the US has grown tremendously. We’d love to hear about some of the new trends and techniques that are being used to build the homes of the future.

Homebuilders are finally coming to the realization that technology is what really makes a home “new.” A lot of builders are making wireless networks and smart devices available for your new home. Smart thermostats, smart door locks, security cameras, etc. are now included in new homes and ready to use when homeowners move in, instead of buyers having to put these items in after construction is complete. Technology is no longer just the future; it is the right now and new homebuyers almost expect it to come with their home. You would no longer buy a car without technology (like GPS, touch screen stereo, backup camera, etc.), so why would you build a new home without it?

There is a lot of talk about Smart Homes. Can you tell our readers a bit about what that is, what that looks like, and how that might help people?

A smart home offers convenience, safety and is also customizable as it can be built around anyone’s specific wants and needs. It uses technology to automate everyday house controls such as lighting, climate, audio and visual and appliances. Most people are familiar with the Ring Doorbell, Amazon Alexa or the ecobee thermostat — three examples of what can be incorporated into a smart home. It can also include security and monitoring systems, fire systems, control panels, smart entertainment systems, lighting and shade control, acoustic panels and more. Smart homes are designed and developed to fit each person’s lifestyle. If someone entertains often, they may want to be able to control all of their televisions and surround sound through an app on their phone. A family with children may care more about smart home door locks which make it possible to lock and unlock doors remotely, or a security camera system so they can see who is going in and out of their house. The beauty of smart homes is that no two are alike and with today’s technology, we are able to make anyone’s vision a reality.

Aside from Smart Homes, can you talk about other interesting tech innovations that are being incorporated into homes today?

There are several technology options on the market today that are now available to the average consumer. Things like smart refrigerators for example, that will place an order for you when food starts to run low. Another thing we are seeing more and more of are personal package lockers installed during the construction phase of new production homes. These lockers allow homeowners peace of mind to know while they are not home, their packages can be delivered securely and be safely waiting for them — a great selling point for homebuilders and a nice perk for homeowners!

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Be of service to everyone, all of the time! If you see someone who needs help, help them! With my team, I encourage them that if we are working on a project and see a homeowner trying to carry in groceries, they should stop what they’re doing and help. A small example of a gesture that can make a big difference in spreading kindness, in a time where we all need a little help and more kindness in our lives.

How can our readers follow you online?

Website: https://acousticdesignlv.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/acousticdesign

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AcousticDesignLV

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/AcousticDesignSystems/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/acoustic-design-systems/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg6gKGSmGMsFWGBUF_Pxvfw/videos

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