ADS Family Spotlight: Meet Derek Manalo, Acoustic Design System’s Service Manager
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Curious about the team behind some of your favorite smart home builds, installations and integrations? In our new monthly Family Spotlight series, you’ll get a chance to meet some of the talented service providers, systems designers, technicians, and executives at Acoustic Design Systems.

Derek Manalo is the Service Department Manager at Acoustic Design Systems, where he is in charge of scheduling service appointments, troubleshooting and repairs, working on audio, video and network system components in the field, providing training for technicians and remote technical support for clients. He is a Control4 certified programmer and a jack of all trades who is an expert in nearly all AV products.

Q: What are you currently reading or watching? What’s it about and why do you like it?

A: Currently, I’m watching The White Lotus on HBO Max. I had just finished up Wednesday on Netflix before starting it, and now I’m on the second season. It’s such a great show!

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

A: When I’m not working, I love to play music, remain active, and paint Bob Ross style landscapes. Sometimes I’ll “jam out” with my daughter by playing my guitar while she plays her violin, or fiddle (depending on the tune), play football with my son, or get in a good workout.

Q: What made you interested in the smart home tech industry?

A: I’ve always enjoyed tinkering with electronics and working in the smart home tech industry allows me to do that. Not only that, but I love having the ability to fully automate my house. Plus, being able to share my passion and help my friends and family do the same with their homes, is something I love.

Q: What do you love most about your job at ADS?

A: One of the best things about working at ADS is my co-workers. You perform better at any job with people you enjoy working with. Their upbeat attitudes and willingness to chip in to get the job done make for a positive work environment.

Q: What smart home tech device can you not live without and why?

A: One device I can’t live without is my Amazon Alexa. With all the integrations and automation shortcuts, she makes some of our daily routines easier. I can tell her: “Alexa play “insert song” on landscape speakers,” and she does it. I’ll tell her “bedtime,” and she shuts off all of my lights downstairs, sets my thermostats to our sleep setting, and turns off any TVs that are on.

Q: How do you decompress after a hard week?

A: After a hard week I’ll hit the gym or binge watch the latest show on Netflix. My last “binge” was the latest season of Cobra Kai. It’s so bad it’s good that I watched it all in a weekend, which was a mistake because now I have to wait another year until the next season. I’ve been hooked from the beginning because I grew up watching The Karate Kid.