Contacts: Tony Rossini, President of Digital Lifestyles (Louisville, KY)
Twenty-five years ago, Tony Rossini was a Kentucky school kid with an Atari 800xl and a few of those games you’d load with a cassette tape. “Nothing more sophisticated than Pong and stuff like that. I actually tried writing some programs, but nothing every worked,” he remembers. “So that was the end of my programming career.” But it was just the beginning of Rossini’s fascination with electronics.
After studying finance and business in college, Rossini was working as a manager at UPS in Louisville when he first heard from a colleague about the whole low-voltage smart-home industry. He took vacation time and attended his first CEDIA in 2001.
“I was just blown away at how much was out there and how much bigger the world was than X10!” he remembers. Rossini returned home and began moonlighting as an installer, learning more and more about custom electronics. By 2002, he was ready to go full-time. In May of that year, with his wife four months pregnant with their first child, Rossini officially launched his own custom install company. “My accountants said, if you’re going to do it, do it now! So I went for it, and it’s been really good.”