Gary Sinise Foundation with IT and Media Solutions & Core Brands
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Gary Sinise Foundation Gift US Veteran a Smart Home along with IT and Media Solutions and Core Brands

By Alice Gustafson, CEPro · 19 November 2014

The Gary Sinise Foundation recently gifted a brand new home featuring Core Brands technologies to SFC Michael Schlitz, a US veteran wounded by an IED in Iraq in 2007.
After losing both his arms, losing sight in one eye and suffering burns to 85 per cent of his body, Michael now makes regular appearances as a motivational speaker for other veterans and active-duty soldiers.

The new 6,500sq ft. home was specially designed to make life as comfortable as possible. With more than $130,000 (retail value) of technology equipment donated, nearly everything in the home is integrated into an ELAN g! system.

The home includes eight ELAN in-wall touchscreens and an iPad so the family can adjust five thermostats and HVAC zones, as well as multiple loads of Lutron lighting, monitor the 12-camera surveillance and security system, listen to music in nine audio zones with Niles speakers, enjoy films, sports and their favorite programming on a 70- inch TV that can disappear behind a painting of the “Sunset over Capri” thanks to a Vutec ArtScreen with a QMotion motor. The home also features five additional TVs and gives the family the ability to see who is coming and going with four connected Z-wave door locks..

The electronics system design and installation was handled by ELAN integrator Joel Berrettini, owner of Wisconsin-based firm IT and Media Solutions.
“I’m the luckiest integrator in the world,” Joel enthuses. “When I was given the opportunity to design a smart home system to make life a little bit easier for a wounded veteran, my only thought was , What kind of man would I be if I didn’t?‟”

“After assembling a consortium of the best brands in the industry we were able to outfit this home with a full slate of control, entertainment and utility technologies. I‟m proud to be working with the Gary Sinise Foundation, but I‟m not here to talk about me. The ones who deserve credit are those that left limbs in other parts of the world defending the very air I breathe. I‟m just glad I can contribute to their recovery and help make life a little simpler.”

Joel worked to ensure the system provides maximum benefit to the veteran, including scheduled events for HVAC and lighting and custom-programmed buttons to start up or shut down the entire home.

“Even the humidity is carefully controlled for Mike‟s comfort, so his bedroom is cooler and has lower humidity than his mother‟s room,” Joel explains.
“There‟s nothing I won‟t do for these heroes, and for me the reward is in the act itself. I‟ve always said there are three types of people in the world: Those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that say, what happened?‟

“Mike Schlitz and all of our wounded soldiers are out there making things happen, defending our nation and I’m proud that I can make even a small difference in his life.”
Core Brands will also donate more smart home technology equipment to be installed in four additional homes built by the Gary Sinise Foundation then designed and installed by Joel Berrettini of IT and Media Solutions.

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