In our interaction with clients, trades and each other we focus on the collective goal.
Our obsession over performance fuels a higher attention to detail in everything we do.
We view projects as missions, and see them through with dedication to a stand-out customer experience.
With continual vetting and adoption of new technologies, we are the bridge between the bleeding edge and everyday life.
Our constant refinement of our methods lets us demystify the most complex of projects.
Founder & CEO (started 2000)
Fernando Zorrilla is the CEO of Cloud9 Smart, a company born from Everglades Technologies, which he founded in 2000. The firm’s mission is to provide home and office automation solutions that are cutting edge, yet so easy to use that even your mother-in-law can do it! Cloud9’s extensive and diverse client roster includes companies in finance, real estate and advertising. Born and raised in Spain, Fernando received his BS in Electrical Engineering Technology in 1990 from Northeastern University. Fernando began his career at the Whirlpool Corporation where he was responsible for developing their communications network in Latin America. He then joined Visa International where he led the expansion of their satellite communications network for member banks throughout Latin America. Fernando is currently an active member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
COO (started 2016)
Chris Smith got a crash course in Sales at 17, running an inside sales program for a tool company. It was here he learned that if you out-hustled the competition in service and support you could win their business no matter the age. He broke into the AV industry pulling wires and getting certified programming home automation systems. After studying Sociology in Santa Barbara, California he moved to Boston to join Bowers & Willkins as a National Trainer before being promoted to Regional Sales Manager. When McIntosh Labs took interest he managed a sales team for them, and during their merger into World of McIntosh served as advisor, led the merging of sales teams, and oversaw the ambitious build-out of the WOM Townhouse in Soho. Working closely with Cloud9 on this project he decided to relocate to NYC permanently and join the Cloud9 team as COO. In his spare time he likes to run, with 3 half and 1 full marathon in the queue this year.
CFO (started 2003)
Rhonda Riedel is the CFO at Cloud9 Smart. She holds an M.B.A in Entrepreneurship and Technology & Operations Management from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. A strategist, organization guru, collaboration enthusiast, and process champion, Rhonda delights in all the unsexy parts of running a business. She motivates, trains and provides guidance to teams promoting a culture that is client friendly and fun. A hands-on finance & professional services leader with 10+ years experience, she has aided in the company’s development through budgeting, creating meaningful targets and metrics, financial reporting, and software integration.
Director of Sales (started 2005)
Ben Jones is the Director of Sales at Cloud9 Smart. Ben is a graduate of Bucknell University, and has 10 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Beginning in 1997, Ben worked for Broadview Communications in Baltimore, MD, and was involved with some of their first commercial frame relay and international co-location accounts. In 2000, he moved to the New York Metropolitan area and began work for eLink, a building telecommunications provider, where he was their top sales representative. Ben lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children and spends his free time rooting for his hometown teams, the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens.
Senior Project Manager (started 2003)
Jose Cordero started out with his own cabling company, and joined forces with Fernando in 2002. He is the company’s Senior Project Manager with 15 years of experience in the telecommunications field. Before Cloud9 he worked as a Field Operations Manager for a CLEC. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and decking out his son’s room with high-end electronics.
Service Coordinator (started 2004)
Miguel Cruz has been in the telecommunications industry for 9 years, working on both the provider side and the vendor side. With his comprehensive experience he’s able to understand all aspects of his customers’ needs. If you are familiar with Miguel then you can be confident that your needs will be met when he is working with you. You can look forward to him making your Cloud9 experience a great one.
Senior Systems Engineer (started 2009)
Bruce Reed was born and raised in Florida, where he received a degree in Music Production and Audio Engineering. After designing and installing electronics systems across the sunshine state, he moved to New York City and started with Cloud9 in March of 2010 as an AV technician. He is now our Senior AV Engineer and Lead Programmer. In August 2013, he moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon, where he works in our west coast remote office. When not tinkering with electronics and software, he is usually found hiking in the Cascade wilderness, playing and recording music around Portland, or manicuring his lawn.
Director of Marketing & Admin (started 2006)
Jordan Wills majored in English and Film at Michigan State University before moving to New York City to immerse in the creative. Upon immediately running out of money he began answering phones and constructing Ikea furniture for Cloud9 Smart in 2006. These days he handles all things Marketing and HR for the Cloud9 team, while taking pictures, writing songs, shooting videos and hitting drums on the weekend. Now he’s having a kid, so we’ll see how that goes.
Director, IT and Client Services (started 2010)
Ruddy Melendez is the Manager of IT at Cloud9. Ruddy began working as a seasonal employee for Cloud9 Smart since January 2006. He first joined the Cabling Team, later pioneered the Remote Support Engineer position for the Network Team, and finally joined full-time as the Service Coordinator. He is currently the Manager of IT. Ruddy received a degree in Computer Science from Stony Brook University and worked for Apple during his stay in college. In short, Ruddy is a true geek with an interest in all tech related topics, the social intricacies of the internet, and everything Apple.
Network Engineer (started 2007)
Alex Shternberg has over 25 years of international experience in the radio, electronic, and computer industries (and may or may not have lived in Transylvania). Alex has been a Microsoft Certified System Engineer since 1999, and a Cisco Certified Network Specialist since 2000.
AV Technician (started 2008)
Christian Batista joined Cloud9 Smart in 2010 as a Cabling Technician. In addition to having studied at City Tech for Electrical Engineering, he brings close to 5 years of cabling experience to our cabling team. Christian is a native New Yorker, and as soon as ski season comes around he is always geared up to hit the slopes on his snowboard.
Cabling Technician (started 2011)
Paul Bartkowski joined the Cloud9 teams in 2011 as a cabling technician. He adds almost 14 years of telecom experience to the cabling team, and enjoys the “total teamwork” aspect of how things are done at Cloud9. His strongest talent: problem solving. In his spare time, he builds custom wood furniture and plays online games like World of Warcraft and Star Wars TOR.
Project Manager (started 2015)
Michael Swan joined the Cloud9 Team in 2015 as a Project Manager. Michael moved to NYC in 1997 to be a musician, and he still is (singer-songwriter and recording engineer.) After studying furniture design and Japanese joinery, he worked as a Project Manager for a set design company in fashion photography, then at an architectural millwork firm. In 2002 he started his own furniture design company specializing in handmade custom pieces. He has designed and built many restaurants and bars in Brooklyn in Manhattan. Michael’s a huge audiophile and loves to write & record songs, and cook for his friends.
Remote Support Engineer (started 2015)
Charles Rivas joined the Cloud9 IT crew in October 2015. He graduated from TCI College with a degree in Networking Technologies. When he’s not being our remote connection ninja he spends his time studying for his next certification, jamming out on his Fender Telecaster, reading Japanese comic novels and being the Social Media Manager on his site TorchForkMob.com.
Customer Experience Specialist (started 2016)
Ben Hase, a Wisconsin native, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music – Composition from the University of WI, Eau Claire. In 2013 he moved to upstate New York where he began his career in the AV industry. Ben appreciates the challenge of fine tuning complex AV systems and has experience programming a wide variety of lighting and home control products. When he is not at work, you will likely find him immersed in a project for his vintage stereo restoration company Novalux Stereophonic.
Assistant Project Manager (started 2014)
Erika Espinal is currently the Assistant Project Manager at Cloud9 Smart. She enjoys helping out in the office and assisting the team out in the field when she has to. Although technology was never an innate ability in her, she is looking forward to learning from her teammates as much as possible in order to be of a greater asset to the company. On her free time, you can catch Erika volunteering with buildOn, an after school program dedicated to help high school students become better individuals by volunteering in community services.
Network Engineer (started 2017)
Originally from Russia, Alexander has been living in the US for almost 7 years. He recently graduated from Clark University with a Masters degree in Information Technology. On his own time he likes cycling, snowboarding and traveling. His favorite sport is ice hockey, and the New York Rangers are of course the best team in the world.
Lead Provisioner (started 2005)
Richard Rivera joined the team as Office Assistant. The King of Multi-tasking, he has been seen balancing four phone calls at once without dropping a beat. He currently heads up the Voice Over IP and Provisioning departments. He has a degree in Liberal Arts & Computer Information Management. Before Cloud9, Richard worked in real estate and Law. He lives in his own personal Noah’s Ark, with 10 pets including 3 dogs, 3 cats, 3 birds and a rabbit.
Pre-Sales Engineer (started 2017)
Brandon Carey is another pillar of our engineering team. Brandon works with many of our departments to design/engineer automation systems, and assist the sales team. Graduating from Wilkes University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing and Walden University for his MBA, he loves to learn, stay busy and teach others. With years of experience in the industry, Brandon is passionate about the future of automation, IoT and connectivity of the world. Outside of work, Brandon enjoys making music, watching sports, and dabbling with entrepreneurial endeavors.
AV Technician (started 2017)
Gregorio came to America in 1994 and started working maintenance at Feenjon Corp. In 2002 he switched to AV with a job at Stereo Exchange, where he remained until 2016. Gregorio joined Cloud9 Smart in 2017 where he builds and installs AV racks. In his free time he enjoys DJing, going to the gym and being with his children.
Architect Specialist (started 2018)
Michael Dye joins the Cloud9 team with more than 15 years in the consumer electronics industry and a long experience in bringing smart home and automation experiences to his clients. He also specializes in design and specification of high fidelity audio and video systems. Michael and Cloud9 share a philosophy of realizing the dreams of technology while standing firmly in the real world. When not at work, you will find Mike enjoying music on his audio system or, when it is cold out, riding a snowboard.
Purchasing Supervisor (started 2011)
Rob Francke joined Cloud9 in May of 2011 becoming the Company’s first Purchasing Coordinator. He is currently the Purchasing Supervisor. After high school he spent some time in Germany as an exchange student. Upon returning to the US, he completed his AA degree. Then, while serving in the US Air Force, Rob graduated from both the Defense Language Institute with a Certification as a Russian Linguist and graduating from Aerospace Ground Equipment Technical School. Using the GI Bill to pay for college, he graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Business Administration. Rob moved to NYC in 2003, 4 days before the blackout (but he swears it was not his fault). Rob began working in the tech industry as the Office Manager/Dispatcher for a small managed IT services company in lower Manhattan.
Account Executive (started 2010)
Sean Cooney joins the Cloud9 team with over 10 years of Telecommunication experience. Sean won several awards as a Major Account Manager at Broadview Networks including President’s Club. Sean has a broad knowledge of the Telecom and Technology markets and has advised multiple Fortune 500 companies on Unified Communications strategies. Sean joined Cloud9 because he believes in the customer first approach to doing business. The ability to offer a wide range of solutions allows Sean to be a true technology consultant to his clients. A graduate of Trinity College, Sean remains active in mentoring alumni on job placement strategies. Sean enjoys staying active and is always up to date on Boston sports. Sean has travelled extensively in Asia, Australia and New Zealand and has never appeared on Law and Order.
NRC Accounting Manager (started 2012)
Maritza Rodriguez joined the Cloud9 Accounting Team in October of 2012, and is currently the NRC Accounting Manager. Even though she holds an AS in Culinary Arts and a BS in Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University, this path consistently intertwined with Accounting. So she is now pursuing her CPA certification, and wishes to grow with Cloud9. As a native New Yorker, she keeps up with her New York sports teams, and likes exploring her hometown.
Accounting Manager (started 2011)
Wilberthe “Wray” Micourt joined the Cloud9 Accounting team in 2011 and is currently the Accounting Manager. She received her BS in Accounting from Utica College of Syracuse University in 2005. She has previously held different accounting positions in CPA firms. She was born and still resides in Long Island. She loves to read, dance and watch the history channel. She has a passion for fashion and helping others. She currently is a member of an organization called Dresses for Haiti, which raises money and awareness for the country of Haiti.
Accounting Coordinator (started 2017)
Jennifer Cartagena joined the Cloud9 Accounting Team in April of 2017. Her background includes working 10 plus years in the accounting sector and office administration of a retail audio/video installation store; she brings her experience and knowledge of the industry to our company. She majored in Accounting at Borough of Manhattan Community College and received her A.A.S degree in 2006. Her hobbies include watching movies, taking long walks and a good boxing workout.
Purchasing Coordinator (started 2018)
Ray-shawn Williams joined the Cloud9 Smart team as Purchasing Coordinator in 2018. A native New Yorker residing in Brooklyn, he studied psychology and accounting at CUNY York College. Before joining Cloud9 he Spent 10 years in logistics for Target Corporation, where he has enjoyed providing great customer service. When he’s not working he spends time with family and friends. He enjoys listening to all types of music, movies from the 80s, and believes any time is OK to bust out a dance move.
Accounting Coordinator (started 2014)
Craig Bray joined the Cloud9 Team in March of 2014. Craig has 9 plus years of office experience, with a focus on Accounting. He received his A.S in Office Administration from Robert Morris College. In his spare time; he likes to read, watch movies, and do anything outdoors.
Office Administrator (started 2014)
Shirley Gauthiers received a Master of Science Degree in Hospitality Management from King Graduate School-Monroe College and a Professional Diploma in Meeting and Convention Management at NYU School of Professional Studies, Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. She considers herself to be a creative intellectual who enjoys living life in color. Shirley is thrilled to have joined the team as the Office Administrator and wishes to grow with Cloud9, contributing greatly to their high quality customer service and amazing company culture. In her spare time Shirley enjoys party planning, and singing (one of her hidden talents.) She also enjoys volunteering with Agent of Change, an events production company whose purpose is to enrich the lives of individuals by connecting them with resources and support to achieve their dreams through wellness, peace initiatives, women’s rights, education and philanthropic efforts.