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TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine
— 12-01/2012
The best career you could possibly
have is one in which you turn your hob-
by into your occupation and you’re ac-
tually excited to go to work every day.
Or, as Brian Gohl puts it, “On the week-
end I can’t wait for the start of work
Monday morning.”
Brian Gohl took his hobby – the play-
ing around and experimenting with sat-
ellite components – and turned it into
the successful company SatelliteAV.
But the path to this success was not
exactly a straight line, in fact the ini-
tial spark was actually a catastrophe:
“I was struck by a bolt of lightning that
put me in the hospital for three months
and since then I’ve had a pacemaker”,
explains Brian Gohl coolly regarding his
worst experience.
Brian Gohl started his career with a
company that offered data transmis-
sions via satellite. That was 1984 in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida and the technology
behind this was still in its infant stages.
Back then only large companies could
afford satellite transmissions. Brian
Gohl was responsible for the send and
receive sections. One day a technician
called in sick and Brian Gohl was asked
to swap out an amplifier at a reception
station. At that very moment, as he un-
screwed the component, a lightning bolt
struck the station sending him several
meters across the floor. He went to the
hospital and had a pacemaker implant-
ed. Unfortunately, this meant he could
no longer work at his job since the pow-
erful transmissions from satellite sta-
tions could disrupt his pacemaker.
Brian Gohl changed jobs but stayed
close to the technology: he became a
cameraman and worked for several
years in TV production. His first satellite
TV system he had already installed by
his father back in 1983. In 1989 he felt
the time was right and moved to Oregon
and for the first time had enough space
to erect his own satellite system: “It was
a three-meter C-band dish that I ex-
panded to include the Ku-band in 1992”,
remembers Brian Gohl. As fate would
have it, his mother came to him one day
with a problem. At that time she lived
in Washington State but in a valley far
away from everything. She was so far
away that she couldn’t receive any TV
signals. Brian Gohl installed a 1.8-meter
satellite antenna so that she could re-
ceive 3ABN, a Christian oriented chan-
nel. His mother was so thrilled that she
told the story all over town. That’s how
Brian Gohl began installing more satel-
lite systems on the weekends.
Megan Paradise is the Call Center
Team Leader. She coordinates the
incoming telephone calls from
customers with her seven employees.
“We also all have a technical
background and can therefore answer
any technical questions”, says Megan
Paradise pointing out that these
employees are all highly qualified.
Bonnie Marroquin coordinates
the cooperation with broadcasters
and assigns each of them their own
telephone number. She explains, “At
the moment we operate 85 toll-free
numbers and receive on average 200
telephone calls every day.”
As the demand for his satellite instal-
lation work continued to increase a de-
cision had to be made between TV pro-
duction and satellites. The love of the
satellite hobby won out and in 2001 he
founded Satellite AV. “In the first sev-
eral years I sold and installed more than
300 complete systems a year”, says Bri-
an Gohl as he looks back at the begin-
The leap from a one-man operation to
a real company came at an Easter fam-
ily reunion. One of his relatives, Brent
Kelley, operated the company PowerON
( with an interesting
business concept: They purchase used
electronics (mostly higher valued PCs,
laptops, monitors and Smartphones)
refurbish them and then resell them
either directly or through middlemen.
Some devices such as Smartphones
are disassembled and usable compo-
nents such as the flash memory and the
screen are picked out of the pieces. At
that Easter meeting the idea to combine
the expertise of PowerON with Brian
Gohl’s satellite firm was discussed.
The driving force of the
operation is Office Manager
Janine Mullinix. She concerns
herself with the smooth flow of
the office.