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Issue 15
issue pic Rhonda Parson is Manager of the Occasional-Use Sales and Traffic division at EchoStar Satellite Services in Denver, Colorado. At EchoStar, she is responsible for the business units' many success stories they have enjoyed during their three years in the Ku-band space segment arena. Before joining EchoStar, Rhonda was Manager of Sales and Traffic at Verestar in Texas where she was responsible for many aspects of the business including Full Time and Occasional-Use Satellite and Teleport services. Rhonda was at the teleport for 10 years before coming to EchoStar in 2006 where she built the occasional-use business from the ground up.

Interview with Rhonda Parson
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1) How did you get started in the satellite business?

In 1995 I was in the banking industry and was in need of a change so I answered an ad in the paper (this was before the internet!) for an office manager at a teleport in Dallas. I got the job and since it was a small company I was involved in much of the day to day operations. I was involved in the billing, collecting, marketing, HR, payroll, commissions, accounts receivable and accounts payable etc. I was able to learn the business by being involved in everything and I just kept working my way up. I loved the many hats I was wearing and learning new things and feeling that I was helping the bottom line.

2) How have you been involved in changes brought about in or by this business (innovations, technologies, services)?

I was involved in the microwave to fiber transition at the teleport in Texas, as well as the switch from the ground intensive Cband to smaller dish size Ku band for broadcasters. I have seen many changes, the transition of microwave to fiber, the switch from analog satellite to digital satellite, and MPEG 2 & MPEG 4. When the technologies change, it opens up new doors and new customer bases.

3) What do you think was the greatest event/situation/opportunity you experienced?

In 2006, I was presented with the opportunity by EchoStar to move to Denver and build the Occasional Use Traffic Department from the ground up. I had been in this business for over 10 years and had seen many changes; I had also worked with many vendors and competitors. I was able to see what worked and what didn't and was given the freedom to build a business model that worked. A good example of how well this business model worked is Election Day 2008. EchoStar scheduled 52 transponders of election traffic for national broadcasters! Over 500+ accesses with no incidents. This was the most amazing day of my career! No one in this industry can say that they had over 500 accesses in one day. It was a huge undertaking and was flawless!

4) What advice do you have for women interested in entering the industry?

My advice is to get your foot in the door and work your way up from there. The experience you will gain from working your way up and learning all facets of the business is worth more than an MBA in this industry! Work hard, always be willing to jump in and help. One of the most important things is to protect your reputation, by working hard, being ethical and hardworking.


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Issue No. 15:
Women in Space

Spring 2009

General Editor Introduction

From the Guest Editor

Audrey Allison, Dir., Frequency Management Services, Boeing Shared Services Group

Anita Antenucci, Managing Dir. Houlihan Lokey's Aerospace-Defense-Government

Dr. Wanda M. Austin Pres. & CEO, The Aerospace Corporation

Julie Bannerman, Gen.Counsel, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.

Sharri Berg, Senior V.P., News Operations, Fox News

Leslie Blaker, DataPath, Inc.

Yvonne Brill, Consultant, Satellite Tech. & Space Propulsion Systems

Michelle Bryan, Senior V.P., Human Resources, Intelsat

Dr. Angie Bukley, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering

Catherine Chang, General Counsel & Asst. Company Secretary, AsiaSat

Sabrina Cubbon, Gen. Manager, Marketing, AsiaSat

Yvette Dominguez, Manager, Payload Design Engineering Section, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.

Chris Ehrenbard, Dir., Broadcast Distribution, CBS

Mary Ann Elliot, Chairman of the Board, Arrowhead Global Solutions, Inc.

Celeste Ford, Founder & CEO, Stellar Solutions, Inc.

Mary Frost, former CEO, GlobeCast America

Eilene Galloway, NASA Pioneer

Carmen González-Sanfeliu, V.P., Latin America & Caribbean, Intelsat

Dawn Harms, V.P., Marketing & Sales, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.

Ellen Hoff, Pres., W.L. Pritchard & Co., L.C.

Polly Rash Hollis, Satellite Industry Professional

Britt Horncastle, Satellite Consultant

Susan Irwin, Pres., Irwin Communications, Inc.

Barbara Jaffe, Senior V.P., Advanced Technology and Operations, HBO

Christine King, Deputy V.P., Technical Services & Engineering, Lockheed Martin

Betsy Kulick, Newsletter Editor & Corporate Secretary, Mobile Satellite Users Association

Penelope Longbottom, Founder & Pres., Longbottom Communications

Joanne Maguire, Exec. V.P., Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

Andrea Maléter, Technical Dir., Futron Corporation

Joan T. Mancuso, Founder & Executive, Broadband International LLC

Dolores Martos, V.P., Sales for Latin America & Caribbean, SES Americom - SES New Skies

Brig. Gen. Susan K. Mashiko, Vice Commander, Space & Missile Systems Center, L.A. Air Force Base

Eileen McGowan, Corporate Strategy & Planning, Intelsat

Olwen Morgan, Development Engineer

Bridget Neville, V.P. & Gen. Manager, Satellite Engineering & Operations, Sirius XM Radio

Christine Paape, V.P., Space Explorers, Inc.

Rhonda Parson, Manager, Occasional-Use Sales & Traffic Division, EchoStar Satellite Services

Maj. Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, Deputy Dir., National Reconnaissance Office

Jane Petro, Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director

Dr. Nongluck Phinainitisart, D.Eng., Pres., Thaicom PLC

Mary Quagliotti, Retired Major General, Army

Radhika Ramachandran, Ph.D., Counsellor (SPACE) & Technical Liaison Officer

Veena Rawat, Pres., Communications Research Centre, Canada

Joslyn Read, V.P., Regulatory Affairs, SES Americom - SES New Skies

Walda Roseman, Founder & CEO, CompassRose International, Inc.

Farah Suhanah Ahmad Sarji, General Counsel, MEASAT

Jacqueline Schenkel, Founder, Schenkel & Associates, LLC

Kay Sears, Pres., Intelsat General

Gwynne Shotwell, Pres., SpaceX

Marcia Smith, Pres., Space Technology Policy Group, LLC

Pascale Sourisse, Gen. Manager, Land & Joint Systems Division, Thales

Andy Steinem, CEO, Dahl-Morrow International

Nicole P. Stott, Astronaut, NASA

Bambi Taskarelli, Voice/Data Engineer, NBCU

Leslie Taylor, Strategic Planning Division Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA, U.S. Dept. of Commerce

Synette Tom, Marketing Dir., Sales, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.

Marjorie Rhodes Townsend, Satellite Communications Consultant

Diane Tryneski, Senior V.P., Broadcast & Studio Operations, HBO

Diane VanBeber, V.P., Investor Relations, Corporate & Marketing Communications, Intelsat

Barbara Warren, Systems Analyst, International Telecommunication Union

Zhang Yan, Gen. Manager, CITICSat and Chief Rep., Asiasat

UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology: Astronomy Blog

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