BUSINESS LEADER PROFILE
Gabriel Contreras, SoCal Gadgets
Gabriel Contreras said SoCal Gadgets is the only storefront in the Valley that is committed to DISH Network and DirecTV. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / January 5, 2012)
1450 Broadway Ave., El Centro, CA 92243
Tell us how you ended up in this line of work.
While working for UPS in El Centro, I bought SoCal Gadgets from a friend as a small investment. Through time, I realized the potential of SoCal Gadgets and decided to make the small investment a full-time profession.
Describe what your business does.
Provides Imperial Valley residents with Dish Network and DirecTV satellite television services.
What are memories from your career that stick out with you the most?
Working at SoCal Gadgets’s first location in Calipatria, then working from my home in Brawley to eventually opening a business in El Centro. Another great memory is building long term relationships with my customers and employees.
What do you most like and least like about your work?
The thing I like the most about my work is providing the best satellite TV experience for my SoCal Gadgets customers. Fortunately, I cannot think of any one thing that I least like about my work. I have enjoyed the good times and the bad times. It has helped me grow as a business owner.
What makes your business unique?
SoCal Gadgets customers can be assured that all their issues and concerns with satellite service will be addressed immediately and they will not have to wait for out of town services or call 800 numbers. SoCal Gadgets is the only storefront in the Imperial Valley that is committed to DISH Network and DirecTV.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to open a business?
Don’t give up during the tough times. Have the courage and the vision to see it through, because if you don’t nobody else will.
How do you give back to the local community?
Currently serving on the board of the El Centro Police Athletic League, served on the Imperial Valley Community Foundation grant committee, El Centro Rotary member, and have donated and sponsored local, individual and Imperial Valley events.
More about Gabriel Contreras
YEARS IN BUSINESS: Four and a half years
FAMILY: Wife: Kristina; Children: Savannah, Gabriel, Kamryn and Sienna Sky
HOBBIES: Deep sea fishing, traveling, coaching
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