Air Force Veteran.

Technology Entrepreneur.

A New Leader for Palomar College.


About John Santhoff

John Santhoff served in the United States Air Force on Active Duty for almost a decade, including deployments to Korea and Germany. John joined the Air Force Reserve in 1989 and was assigned to US Air Force 919th Special Operations Group at Eglin AFB where he worked as a Radio Operator on AC and MC-130 aircraft.

After leaving Active Duty, John formed a technology and electronics start-up in the military and industrial electronics market. John grew his company to be a major electronics supplier for military and commercial accounts in the South-East US.

Upon moving to California, John was the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Pulse-LINK a semiconductor company located in San Diego. Mr. Santhoff was Electronic Engineering Times “Innovator of the Year” in 2006 was nominated by Ernst and Young for “Entrepreneur of the Year” for San Diego. Mr. Santhoff was also nominated as a San Diego’s“Top Tech Executive Finalist” 4 times between 2009 and 2015.

Since 2016, John has served as the CEO of Orion Cable Systems a Cable TV and internet provider that services Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido and Vista. 

Since 2016, John has served as the CEO of Orion Cable Systems, a Cable TV and internet provider that services mostly rural and unincorporated communities in North County.


John has over 120 Issued Patents and was on the Standards Committees that developed Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Bluetooth.

John was nominated by the White House in 2004 to be the industry representative to the FCC for International regulatory affairs regarding deploying Ultra-WideBand technology as a global standard. John was also a charter member of Bay Counties National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) advisory board and served on the Curriculum Advisory Committee at Haney Vo-Tech for their electronics and computer departments. 



Prioritizing STEM and Real World Skills

There is a growing shortage of skilled workers in our community. While many have pushed for every student to go to an expensive four-year university, the need for well trained, skilled entrepreneurs and workers has only grown. The reality is that jobs in computer science, construction, engineering, programming, water technology and other technology driven disciplines provide the best return on investment for students as they are able to quickly find high paying employment in North County upon graduating. As a Palomar College Board Trustee, I will work to prioritize technical education curriculum and STEM programs to ensure that students graduating from Palomar are able to take their education and attain a quality job. In addition, Palomar should be working with job creators in the community and designing our programs based on the most in-demand jobs in the community. If we do our job right, Palomar College has the potential to be a life-changing force for students and families across North County. 

Protecting Taxpayers and Palomar's Future

Palomar College has suffered from mismanagement for decades. One of the motivating factors for me running for this seat was the release of the State of California's Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team Report that showed Palomar is on the brink of insolvency.  New leadership, with business and budgetary experience is needed to cut waste and ensure taxpayers are represented and their tax dollars spent wisely. As a CEO who has spent my entire career in business, I understand what it takes to make tough decisions and provide necessary oversight. On my watch, there will not be hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on excessive executive salaries and perks or millions spent on mismanagement. I will always protect taxpayers and the fiscal integrity of Palomar College while serving on the board.

Ensuring Access to Education for Rural Families

Not a single member of the current Palomar Governing Board lives in the rural, or unincorporated communities that Palomar serves. Taxpayers in Ramona, Valley Center, and rural San Diego County have supported Palomar College for years, but their access to educational services has been limited. My cable company serves rural and unincorporated communities that have been neglected by the major service providers—giving me unique insight into the unique challenges these communities face. I will be a strong advocate for increasing educational opportunities for people living in rural areas of San Diego County. I’ll strive to ensure our satellite campuses receive the funding and attention they deserve— so that anyone attending these campuses receive a quality education and preperation to enter the job market upon graduation.

"Palomar College is a critical asset to our community. We need leaders like John Santhoff to turn around the college and put students first."

Dane White

Escondido Union High School Board President

"John is an entrepreneur who will bring innovative new thinking and fiscal responsibility to the board. That is exactly what we need to turn Palomar Around."

Rodger Dohm

Ramona Unified School Board Member/

Poway Unified Teacher

We Support John Santhoff for Palomar College Board:

Jim Desmond

San Diego County Supervisor

Dane White

President, Escondido Union High School Board


Bob Stoody

Member, Ramona Unified School Board


Roger Dohm

Member, Ramona Unified School Board


T.J. Zane

Member, Poway Unified School Board


Trustee Area 4

John is running for Palomar College Trustee District 4 (shaded above). This area includes Poway, Ramona, Julian, Valley Center, parts of Escondido, Hidden Meadows, and the North East backcountry all the way out to Borrego Springs and Ocotillio Wells.

If you are still unsure of what trustee district you live in, visit the San Diego County Registrar of Voter's website and enter your information.

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Paid for by John Santhoff for Palomar College Board 2020
FPPC ID #1428107