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Business has electric leadership

Nice guys finish first when strong leadership defines attitude. Congratulations go to John Weiss and his employees at Coast Electronics, which was honored as Morro Bay’s Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year.

Consistent ethical management, consumer products priced to sell, emphasis on customer service and active participation in its communities appears to be the magic formula for Morro Bay’s and Los Osos’ RadioShack outlets to thrive 32 years in the best and worst of times.

In 1978, after a franchise search, Dick Weiss and his 19-year-old son founded Coast Electronics. The match was perfect.

RadioShack had pre-approved the area. John was a certified electronics technician, and Dick was an entrepreneur who later added chamber executive and newspaper columnist at the Central Coast Sun Bulletin to his list of life achievements.

By 1982, the partnership expanded to Morro Bay, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo and Los Osos, but during the last economic downturn, they downsized to two stores — Morro Bay and Los Osos. In 1994, John became sole owner of the two stores.

Coast Electronics has been community partner to countless schools, special events and nonprofit groups. Helping to provide stability in the local job market, John employs 14 and contracts with 12 independent technicians.

Many have worked at Coast Electronics for a decade to 19 years. John has led by example, encouraging his employees to get actively involved.

Woody Wordsworth won awards for his work in search and rescue, police volunteering, and now as president of the Morro Bay Merchants Association. Former City Councilman Bill Peirce served multiple terms. And for years, Larry Stears set up the Harbor Festival.

Steering a rocky ship through new leadership and successful event development, John was chamber president for three years and is now president of the Morro Bay Rotary Club.

Family, however, comes first. On, July 4, 2008, John married Christine McDonald, bundling five children and five grandchildren. They share common hopes and philosophies.

Christine is one of the area’s top real estate producers even in today’s market. Her daughter, Sophia, is on her team at Prudential Hunter in Los Osos. John’s son, Stuart Weiss, has 16 years of experience at Coast. Melissa and Jessica also follow their parents’ lead to “do your best and be nice people.”

Christine said, “I’m successful because of the loyal people I work around.”

John added: “If I sum up the two of us and our children with one word, it is kind. How wonderful to have partners who value most a friendship and relationship. We all make our own mistakes, but if we can value those who support us with respect and a smile, we all win in the end.”

Reach Judy Salamacha at 801-1422 or jsalamacha@yahoo.com.

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