Featured Article – Portland Business Journal

Date: Monday, October 18, 2010


Name: Dave Weiss.

Title: President /Owner.

Organization: Sports + Lifestyle Unlimited.

Description of organization: Founded in 1991, SLU is a sports and lifestyle talent agency that provides skilled sports talent and lifestyle models to the advertising, entertainment, and marketing industries.

The company’s headquarters is in Portland, with an additional office in Los Angeles.

Professional background: Before founding SLU, 11 years as a commercial talent and sports model for companies like Nike, Columbia Sportswear, REI and Adidas. Worked as a fit model for Nike for 10 years.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Black Hills State University in South Dakota.

Residence: Southwest Portland.


Essential business philosophy: Understand what makes us unique and special and capitalize on it.

Best way to keep competitive: Never stand still, always be open to making adjustments. Appreciate what your competitors bring to the table.

Guiding principles: Do everything with integrity, work hard to earn our clients trust, always strive to over-deliver.

Yardstick of success: Every time our valued clients choose to re-engage us.

Goal yet to be achieved: Having a physical presence on the East Coast.


Best business decision: Bringing in our partner Paul Herschell. Paul brings invaluable skills to chart strategy, keep us focused and grow the business.

Worst business decision: Opening our original Los Angeles office just before the Screen Actors Guild strike in 2000.

Toughest business decision: Making an adjustment in our branding. It has also been one of the most positive decisions we have made.

Biggest missed opportunity: Under-communicating our ability to compete against the traditional fashion-orientated agencies in the commercial modeling market, until our recent re-positioning of our Sports Talent and Lifestyle Models divisions.

Mentors: A number of close advisers.

Word that best describes you: Honest.


Like best about the job: Working with sports and active lifestyle talent. By nature, they are high achievers, competitive, and very passionate individuals. We get to live vicariously through our talent.

Like least about the job: Navigating uncertain times.

Pet peeves: Pettiness.

Most important lesson learned: Taking responsibility for your actions. Learn to strengthen relationships through trying situations.

Person most interested in meeting: Neil Armstrong. How cool to be the first person to step foot on the moon.

Most respected competitor: All of them.

Greatest passions: Besides my kids, cars.

First choice for a new career: Collecting and restoring classic autos.


Favorite quote: “I believe in the law of compensation — when things are most challenging, keep a positive attitude and you will be repaid in threefold.”

Most influential book: “The Magic of Positive Thinking.”

Favorite websites: Anything related to classic cars.

Favorite cause: Boys and Girls Aid, Special Olympics, Kusewera.

Favorite movie: “Saving Private Ryan.” I can relate. My dad had five brothers in World War II at the same time.

Music: Varies depending on my mood.

Treasured possession: Family, health.

Favorite restaurant: Chez Jose.

Favorite vacation spot: Costa Rica.

Favorite way to spend free time: Watching my three teenage kids play sports.

Artcile Courtesy of:  Portland Business Journal