Moe Golshani | nnbusinessview.com

Moe Golshani

Moe Golshani (right) tapes a commercial for Reno Dodge with his mentor, Don Weir, owner of the car dealership.
COURTESY RENO DODGE |

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company and the duties of your position.

Moe Golshani: Reno Dodge has been a staple in the community for the last 50 years. When I got here about 6-7 years ago, Don (Weir) gave me a great opportunity when I was a young man at the time. I ended up moving my wife and kids up here.

I’m responsible for all day-to-day operations from the sales department to the parts department, outside services, to account receivables and payables. We have a great team. I’m kind of the puppet master, so to speak, but without all the pieces to the puzzle, nothing would come together. The credit really goes to the 75-80 employees here at Reno Dodge, because they really make the wheels turn, but we (Don and I) are the ones who point people in the right direction.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Golshani: I got into this profession by washing cars at a dealership when I was 16 years old. I was a troubled young man and the best thing for me was to go to work. A friend of my father’s owned a little car dealership and they put me in washing cars for $6 an hour. I did that for awhile and moved over to a Nissan store when I was 18 and I watched the guys get big sales paycheck, so I decided to get my sales license and sell cars When I was a 19-year-old kid I was working at a dealership and I made so much money that I decided to forget school and decided to go chase the money. At that time money meant the world, but over time, you realized that while it’s important to be successful and have a lot of money, there’s other things in life that are more important.

NNBW: What do you enjoy most about working in your field?

Golshani: Every day is different. A lot of people go to work and everything stays the same. Here everyday is a new challenge and it’s one of the few businesses that when one month ends, the next month you literally start at complete zero. Every month is its own chess game and that’s what makes it fun. I’m a numbers guy and this business is all about percentages.

NNBW: What is the most challenging part about your job?

Golshani: Selling the cars is easy. Working with customers is easy. But managing how that money comes in is the difficult part.

NNBW: What do you foresee coming down the pike for the auto industry in the future?

Golshani: There were approximately 17.2 million auto sales in the United States last year; the highest in the last 10 years. It looks like things are trending upward. But, now is the time to be controlling our expenses even more, because if it dives down significantly again, you don’t want to be in the position to close the doors and shut your business down. I think they shut down 800 dealerships in Chrysler alone during the recession. So you don’t want to be one of those dealerships if things hit rock bottom. You always have to be cautious and prepare for the ‘what if,’ structurally and financially.

NNBW: What advice would you give someone who wants to get in your profession?

Golshani: The advice I would give anyone is to get into it early, and stay humble and you will do well in this business. Guys get in over the their heads in this business and think they’re God’s gift to the auto business, and they’re not. When you think you’re bigger than the building you work in, you’re in trouble. My dad always said to me to stay humble. Cherish that glass of water because that could have been that person’s last glass of water. When you stay humble, you understand there’s a lot more you need to know.

NNBW: Has there been someone who was especially influential in helping you establish your career or in reaching your higher goals? If so, who and how?

Golshani: Honestly (Don Weir) is a great man to work for. He’s kept his promises to me and gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to buy into the dealership. He’s been there for me personally. I’ve been there for him for a lot of hard times in his life. We’re like family. In this building, he’s the owner and I work for him. Outside of this building, he’s like an older or father figure to me and helped me through the crazy personal things that have gone on in my life. He guided me but never tied my hands. He’s allowed me to make mistakes (never twice, though, LOL) and showed me how to do it the right way. Literally when I got here, I probably knew about 25 percent of what I need to know. Even today I had a conversation with him on the phone about questions I had for things I had a hard time figuring out for July. He gives great advice and is always supportive of my decisions.

In the past when I’ve worked with previous owners they would say, ‘yeah you can do what you need to do to get the job done and then you do something, they then say ‘On, no, no, we’re not going to do that.’ The best thing about Don is he’s a leader that allows you to learn to be a leader and doesn’t hold you back. That’s the thing he’s helped me to learn and to lead the rest of our staff. I’ve adapted that and used it with the rest of our guys.

NNBW: We see you and Don in those commercials for Reno Dodge, who is the creative force behind the commercials? How authentic are those commercials?

Golshani: Wally Weis, who unfortunately passed away recently, was the creative behind the fun stuff you see on TV. The chemistry between Don and me is such that what you see on TV is the way it is at work. It’s a little bit of jabs and cheap shots, but it’s always done respectfully in a professional manner.

The best times though is when we’re out at dinner and had a couple glasses of wine. They are the best jab shots. The chemistry naturally flows.

NNBW: You were named basketball coach at Bishop Manogue High School and have an extensive coaching career in Nevada and California. What aspect of coaching do you enjoy most?

Golshani: This has been a dream come true for me. I coached in Sacramento for a number of years. I always wanted to have my own program. When the coach resigned (at Manogue), and was thinking of putting my name in the hat, I talked to my wife about the time commitment and I talked to Don. Once I had their support, I talked to the administration; I had to make sure I was going to have my practices from 7-9 p.m. so it didn’t affect my schedule during the day. I honestly didn’t think I would get the job because, for one the practice schedule, and two there were several people going after this job; even college assistant coaches. I put my best foot forward and gave it everything I had. I got the phone call that I got the job and it’s been great so far only a month into it. Can’t wait to get acclimated and rolling with everything.

It really keeps my sanity. You can shut off the world for a couple hours while I’m coaching. You don’t have to worry about the day-to-day craziness for a while and just have fun with it.

NNBW: What made you get into coaching?

Golshani: The reason I got into coaching is I was really good when I was a kid and my little brother got cut from the basketball team. So I started a program for him and his friends that didn’t make the basketball team, just so they wouldn’t get discouraged. A high school coach came and asked me to help him as an assistant. One of my kids when I was coaching in Sacramento is now an assistant at Cal-Berkeley. I really helped him out. His mother and father were not around very much. Last year that kid was at Vanderbilt University and he sent me a whole bunch of Vanderbilt clothing and I completely broke down and cried for God-only-knows how long. Even my wife was wondering what is going on. I broke down not because of the clothes and stuff, but because I know where he was 10-15 years ago and where he is today. If you can make a difference even in one person’s life, it’s worth it everyday.

NNBW: How difficult is it to juggle the two positions at along with your personal priorities? How do you prioritize your time?

Golshani: There’s a lot of sacrifice that goes into it. I don’t get home until about 9:30 at night. But my kids still love it. One of the things my wife says to me when I explained the time commitment, she said ‘you have no idea how happy it makes them to see you out there coaching.’

I also coach my daughters’ basketball teams in the summer time, although it can be exhausting. My wife has been a big help and we’ve managed it so far. We’ll see how much it puts on us as it gets to be every night of the week. Right now, its only two nights a week for the high school team. We managed it last year and I think we’ll manage it this year.

NNBW: Is there anything you can take from either coaching or GM of the dealership that can be applied to the other?

Golshani: You just learn to manage people. As a coach at times parents thinks their kid is the best at everything. And I’ve learned how to have those tough conversations with parents. It sucks. You wish you could let every kid play, but it doesn’t quite work that way.

NNBW: Is there one thing that you learned in your job or as a coach that has been vitally important to your success?

Golshani: I could probably name four million things that have been important. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, but most importantly, I would say is understand (that) everybody is different. You can’t approach or discipline people the same way. I learned that at a younger age when I first came up here.

NNBW: Where do you see yourself professionally say in five to 10 years? If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?

Golshani: What I hope to accomplish is 30 to 40 percent of things that Don Weir has accomplished in his life and be able to give back to somebody else like he’s been giving back to me. I can’t stress enough how valuable he’s meant to me as a person and to my profession. He’s taken me to a whole new level in our industry. Telling him thank you a thousand times is one thing. Repaying the gift to someone else is the best way to say thank you to him. I will do my best to be as successful or even half as successful as he has been. I appreciate the opportunity he has given me and would love to give someone else that same opportunity if I’m financially able to, because I know how special an opportunity like this is.

NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like about living/working here?

Golshani: It’s a great place to live. There’s no traffic. The airport is one of the best parts about the city. The reason I came out here is the opportunity Don gave me. I had had opportunity years ago to come out here with a different business and I passed. Every thing happens for a reason. This time, it wasn’t about the money, it was about the opportunity. I love it here. My kids go to a great school and my wife has become really confortable here. I wouldn’t leave here even if you paid me. I love it here!

NNBW: What was your first job?

Golshani: My first job was working in a RadioShack for like two months, but I came in late for work one day and got fired. I then got the job at a car dealership washing cars in the back.

NNBW: What did you dream of becoming as a kid?

Golshani: I wanted to be a lawyer. I felt like I was a good speaker and could talk my way out of a keyhole.

NNBW: What are your hobbies? How do you spend your time away from work?

Golshani: We spend a lot of time with kids and go up to the beach and hang out. I take my daughters to play some golf.

NNBW: Favorite vacation spot?

Golshani: I don’t really have a favorite spot, although I’ve taken my family to Disneyland a few times because my kids are at that age where they like that stuff.

NNBW: If you had the chance to have dinner with someone, who would that be and why?

Golshani: Probably would be Michael Jordan. Not only because he’s a great basketball player, but also because he’s a businessman.

NNBW: What is a unique characteristic or attribute about yourself that makes you stand apart from other people?

Golshani: Personally the biggest attribute I have is I’m a sponge. I’m not better than anybody at anything, but I can understand I can ask questions and take a little of something from everybody and apply it in my own way.

NNBW: If you had one moment in time you could change in your life either professionally or personally what would it be and why?

Golshani: This is going to sound terrible, but if there’s one I would change is wish Robert Horry missed that three-point shot against the Sacramento Kings (in the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals). I’m a diehard Sacramento Kings fan. I joked with my wife the worst day of my life was when Robert Horry made that shot. I’m a sports junkie and that was the worst day of my life. That would’ve changed everything, if that guy just misses that shot (laughs).


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