2014 Business Mavericks Panelist
In his youth, Russ Lesser recalls a Manhattan Beach that consisted mostly of small beach cottages that served as summer homes. His family was one of the few that lived there year-round.
Today, Russ still spends most days wearing beach attire—working in the corner office of the company that would fix the problem of no wet suits. He is the 23-year president of Body Glove, LLC, the inventor of the modern wet suit and one of the most recognized surf and water sports brands worldwide.
Russ’ past and present service includes more than a dozen community boards, including Manhattan Beach Little League, the Small Craft Advisory Commission for LA County, Torrance-South Bay YMCA, Manhattan Beach Education Foundation Advisory Board and Reef Check, an oceanic environmental organization. Russ also served on the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce board of directors for seven years, including a term as president. He was elected to two terms on the Manhattan Beach City Council from 1978 to 1986, during which he served as mayor in 1980 and 1984.
His efforts earned him recognition as “distinguished alumni” of Mira Costa High School and one of El Camino College’s top 50 graduates during the school’s 50th anniversary celebration. As a distinguished alumnus from CSULB, he was invited this past May to give the commencement address to business school students. He concluded by telling graduates, “The most satisfaction in life comes from giving, not getting.”