Meet Our Team
- Willie Knaus, Owner and President Pacific Winds Inc.
Willie has the gift of hospitality, so creating a sense of community among the staff and customers at Pacific Winds Music is one of his strengths.
Willie graduated with an education degree from Mayville State College and taught physical education in Australia for 2 years. That’s where he met his lovely wife! On the weekends, you can find him on the golf course, singing in the church choir, tending to the garden, or enjoying time with his grandchildren.
- Pat Knaus, Owner and Secretary/Treasurer Pacific Winds Inc.
Pat has worked in the business on and off since the early days, and joined the staff full time in 2011. She has been a music educator in the public schools, choral conductor, choreographer, and musical theater director. At the store, she heads up the ukulele department, and is enjoying learning to play ukulele. She also plays golf, gardens, quilts, and plays with grandsons.
- Christian Peters, retail
Chris is a gear head with an interest in old cars and anything trumpet. He grew up in Springfield and attended the University of Oregon. He comes to Pacific Winds Music after a long and successful career as a music teacher in the Fern Ridge School District. He presently plays solo cornet in the Oregon Brass Society and is a member of the Central Lutheran Brass Quintet. He brings much experience as a teacher and trumpet player to his work at the store.
- Tim Sweaney, head of repair shop
Tim never met a fish he didn’t like, or want to catch…when he’s not working, of course. At Pacific Winds, he uses his considerable experience and training to tame the wild instruments that cross his desk. He graduated from Renton Technical in 1983 and has worked in Tacoma and Reno before joining Pacific Winds Music in 2005.
- Richard Johnson, repair technician
Richard keeps his woodwind chops up playing in the Swing Shift Big Band, Scrambled Ape, and the Springfield Community Band. He attended Western Iowa Tech in Band Instrument Repair and has been at Pacific Winds since 2001.
- Aaron Krienert, repair technician
Aaron aka “Ren”, started the band repair trade with an intensive 2 1/2 year program at Western Iowa Technical College. 11 years later with 7 summers under his belt, he is armed with hammers and screwdrivers and a vat of knowledge to make your instrument hum! When not banging dents and burning pads he spends his time with his rockin’ daughter, riding his bike, playing chess, and finding ways to be a better Earth Citizen.
- Coral Couch, office manager
Coral is the real music veteran on the staff. She’s worked as bookkeeper at Pacific Winds Music for twenty-two years, and for Eugene Music for eight years before that. An avid gardener, she brings homemade goodies to keep us all happy and healthy.
- Neal Chin, ukulele teacher and sales
Neal joined the Pacific Winds Staff in February of 2015. He brings considerable retail expertise from his years with a music store in Honolulu. He also offers in-store ukulele lessons and workshops. He is an active performer on ukulele and guitar.