Friday, April 27, 2018

Business Spotlight on Realtor and Assistant Broker Mel Oldakowski by Lorraine Glowczak always knew her passion and life’s work were to help others reach their dreams. Realtor and Associate Broker, Mel Oldakowski of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate of The Masiello Group in Windham found that path by helping others find and purchase their dream home.
“I always knew that I would be in a customer-based business,” stated Oldakowski. “Being a part of a family of realtors, the decision to enter into this rewarding profession was easy for me.”
Oldakowski’s mother-in-law was a top selling real estate agent in Indiana while her sister-in-law was a top selling agent in Oklahoma. Oldakowski hopes to follow in their footsteps and is on her way to accomplishing that. 

Oldakowski, who is a member of the Greater Portland Board of Realtors and provides her service in the Greater Portland and Sebago Lakes Region is paving the way for future homeowners to have a pleasant, positive and high-quality purchasing experience. “It is my personal goal to provide excellent service and do my best to make the real estate transaction the most enjoyable experience possible,” Oldakowski said. “After all, purchasing a home is one of the major goals in our lives. It is up there with getting married and having children.”

Being a part of a supportive network of innovative agents, Oldakowski states that her colleagues and the BHGRE Masiello Group reinforce her focus and determination to provide the greatest purchasing transitions and making sure her customers truly get what they desire in a home. “The agency and the other Realtors’ missions align with my own,” she stated. “This support contributes to my success of providing high quality work and delivers a positive experience for my customer.” 

Whether you are buying or selling land, a vacation home, residential home, waterfront property, new construction or investment property, Oldakowski is experienced in all forms of real estate. Her one true real estate love, however, is waterfront property. “I love spending time on the lake, boating with family and friends,” explained Oldakowski.  

Although Oldakowski is a Maine native, she moved away for about nine years. When she returned, she discovered how much she missed summers on the lake. “My husband grew up on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and he and his family always recall the fond memories from his childhood. I want to create that same opportunity of fun summer memories on the lake for my customers.”

What contributes to Oldakowski success not only as a Realtor, but as an individual, is her contribution to her community. When she’s not showing customers their potential dream homes, you will find her out and about participating in fundraising and community efforts. Oldakowski volunteers on the Windham, ME Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, RSU #14 Principal's Advisory Committee, as well as with the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. She also has been a very active former board member with the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.
Oldakowski raises funds through the various 5K, 10K and half marathon events she enters each year.

Oldakowski has a full and happy life, her career being a part of that. “I love my job and helping clients achieve their goals & dreams,” she reiterated. “I strive to provide the highest level of customer service from start to finish. But ultimately, I enjoy seeing people excited and happy about their new home. When I witness that, I know I have done my job and am living my own dream of helping others live theirs.”
For a free market analysis or wshowing of a lake front property or your other dream home, contact Oldakowski by phone at 207-205-0121 or by email at

Friday, April 20, 2018

Business Spotlight: WildWood Properties by Michelle Libby Properties has helped to make the greater Windham area beautiful and well groomed one property at a time over the last six years. This year, owners Rick and Anne Drapeau plan to expand to give homeowners even more choices for dynamic backyards that make people want to be outside. 
“We’re still doing the same stuff we’ve always done, hardscape/construction, design, irrigation installs and maintenance but now we are adding outdoor living spaces and lighting,” said Rick.
The company hired Rob Sheridan from Cape Cod to work on the total transformation of backyards from patios with firepits to walkways and pools. Sheridan has 10 years of experience with land and hardscaping. 

Although the weather doesn’t look like spring, WildWood Properties has already begun spring preparations around the stubborn, small snow piles. “The snow is finally trying to melt. We’ve been busy already. It’s not too late to get on the mow route,” he said. 

WildWood Properties takes care of commercial, residential, associations, condos and church properties. The property management branch of the company takes care of a lot of waterfront camps, helping with annual maintenance, arranging sub-contractors and making sure oil and propane tanks are filled. 

Seventy percent of the residential customers are year-round residents and only 30 percent are from away, have camps or rental properties in the Windham area, including Raymond and Standish. 
Commercial accounts are primarily in Windham, but WildWood travels to Raymond, Old Orchard and Cumberland Foreside. 

“I love going into a backyard that’s all overgrown. I have a vision of a patio, firepit, retaining wall, shrubs and mulch. I love to transform backyards,” Rick said, about his favorite part of his job. He also likes the two hours a week he spends lining the fields at Gambo for Windham Youth Soccer. “It’s kind of relaxing taking care of Gambo soccer fields.”

One year ago, the company rebranded itself to reflect its new direction. The logo was created by the Drapeau’s niece Renee Holley, owner of The Maine Design.

“Our old logo was great for how we started out. It’s taken us in so many different directions, property management, real estate and investment properties. This better represents us.” 

Rick is an associate broker and Anne is an agent at Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group in Windham. They help families who are just moving to the area to find a house, do spring cleanup, fall clean up, snow removal and when they are ready, sell the house.

“It starts as mowing the lawn and goes all the way through,” Rick said. 

WildWood Properties considers its customer service its biggest specialty. Being responsive to the customers, doing a great job on their projects and following up after the work has been done is what has made WildWood Properties a standout in the community. 

If working for a dynamic company is a goal, WildWood Properties will be filling two more positions for maintenance workers for this season.

To see pictures of their work, visit, find them on Facebook, Linked In, Instagram and Pinterest. To book ongoing service or for a special project, email or call 894-4254.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Business spotlight on A & E Contractors by Michelle Libby

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After Eric Klein’s first trip to Maine, it was love at first sight and he decided to make this his home. As a solopreneur moving his contracting business from New York to Maine was risky, but he did it for love and to find new opportunities. He was ready for a new challenge.
When he first moved to Maine, he took on a job working with another construction company. He did
that for a year and a half to learn more about the area and the needs of homeowners. What he discovered was that there was a large need for quality finish carpenters.

The need is great, and Klein is ready to do the work to help year-round homeowners or summer residents spruce up their homes. He does practically everything on your honey-do list and at a fair, reasonable price.

A & E Contractors’ philosophy is “Do it right the first time,” he said. “If you’re going to do a job, do it the right way.” Klein prides himself on quality work and never cuts corners. He completes every project thoroughly and with great attention to detail. 

A & E Contractors started after Klein returned from his time in the Navy. He was a boatswain’s mate in the 1980s. Once he returned and went to school for a while, he decided to start A & E Contractors, which was named after Klein and his brother, Andy. Andy worked with him for a few years until Klein moved. 

Klein has been involved in projects all over the area. He has done work at Maggie’s Hair Salon, replaced rotted cedar shakes and has updated decks to make them safe. A & E Contractors also does replacement doors, trim work and anything that needs finish carpentry. 

“Finish carpentry is my specialty. I can tackle anything,” Klein said. He also does light landscaping including design, planting and mulching but does not mow lawns. Other projects include building decks, along with constructing, repairing and installing custom docks. He doesn’t do a lot of new construction but remodeling or fixing problem areas on a home are right up his alley. He can complete most any task regarding remodels such as tile work, floor installations, painting, etc. He can also do basement finishing to create a whole new living space in your home.

“Docks are my forte. I love being outside, enjoying the weather,” he said. For eight years he taught computer aided drafting and worked for five years doing AutoCAD design. Doing architectural design was fun, but he decided he didn’t want to sit behind a desk and would rather be building the projects he designed. He still enjoys creating plans but likes that now he is able to be more hands on.
“I’ve been working in the field a long time,” he said. “I like seeing a project start from nothing then stand back and say, ‘I did that’.”

Designing decks with stairs and landings makes him happy and he is content to know that his projects provide safety to families. No one will put their foot through the floors or fall on rickety stairs.
He will travel to meet the demands of his clients. From Raymond to South Portland, Klein is willing to travel anywhere in Cumberland County. He lives locally, despite the area code on his phone, he said with a chuckle. 

He is looking forward to meeting new people in the area and filling his spring and summer schedule. He suggests calling now to secure a spot in what is becoming a busy season and ensures his customers that projects will be completed quickly and efficiently. When he begins a job, he works on it until it is completed. He does everything start to finish and doesn’t bounce between clients.

“I take pride in all my work,” he said. “I just really like finish carpentry. It dresses things up.” Precision with things like crown molding and custom built-ins are crucial in achieving a finished look and his 25 years of experience makes it look easy.  

Klein says he is willing to work on weekends and is more than happy to set up free estimates to discuss your vision, goals and budget. A & E Contractors is fully insured. To see a portfolio of jobs Klein has completed or to schedule a project, email or call or text 315-530-0616.