Stapleton Realty began as a dream for me, long after I was a young girl who grew up on South Street in Oconomowoc. Having graduated from Oconomowoc High School, I went on to receive a BA in Marketing/Merchandising and then a Master’s degree in Vocational Education from UW-Stout. I then began a teaching career at this University. At the same time, my brother, Timothy, was in the service. As fate would have it, my Mother became ill which brought my brother and I back together in Oconomowoc to care for her. It was at this time that Tom Snyder, the owner of Snyder’s Clothing store, suggested that I put my marketing background to use by working at his store. This homecoming began my love story with the city of Oconomowoc. Working with Tom was fun, interesting and constantly changing because he was a gregarious character who loved life, people and the place he too grew up in. He sent me on buying trips to New York, taught me about the art of conversing with all kinds of people, and introduced me to a social world that I had never known. It was an education and a whirlwind being with people like Al Mcguire, Hildegarde, an international cabaret chanteuse and also political figures.
Opening a Business In Downtown Oconomowoc
After my career at Snyder’s Clothing store, I was asked to put my Vocational Education degree to use at Lad Lake, a residential treatment center for boys the ages of 7-17. They had received a grant to create curriculum for the school, which in turn led me to work with WCTC in Pewaukee. It was here that I met Michael Mike, the Dean of the Real Estate department. He encouraged me to get my real estate license. I did and became a partner at the Oconomowoc Company where I also used my educational skills. After gaining some practical experience along with a growing desire to make real estate my career, Stapleton Realty came into being at 31 S. Main St. in Oconomowoc. It was a cold and windy New Year’s Eve in 1982. And so, the adventure began. I went to local merchants to ask if I could buy paint, carpeting and tools to convert the small insurance company into a real estate office. I told them that if they would extend credit to me I would pay them when I sold my first home, and I did. Everyone was very encouraging, and no one questioned that a single female was opening a business in downtown Oconomowoc. With a small crew of great people, we began to list and sell properties in the Lake and Country area. People seemed to be receptive to our model of “personal service”, one that I have continued with throughout my entire career.
I have experienced some wonderful opportunities and challenges which allowed myself to become well educated in all facets of the real estate market, some of which you will read about in the “famous” sections of Maureen’s Musings.