It's always interesting to me to see how couples end up in The Lakes Region. For Jack Telefus & Christine King their story travels through several states for high-end corporate job positions with their prized boat in tow the whole way.
Jack was born and raised in upstate New York while Christine grew up in New Jersey. The couple met in 1971 while attending Orange County Community College. They both took jobs at IBM in Fishkill, N.Y. Christine later earned a degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickson University. Over the next 23 years she rose through the ranks at IBM, excelling in what was then a male-dominated corporate culture. After serving in Vietnam, Jack earned an engineering degree in Maryland and enjoyed a distinguished career at IBM for 30 years. The early years leading to 1971 were difficult times for Jack and Christine, "pinching pennies" was a common theme.
In 1976 they moved to Burlington, Vt. with IBM and they bought a used 27ft boat that they enjoyed cruising around on Lake Champlain for over 4 years. Once the linkage broke they decided it was finally time for a new boat. They wanted a Formula and with no dealers in the Lake Champlain area they journeyed to Lakeport Landing Marina here in Laconia, N.H. and purchased a new 38ft Formula Fastech. (Fun fact...I sold Lakeport Landing to Paul Blizzard that same year). Christine and Jack were ecstatic for their big boat. "We enjoyed boating on Champlain, the lake was big and open, but sometimes the large waves were difficult".
By 1995 Christine had become the vice president of IBM's semi-conductor division and VP of the networking business unit. She had 33,000 employees within the company which produced $6 billion in revenue at the time.
Along came a 'head hunter' in 2001 making an offer Christine and Jack just could not refuse...she was offered the top position of CEO of AMI Semi-Conductor (AMIS) with the understanding she could select the location for the company's world headquarters in Pocatello, Idaho. The New Jersey native smiles and replied "I've always wanted to be a cowgirl" and off they went. AMIS had 10,000 employees worldwide and Chris became the first female CEO of a semi-conductor company in the world. Over seven years the company grew and Chris took it public, selling the company and made the investors a lot of money. Meanwhile "there was little lake water in the southeast corner of Idaho and our prized Formula did not have much playtime after we shipped it out...we had manmade lakes in our area, and everyone laughed at us in our oversized boat in only 10ft of water". Christine's other passion is riding horses; she has seven quarter horses of her own. Thriving off competition and adrenaline she's ranked 3rd in the world in the "Amateur Cow Cutting" class. Chris became the cowgirl she wanted to be.
Enjoying her retirement for only 2 months, Christine was again approached by another head hunter in 2008. She was offered the top position as CEO of Standard Microsystems (SMSC). They sold their home in Idaho and were off to Hauppauge/Long Island, N.Y. Sadly they had to ship the Formula to storage this time, so they sent it back to Lakeport Landing because they didn't want her near salt water. At the same time, they purchased a home in Scottsdale, Ariz. so Christine could house her horses and keep up her cowgirl competitions. (Just last week she was in Las Vegas and won that competition!)
In 2011 their daughter was having her 4th baby. Their last family vacation had been on New Jersey's shore but this year their daughter didn't want beach sand. "Mom, don't you have a boat on Lake Winnipesaukee?" she asked. So for the first time in years they pulled the Formula out of storage and launched it for a vacation. They stayed at Church Landing in Meredith and later rented a lake house in Alton. The kids and grandkids just loved it up here; there was so much for the whole family to do. They visited for four summers; 3-4 weeks each year. "We liked the Lakes Region so much we started looking around for a place on the water." Jack saw a sign on a place and called the listing agent twice, with no answer. He met with Kevin Keenan at Paugus Bay Marina and mentioned the house he viewed from the road. Jack got back to Scottsdale and gets a phone call from a different agent, John Goodhue who Mr. Keenan had referred. "After the call from John and 15 houses later we decided on a beautiful lake home in Alton on the Wolfeboro line. It had everything we needed...great views overlooking the Varney islands, 5 bedrooms, 7 baths, theatre room and an impressive exercise room for Jack. We love the peaceful setting on the lake where it's so easy to boat to so many interesting restaurants. We also love the blue collar appeal of the region and feel of the people around the lake. Everyone's so friendly."
So the story continues on a happy note. Jack is retired from IBM and Christine sits on the Board of Directors of four public companies, one of which is in Boston. She still loves to ride horses but she's found another passion...piloting that Formula boat around all the islands of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith & Laconia, NH and can be reached at (603) 279-7046.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
From 1956 until 2010, CBS television's daytime lineup included America's longest-running soap opera: "As the World Turns." But times change, and now a real-life human drama of profound importance has debuted in America: "As the Generations Turn."
It's the inspiring story of our society's continuing struggle to evolve toward dignity and mutual respect ... as well as love. The moment came on June 26, 2015, when Justice Anthony Kennedy proclaimed from the ornate chamber of the Supreme Court: "The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment couples of the same sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty."
Kennedy and Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor voted to make this higher level of inclusiveness the law of the land, but they are not the producers of it. Indeed, while the court's ruling debuts a new day, it is the culmination of generations of painful struggle by brave gay and lesbian activists and advocates. And it is particularly the product of a defiant and determined LGBTQ movement for equality that arose from the brutal police riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York on June 28, 1969.
This democratic evolution from rank inequality literally came out of America's closet, rising through only a few neighborhoods at first, but then entering the consciousness of today's youth. Rejecting the shibboleths, ignorance, fears and bigotry that previously permitted such intolerable discrimination, young people have, in a remarkably short amount of time, created a generational shift in the nation's consciousness.
The true Supremes are the people themselves, and it's their awakening enlightenment that has transformed marriage equality from taboo to simple justice.
It is unfortunately true, however, that not everyone has evolved on the issue of equality in our Land of the Free. The Supreme Court's ruling that states can no longer ban same-sex marriage has set off a cacophony of howling hyperbole by the GOP's far-out presidential wannabes.
"I will not acquiesce to an imperial court," blustered Fox News political huckster Mike Huckabee. "Resist and reject judicial tyranny," he bellowed. Huck even couched his cry for continued discrimination against gay people by likening it to Abe Lincoln's principled refusal to honor the court's 1857 ruling that African-Americans could not be citizens. Sure, Mike, you're a modern-day Lincoln — except that he was opposing discrimination, while you're demanding that government enforce it!
Then came the wild hair of the GOP's presidential menagerie, Donnie Trump, trumpeting his keen insight that the court's gay marriage decision is Jeb Bush's fault. Really. The Donald explained that Jeb's brother George appointed Chief Justice John Roberts to the court, so ... there you have it. Shhhh — let's not spoil Trump's hallucination by telling him that Roberts actually voted against letting gays marry.
Now on to Scott Walker, widely touted by the GOP's billionaires as the "serious" contender. Yet, he is seriously pushing a constitutional amendment to allow states to keep prohibiting same-sex marriages. "No one wants to live in a country where the government coerces people to act in opposition to their conscience," said Walker, apparently oblivious to the fact that state governments have long been coercing LGBTQ people to do exactly that. And now Walker is promising, if elected, to coerce them right back into a life of unconscionable injustice.
Every one of the 13 Republican presidential candidates is marching backward into the bigoted past, piously thumbing their noses not only at millions of gays and lesbians and their families, but also at the ever-growing majority of Americans — especially young people — who support marriage equality.
(Jim Hightower has been called American's most popular populist. The radio commentator and former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture is author of seven books, including "There's Nothing In the Middle of Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos" and his new work, "Swim Against the Current: Even Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow".)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
When my family and I moved to the Lakes Region in 1977 I gave little thought to hiking locally. I was drawn north to the White Mountains to hike the many trails located in the National Forest. It wasn't until a few years ago that I became acquainted with the mountain range located almost in my back yard. A hiking friend asked me if I wanted to attend a meeting of the BRATTS (Belknap Range Trail Tenders), a group of volunteers who maintain many of the trails located in the Belknap Range. I agreed to attend and signed on as a trail maintainer with my hiking partner Steve Zimmer. From that point forward I became enamored of not only the trail system, but the history and geography of the region known as the Belknap Mountain Range.
The Belknap Mountain Range is a prominent mountainous ridge that runs west of Lake Winnipesaukee in the towns of Gilford, Gilmanton, and Alton, N.H. It is comprised of several prominent peaks including Piper (2,044 feet), Gunstock (2,250), Belknap (2,382) and Major (1,786). A fire tower on Belknap and the cleared summit of Gunstock, as well as numerous scattered ledges on all the peaks, provide fine views of Lake Winnipesaukee, the Ossipee and Sandwich Range, and Mt. Washington. The range was named for Jeremy Belknap (1744-1796) who in 1784 published the first volume of the History of New Hampshire and in 1792 completed the work. The Belknap Range is part of a volcanic complex that surrounds Lake Winnipesaukee and includes Red Hill, the Belknap Range, the Ossipee Mountains and Merrymeeting Mountain. They were created during the Mesozoic Era and the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent. If you are interested in more information on the formation of the Belknap Range read "Stepping-Stones Across New Hampshire: A Geological Story of the Belknap Mountains." by Jay Long, 2005.
Several trails are ideal for the beginner hiker or a family with small children and serve as a wonderful introduction to the Belknaps. I would recommend the Mt. Major trail, the Piper Trail or the Gunstock Mountain Trail. One of my favorite trails is a section of the Fire Road/Round Pond Trail. It can be accessed from Bickford Road, which runs off of Rt. 11A. There is a small parking area at the end of the road and the trail starts immediately from the parking lot. It climbs gradually on a recently reconstructed fire road, with some fine viewing areas toward Belknap Mountain. At about one mile the fire road merges with the Round Pond Trail which starts at the Gunstock Mountain Ski Area parking lot. This trail is marked with red blazes. Continue on the Round Pond Trail, until it merges with the Piper Link Trail blazed in lime green. Stay to the left, continuing to climb gradually to the height of land. The trial then leads down to Round Pond and around its northern and eastern shore line. Round Pond is a beautiful mountain pond occupied by a very active beaver colony. The trail had to be relocated last year and moved to higher ground due to beavers building an extensive dam at the far end of the pond.
The trail continues along the eastern side of the pond to a clearing at the southern end of the pond. This area has been used often for camping and picnicking. The Daniel Webster Boy Scout Council owns much of the land near and around the pond and uses it for numerous activities in the summer. Here is a great spot for a rest in the sun, a snack and if you are brave, a dip in the pond. When you are ready to head back to the parking lot simply reverse direction and follow the trail back.
If you have the energy, the time and an adventurous spirit you can choose to climb Mt. Clem and Mt. Mack, as both mountains are accessible off the Round Pond trail. Watch for the BRT sign (Belknap Range Trail) that will take you up to the summits of both mountains. Since there are a number of other trails in the area you should have the Belknap Range Trail map with you, along with a compass (and the ability to use the compass) to ensure that you can return to the Round Pond Trail. Trail maps are available at the libraries in Gilford, Gilmanton, Laconia, Barnstead, Meredith, Center Tuftonboro and Sanbornton. You also can download or print the 11″ X 17″ map at http://belknaprangetrails.org/belknap-range-trail-map/.
I hope you take the opportunity to get to know the Belknap Range, just as I have done over the past several years. The range is a jewel in our "backyard" and provide wonderful opportunities for numerous days of hiking pleasure. You can learn more about the trails by going to www.belknaprangetrails.org
Gordon DuBois has hiked extensively in Northern New England and the Adirondacks of New York State. In 2011 he completed the Appalachian Trail (2,285 miles) hiking north from North Adams, Mass. to Mt Katahdin, Maine in 2007 and in 2011 hiking south from Mass. to Springer Mt. in Georgia. He has also hiked the Long Trail in Vt., The International AT in Quebec, Canada and the John Muir Trail in California. Gordon has summited the New Hampshire Hundred Highest peaks, and the New England Hundred Highest, 98 of these in winter. He spends many days hiking locally and in the White Mountains with his dog Reuben. He especially enjoys hiking in the Lakes Region due to the proximity to his home in New Hampton. He is also a trail maintainer for the BRATTS (Belknap Range Trail Tenders) and can be found often exploring the many hiking trails in the area.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 July 2015 08:02
When you look around the Lakes Region, the economic pulse of the area is often felt by the construction activity that's taking place. Since the downturn of our economy in 2007 it's been an uphill struggle in the construction industry to regain the positive activity we experienced prior. Contractors and developers take on a tremendous amount of financial risk and are always gambling on which direction the wind is heading in our local economy. It's always encouraging to see these individuals plowing forward and creating demand under difficult circumstances. It's such a positive step that we benefit from here in the Lakes Region. If surveyors, contractors, home builders and improvement stores are busy, it means the cash registers are ringing and jobs are being created, which helps all of us thrive.
Romeo Lacasse is a local developer/builder who has taken big strides in the Lakes Region over the years. He and his partners, Ralph and Bob Meissner have created some interesting and successful communities all over New Hampshire. The most recent being Willow Pond at Long Bay and Nature's View in Laconia, until this past Friday when they unveiled their newest community to the public, The Lakes Houses at Christmas Island.
Born and raised in Berlin, N.H., Romeo married his high school sweetheart and they've been together for 41 years. They raised two children and now have four grandchildren. Starting off in 1977 the economy was depressed in Berlin, at the time Romeo was managing the local lumberyard. They wanted to live somewhere with a little more activity, so they soon decided to move to Manchester, N.H. so he could work for Diamond Lumber. He later started his own lumberyard, Merrimack Building Supply in Merrimack, N.H.
Romeo and Jeanne would take the family camping in Moultonborough. "We had a boat at Harilla Yacht Club and absolutely loved exploring the lake and all its islands. We knew we eventually wanted to live here. We looked around the lake for a couple of year for the right opportunity but the prices seemed too high at the time."
Romeo decided to break out of the lumberyard business and by 1983 he was constructing homes full time. "I started the business as 'Custom Craft Homebuilders' and built many spec homes throughout Merrimack, Manchester, Bedford and Nashua. I started my first subdivision in 1987, where I built ten homes in Manchester." That was quite the experience for Romeo, having to go through the planning processes of surveying, planning board approvals and then creating the infrastructure, roads, water/sewer etc. When the market was good, he was 'spec'ing' 6-7 homes a year, and selling them all.
Goffstown, N.H. 1987; he started another project combining eight pieces of land to total 110 acres. Finally, in 1992 this project was approved for a 45 lot subdivision with 3 roads. Unfortunately timing was not on his side. The N.H. Savings & Loan Crisis occurred, where five of the largest N.H. banks were in trouble. The project completely stalled. "There I was with just my approvals, I needed to find some partners to help me through it". He met with two brothers, Ralph and Bob Meissner from Bedford, N.H. whom he partnered with and has worked with ever since. "We've become close friends, but even more like brothers after 22 years," Romeo said. Together they were able to set up "Chestnut Street Trust" and sell all 45 homes during the relatively slow market. "We were the no-profit builders then".
No-profit no more! Fast forward a few years, they developed a 23 lot subdivision in Hudson which sold out in a year and a half. They developed 45 condo-duplexes in Hollis called "Runnell's Landing" during a depressed economy triggered by the aftermath of 9/11/2001. "It took a full year before we sold the first unit and then by March 2004 we finally sold out."
Romeo and his family finally bought a couple pieces of land in South Down Shores/Long Bay in 2003. "My family and I had a big desire to get back to Lake Winnipesaukee. I built a spec house to sell and our own home on the other. I remember I was working on a subdivision in Somersworth, coming home after a long day I would drive through the South Down gate and right away get that feeling like I was on vacation again, but I was just coming home. We love this community."
In 2006, Romeo and his partners acquired Nature's View in Laconia, completing the infrastructure, roadways and developing 51 single family homes geared to semi-retirement living. Today there are only 2 homes left for sale, which is impressive considering the sales were made in a difficult economy. 2008, he took another project, Willow Pond at Long Bay and with very interesting architectural designs, sold 23 spec homes and 5 custom homes and has built an additional 6 spec homes and 5 more custom homes throughout Long Bay and South Down Shores.
Their most recent project is The Lake Houses at Christmas Island. After planning board approvals, sewer/water & road infrastructure was completed with the first duplex building finished this past week for its grand opening. This community features approx. 1,000 feet of shorefront on Paugus Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee with individual boat slips for each individual home. It has great westerly exposure, sandy beaches, city water and sewer and direct waterfrontage.
Romeo and his wife are all about strong family ties; they enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren. His son Ben has been working by Romeo's side since he was 19. Now at 31 years old, Ben pretty much runs some of the projects. The family loves boating on Lake Winnipesaukee and going to all the quaint lakeside restaurants all over Winnipesaukee. "The grandkids love it here, it's so much quieter here with less traffic, there's plenty to do and the people so are friendly."
It's been a very successful 32 years for the Lacasses, dozens of subdivision and hundreds of homes built but most importantly it's the Lakes Region lifestyle that's been the most rewarding for their family.
The Lakes Region is lucky to have individuals like Romeo and company, creating that strong economic vibe that's so important to the vitality of our region.
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group, Inc. in Meredith & Laconia, NH and can be reached at (603) 279-7046.
Last Updated on Friday, 26 June 2015 07:53
"Semi-retirement"—I've always conveyed that the Lakes Region is like a magnet which attracts individuals looking toward semi-retirement. The demographic is huge, 77 million "Boomers" approaching that magical age we work so hard to achieve in life.
Lake Winnipesaukee was rated the #1 retirement place in the country in MacMillan Travel's fifth edition of Retirement Places Rated, under the category "leisure living for recreational and cultural opportunities." Additionally, N.H. was picked the #1 state for retirement in the country, according to moneyrates.com. This ranking was based on the cost of living, unemployment rate, tax burden, average climate, violent and property crime rates, and life expectancy.
Let me introduce Andrew and Barbara Griesinger from Winchester, Mass. who purchased a spectacular home at the Grouse Point Club in Meredith several years ago for semi-retirement.
WHAT'S YOUR HISTORY?
"Barbara grew up in Winchester and I came from a small town outside of Cleveland. I graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut and received my law degree from Boston College in 1982. The BC football team finished 1-11 that year and the following year Doug Flutie arrived.
After graduation I went to work at Choate, Hall and Stewart, one of the larger law firms in Boston. Barbara was a legal secretary at the firm. I was working on a case in Cleveland for a month and the firm sent Barbara out to work on it. Little did I know we would become interested in each other and later became the "soulmates" we are today. I practiced business litigation and in the early 90s represented many clients, including the Bank of New England. Much of our work was economy driven and I stayed with the firm for 17 years."
"We have a son and daughter, ages 24 and 26. Both were raised in Winchester where we lived for 22 years. Our son lives in Boston and is moving to Irvine/Newport Beach, California with a company transfer. Our daughter is a school teacher in Virginia and is getting married in two weeks."
THAT'S EXCITING... WHERE'S THE WEDDING?
"It's been a full-time job recently coordinating everything. The rehearsal and brunch will be at the Grouse Point Club function hall/clubhouse overlooking the lake. The wedding and reception will be held at the Belknap Mill in Laconia."
AFTER CHOATE, HALL AND STEWART WHAT TRANSPIRED?
"In 2000 I started my own law firm in Boston with a partner. The firm grew to eight attorneys specializing in business litigation. Greisinger, Tighe and Mafffei operated for 10-11 years and the firm retired gradually. That's when the question 'what's next?' was addressed."
HOW DID YOU END UP IN THE LAKES REGION?
"Both of our children attended summer camp in Wolfeboro for 2 years in a row. Later my son would visit a friend whose family had a summer home on Meredith Neck. Another year he rented a camp on Bear Island for 2 weeks. When the family discussion came up pertaining to our next endeavor, my son had one comment, 'Move to Meredith.' Barbara's response was she wouldn't leave Winchester 'unless the house was really nice.' So in September 2011 we looked at some houses online and one day drove up to take a look, 'we spotted a house on Water Street and jotted down Maggie Braxton's number on the sign [a local agent]. We went up to N. Conway for 2 nights to go hiking and decided to spend the following night in Meredith. We called Maggie and arranged to see 4 houses at the Grouse Point Club and 4 houses at Meredith Bay. We previewed the houses on Sunday and when we the saw the house at the top of the Grouse Point Club we were so excited Barb said, 'this is the house...I can live here.' 15 minutes in the house and wow, that absolutely incredible view—that's all it took! We wanted to live in a neighborhood with a real community feel, not a dark lonely dirt road. We've met so many good friends here."
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE GROUSE POINT CLUB?
"We absolutely love our contemporary New England home. The views extend the entire lake beyond Rattlesnake Island. The sandy beaches, yacht club and clubhouse with indoor pool and fitness provide so many amenities. But most importantly everyone is so friendly. It's truly a special place."
WHAT HAPPENS IN SEMI-RETIREMENT?
"Barbara works part-time at Consigners Ave near Church Landing and belongs to The Fitness Edge where she's been a member for 3 years. She's also part of a book group in Moultonborough, and she's the head of the activities committee at our community. It's a wonderful life enriched with so many new friends."
Andrew's schedule has changed dramatically from commuting to Boston 7 days a week with a busy legal-work schedule to competing in triathlons—quite a switch from business litigation to the grueling fitness routine of swimming, biking and running, which started in 2010. "I used to have bad knees and I took some weight off. Now I feel great!" He competes in 4-5 triathlons a year. You'll see him biking around Squam Lake and swimming the waters at Grouse Point...not bad for a 60 year old semi-retired attorney who runs with a happy smile on his face these days.
For Barbara, she loves her gardening, exercise, restaurant choices and small town character, and most importantly, "the wonderful people we've met and become friends with...we have it perfect here."
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group, Inc. in Meredith and Laconia, N.H. and can be reached at (603) 279-7046.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 June 2015 08:23