Joe Olujic has held a number of executive-level positions within the gaming industry over the past 15-plus years, spearheading a broad range of ambitious and successful projects regardless of his specific role or professional responsibilities. Over the years, Joe has served in executive roles placing him in charge of operations, finance, management and human resources, reflecting his diverse skill set along with his exceptional ability to lead. A highly regarded professional, Joe is also frequently called upon to provide consulting services for a variety of projects in the gaming industry.
A native of Wisconsin, Joe moved to Oklahoma several years ago to continue to pursue a career as a high-level executive in the gaming and casino industry. While Joe is known for his many outstanding exploits in various positions of leadership within the gaming industry, he is also deeply committed to a number of charitable endeavors and often devotes much of his free time to efforts aimed at improving the circumstances of those who are less fortunate.
Despite the time Joe spends on his professional responsibilities and on his charitable endeavors, his family has always been his top priority and he considers himself a family man first and foremost. In keeping with his status as a member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians, Joe is very well aware of the importance of strong familial relationships and has worked very diligently to ensure that his home in Oklahoma is a space in which his family feels close to one another and provides a welcoming environment for anyone who visits as a guest.
In what city/state was your first house located and approximately what year did you buy it?
I bought my first home about 20 years ago in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was a four-bedroom home right on Fox River.
What was your living situation prior to buying your first house? Where/with whom/etc?
My brother and I were renting a place just outside of Green Bay before I bought the place on Fox River. It was a nice rental property but the commute was a bit too lengthy for my liking.
What motivated you to purchase your first house?
I had recently been promoted and things were going quite well, so I decided it was the ideal time to buy a home where I could start a family. It was a nice bonus that the place I bought was much closer to my office.
How did you go about getting the money together to buy it?
I have always been very careful with money and never spend beyond my means. Even after I got the promotion, I waited over a year before I even started looking to make sure I had more than enough to make a nice down payment on the home.
When you purchased, were you thinking of it as an investment or as a place to start a family. Please elaborate.
I was more interested in purchasing a home where I could start a family, but I certainly considered the potential return on investment it would yield if I ever decided to sell.
What are 3 things you liked most about the house?
I always loved Fox River, the Bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, so the home held quite a bit of appeal due to its location, especially during the summer months. Other than its placement on the water, the fact that it was so spacious and had four nice-sized rooms made it a perfect place to grow into over time. I also liked the fact that there was plenty of room for improvement so I would have lots of weekend projects.
Was there anything you didn’t like about it?
The proximity to the water meant that the chilly winter winds were just a bit chillier than a lot of the other places in Green Bay. The wind can really rip off the water, so when it is cold it can be very uncomfortable to venture outside for any length of time.
Did you make any improvements or major renovations to the house?
When I bought the house I planned on making a lot of alterations, and I did so at a very relaxed pace so I could save on the labor costs by tackling the bulk of the work on my own. It took a few years to get it all done, but I completely renovated all the bathrooms and the kitchen before adding a covered deck with a few heaters for winter.
Please share 1-2 of your fondest/funniest memories from living there.
Watching my family grow up there is definitely my fondest memory, and my wife came up with plenty of colorful but loving insults to direct my way while some of the renovations were still in progress. Of course, she was just doing so in jest, but I was very impressed with her creativity.
Do you still live there or did you sell it or renting it?
We still own the home even though we have since moved to Oklahoma. We have a big extended family and like to have it available as a summer home or as a place where visiting family members can stay when they are in town.
What advice would you give other first time home buyers?
If you plan on doing improvements yourself, make sure you know what you are doing and don’t trick yourself into believing you can just figure it out along the way. There is nothing wrong with the so-called “handyman’s special,” but you have to be a very confident and knowledgeable handyman if you are going to get the most out of your investment.