The Klabin Company Broker Spotlight – Mike Ouellette


December 16th, 2019

Senior Associate Mike Ouellette grew up in a mid-sized town in British Columbia, Canada where learning to ice skate and play hockey at a very young age was a way of life for many kids. For Mike, it started at the age of four. With professional aspirations for as long as he can remember, Mike played competitively throughout his youth. He worked hard on and off the ice, excelling as much at academics as he did at hockey, and by the time he was 18, he was a highly regarded junior player recruited by colleges all over the U.S. He chose Dartmouth College, the Ivy League school in New Hampshire, where he was an All-American his senior year and still holds the record for most games ever played for the school’s hockey team. After college, Mike’s dream of playing professionally came true. He played for New York Rangers affiliated teams in Hartford, Connecticut and Charlotte, North Carolina. Then in 2010, he packed his bags for Europe where he enjoyed a successful career playing for teams in Croatia, Germany and Austria. His most memorable time was in Croatia where fans went crazy for the sport and Mike became a sports celebrity regularly featured in the Croatian media.

While playing hockey, Mike developed a passion for real estate. He bought his first home in North Carolina right before the 2008 market crash. Despite the unfortunate timing, he was able to weather the storm, hold onto the home for 10 years and then sell it for a profit while learning valuable lessons along the way. He also bought a home on the Big Island of Hawaii where he moved when his playing days were over. While in Hawaii, he obtained his residential real estate license and planned for a future on the island. Through a series of life changes, however, he found himself moving to Los Angeles to be closer to family, and thus began his journey into commercial real estate.

At the time, a former teammate from Dartmouth College was living in L.A. and working in industrial real estate. Thinking that Mike had the ideal skill set for the industry, he helped with key introductions. After interviews with firms that were not hiring, Mike was introduced to Frank Schulz III, Managing Principal at The Klabin Company. Frank and his partners, Senior Managing Principal David Prior and Principal Todd Taugner, were looking to grow their team and were so impressed with Mike that they hired him in 2015.

“As someone starting out in this highly competitive business, I hit the lottery when I joined The Klabin Company,” said Mike. “I was immediately put into an environment to succeed, working alongside a dream team of people. This is a special place where the collaboration is unlike anything I’ve seen in the industry. By learning from three of the best in the business in David, Frank and Todd, I’ve been given more than I ever would have expected.”

Mike credits much of his early success at The Klabin Company to his life as a professional athlete.

“In pro sports, especially at the international level, you come across so many different personalities, some that are more challenging than others,” said Mike. “The same is true of commercial real estate so my background in dealing with people around the world has helped me in developing relationships in the industry. Also, being a part of team where we help each other, whether it be on the ice or in the office, is something I’ve always related to and appreciate at The Klabin Company.”

Learn more about Mike or contact him directly at MikeO@Klabin.com.