By Diana Colson
Dennis Kedzierski is a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Realty. For the last few years he has worked out of their offices in Lakewood Ranch, selling houses of varying price ranges from Palmetto to Port Charlotte.
“When the market slows down, I speed up,” says Dennis. He is well-credentialed, having attended the Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), where he took a one-year course in advanced real estate. He also holds a Residential Construction Certificate (RCC) and is a Certified New Home Specialist (CNHS).
Dennis was born and raised in Pittsburgh. After graduating from high school, he went to vocational school and became a machinist. He married Rebecca in 1960, when they were both only 20. The couple went on to have two boys by the names of Mark and Brent.
Dennis worked for Westinghouse Electric Corp out of Pittsburgh for 20 years. (Interesting factoid: Westinghouse is now owned by WCI, which is part of Berkshire Hathaway, which also owns the real estate company with which he is now working.)
“I always had a love for sales,” says Dennis. “I had a lot of part time sales jobs. I sold Fuller Brush for years. Then—when I was at Westinghouse— I got a part time job selling trailers and Motor Homes. From there I went to work for a large RV manufacturer, and became their manager of RV sales. We were so successful that I used to write the contracts as the units came down off the production line.”
After being sales manager, Dennis was offered a position at a small RV company in Pittsburgh. He ended up buying the company, which was named COOPER’S RV CENTER. There were about 150 RV’s on the lot at any one time, and about a dozen employees. Within the first year he had expanded into an annex lot at a big campground in West Virginia. It was right on Big Bear Lake. Between the main lot and the annex lot, Dennis took that company from being bankrupt to being a top selling company in Pennsylvania!
Dennis was happy about his success. “My wife and I won awards every year for ten years. We took cruises and vacations all over the world courtesy of our being top sales.”
During his Pittsburgh days, Dennis was also into fixing up cars, and dozens of them came through his hands. He loved using his machinist skills to bring them back to life. His eyes light up when he speaks of three of his favorites: “I had a 1949 Studebaker Champ and a 1949 Kaiser Cardinal. The Kaiser had a bench seat in the front that would fit three full-sized adults. That car was loaded with chrome, and I only paid $75 for it – way back in 1959. My favorite car, however, was a 1949 Ford Woody.” The Kedzierski’s have a framed photograph of Rebecca and The Woody in their home.
Dennis and Rebecca started coming down to Sarasota in the 80’s, staying on Siesta Key. In the late 90’s, he battled some serious health problems. In 2002, they began to divide their time between Sarasota and Pittsburgh, selling the business in 2003. In 2006 they bought the house in which they now live, a lovely place located a mile away from UTC Mall. There, Rebecca works on paintings, for she is a skilled watercolor artist. She belongs to the West Coast Art Association and her work is shown at the Uptown Gallery on Main Street.
Dennis did not take well to retirement. “l was too young and didn’t play golf,” he grins. “I took part-time jobs. I went into real estate in 2009. Took the whole thing very seriously, and went into advanced studies.”
When in the RV business, Dennis was not just interested in marketing the large units. He cared about small families with limited budgets who were trying to get into camping. “I made sure that each customer found a suitable trailer even if my profit was below normal.” Today, he carries that philosophy into the field of real estate, where he is committed to finding homes that fit a customer’s financial situation.
Dennis’s schedule is full. He spends five days on real estate, goes fishing one day a week, and saves one day for church. He is a deacon at Sarasota Baptist on Proctor Road, and helps feed the homeless. He and his wife both volunteer at the Salvation Army. Their church supports a project called KIDS HOPE. “We give needy kids books, backpacks, blue jeans and things like that,” says Dennis. “This is usually done in August. Several other local churches are involved in doing the same thing.”
Dennis is happy with life in Sarasota. “It’s wonderful to sell real estate up and down the coast, but Siesta is a special love. It was the place where we were first introduced to Sarasota. The beach is extraordinary, and a joy to share with others.”
Dennis Kedzierski can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 941.685.5514. He would be delighted to serve your real estate needs.