About Us

As a three generation family-owned business we have surrounded ourselves with a staff that embodies the same core values as us – a love of family, a passion for boating, a customer focused work ethic and a desire to share the boating lifestyle with others. We’re boaters too, which means we know just how important the boating season is to you, your family and friends. Our goal is to help elevate your boating experience at every touchpoint to ensure this is the best boating season yet!

If you’re new to Candlewood East Marina, we’d like to welcome you to stop in to meet our team and tour our facility. We’d be happy to take you through our Showroom, Service Center and Pro Shop which is setup to accommodate all of your boating needs. As a premier dealer for Cobalt Boats, Nautique Boats and Barletta Boats we stock a variety of boats including bowriders, wake/ski boats and pontoon boats.

For those boaters looking for that next level boating experience, we also offer a private lake front marina and clubhouse providing members and their guests access to the largest lake in Connecticut – Candlewood Lake. Candlewood East Marina Club is a one of a kind facility with beautifully manicured picnic grounds, waterfront dining, seasonal events and more.

We look forward to serving your boating needs and seeing your smiling faces out on the water.

Remember to have fun, stay safe and continue to live the dream!

Meet the Team

LEADERSHIP TEAM

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Mitch grew up nowhere near the water but a summer trip to Lake George in 1979 changed that forever. After bringing home an orange and white Formula Thunderbird in 1983, Mitch’s parents discovered Candlewood Lake and joined Candlewood East Beach & Sailing Club. In 1983, the family took a leap of faith and joined the boating industry by purchasing Candlewood East. Since then, he has been involved in all thing’s lake related, from sailing to barefoot skiing to sunset cruises. Mitch met his wife Lori by chance and never said goodbye. Together they have raised 5 beautiful daughters on Candlewood Lake. When he’s not at work you’ll never find him. He has been the victim of fun forever!

Mitch O'Hara Jr

President / General Manager

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Mike has been privileged to be a part of the Candlewood East Service Department since joining the team in June of 2002 after retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel specializing in Logistics from the US Marine Corps after 22 years of service. He has enjoyed being part of some of our biggest developments and expansions over the last 20 years and still gets excited about our system improvements and the growth we continue to enjoy as a team. Over the years, Mike has enjoyed seeing the change in systems within the boats themselves; the implementation of electronics, computerization and efficiencies is never ending and a testament to our industries thirst for innovation. In his off-time Mike enjoys classic muscle cars and trucks, often sneaking out with Sandy for a Sunday lunch ride, being outdoors and spending time working in their yard and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. The biggest satisfaction Mike has from his time at Candlewood East is the friendships that have formed over the years. There’s nothing better than seeing families start out in their first boat with a toddler in tow and watching those same kids grow up as young adults starting adventures of their own. Seeing “Mom and Dad” transition to “Grandma and Grandpa” never gets old!

Michael Chengeri

Service Director

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Lori is the proud dog mom to two German Shepherds. When she’s not at work, you’re likely to find her outside soaking up the sun with a kombucha in hand. A fun fact about her is that she learned how to wakeboard and wakesurf in her 40s!

Lori O’Hara

Club Director

ADMINISTRATION TEAM

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Sandy has been part of Candlewood East since the beginning. Graduating from college she returned home to the family business before joining her husband Mike to travel the world until he retired from the US Marine Corps. Returning in 2009, she joined the Admin Team and has the pleasure of working with family, amazing employees and the wonderful members of Candlewood East Marina Club. In her free time Sandy loves the beach, is a passionate reader, a loving mom, a very proud dog mom, treasures time with her children, loves Sunday lunches with Mike and family time! Something you may not know about Sandy is she is very passionate about rescuing dogs and at one point in her life was a dog mom of 4 beautiful rescues and is blessed to still have one today!

Sandra Chengeri.

Accounts Receivable

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Born and raised on Candlewood Lake, Michele channeled her childhood passion for tubing into a career in the boating industry. In 2017, after graduating from Roger Williams University, she started her career at Candlewood East Marina in the Accounting Department. She is involved in the Connecticut Marine Trade Association and is a member of the David Parker 20 Group. Her free time is spent out on the water with her husband Mike who she met at a Bob Soven Pro Rider event at the Marina in 2014.

Michele O’Hara-Abate

Accounting / Human Resources

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Carolyn joined the Candlewood East Marina Team in 2018 after graduating from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Born and raised on Candlewood, she has evolved from water skiing behind her father’s 1982 Ski Nautique to wakesurfing behind a Nautique G23. Her three favorite things are iced coffee, watching sunsets and the city of Seattle. For future reference, she takes her coffee black with a splash of almond milk.

Carolyn O’Hara

Marketing

SALES TEAM

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After his grandfather handed him the wheel of their 1970’s Glastron Tri-Hull with a Johnson Outboard at the age of seven, he knew boating was going to be his calling. He was fortunate to join the Candlewood East Team in 2000. He took this passion further and obtained his Captain’s License in 2006, worked several years as a Captain for a Marine Towing and Salvage Company in the evenings and also began teaching his passion to students looking to get their CT Safe Boating Certificate and continues teaching through today. Outside of the boating lifestyle, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. Ryan and his family enjoy making their own products at home such as jams, applesauce, pickles and their favorite, Maple Syrup.

Ryan Slater

Sales Director

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Travis is a Candlewood Lake native and grew up skiing behind his family’s 1976 Correct Craft Mustang. Once he was introduced to wakeboarding in the late 90s, he was hooked and knew he found the industry he wanted to be in. Travis joined the Candlewood East team in 2005 and has worn many hats around the marina since then including main gate and yard attendant, shrink wrapper and pro shop assistant. Helping customers get into the right wakeboard evolved into Travis teaching them everything from how to get up on a board to landing their first invert. From there his role transitioned to helping those same customers get into the boat of their dreams as a member of the Sales Team. In season, you can find him out on the lake in his Nautique 230 with his family and friends. In the off season, you’ll find him either out on the ice, snowboarding or in his garage working on his cars.

Travis Keaney

Sales

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Chris turned his childhood passion for boating into a career when he started at Candlewood East Marina in 2013. He began waterskiing at the age of three but now enjoys wakeboarding and wakesurfing with his wife, daughter, family and friends. In case you ever get quizzed, Chris loves cookies, named his daughter after a local lake and enjoys teaching others how to wakeboard and wakesurf.

Christopher Perry

Sales

SERVICE TEAM

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Bob joined the Candlewood East team in 2011 as the Parts Manager and was promoted to Service Advisor in 2013. He grew up on Candlewood Lake in Knollcrest in New Fairfield where he waterskied with the neighborhood kids. Bob enjoys playing the drums and guitar in his spare time…music is kind of his jam!

Bob Miller

Service Advisor

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Sarah has been with us since May of 2018 after transitioning out of the auto industry. Sarah has been cruising Candlewood Lake on her dad’s Sea Ray since she was just a baby and has since migrated to Long Island Sound. Her love of boating combined with service experience landed her the perfect spot at Candlewood East. Sarah is lover of all animals, her favorite being her dog Libby. Her ultimate dream is to move to the Florida Keys to run her own dog rescue sanctuary and, of course, to own her very own Nautique G23.

Sarah Albert

Warranty Advisor

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Eric joined the Candlewood East Marina team in spring 2022. In his free time, Eric builds and rides motorcycles. If you see the clean and shiny Harley-Davidson parked out front—it’s Eric’s. Eric is also known for teaching country swing and line dancing… he does a little bit of everything. When he’s not out riding or dancing, he spends his time with his daughter.

Eric Kear

Parts Advisor

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Bill is an avid water-skier who enjoys early morning sets on Lake Lillinonah with his ski buddies. His passion for boating led him to join the Candlewood East team in 2004. When he’s not spraying walls behind a ski boat he’s enjoying a nice boat cruise with his beautiful wife, family and friends on Candlewood Lake. If you want to see Bill’s eyes light up, ask him about his 4 grandkids or about his Boston Whaler story.

Bill Magin

Marine Technician

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Before joining the team in 2014, Jamie had spent over 30 years as an auto mechanic with a passion for motorcycles and boats. He grew up on Candlewood Lake boating with his brothers and sister but it wasn’t until meeting his wife that he learned how to waterski. It’s tough to widdle Jamie down to just a few sentences. He enjoys woodcarving, makes a mean chicken tortilla soup, owns a Weimaraner rescue dog and has owned over 10 motorcycles. If you get a chance, ask him about his interest in Hemmingway.

Jamie Sproule

Marine Technician

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DJ started with us in 2006 as a Yard Assistant. After training with our team, he has worked his way to a certified Marine Technician. While he enjoys working on boats his “reel” passion is fishing. You can find DJ fishing all year round, a hobby he hopes to pass on to his two kids. If you need a good lunch reco be sure to look up DJ, he knows all the best local spots.

DJ Haggerty

Marine Technician

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Tom has been working with Candlewood East Marina since 2020, but his history with the company is deeply rooted. He has been a parts customer since 1993 when he put his extensive background in the automotive industry to work fixing used boats so he and his buddies could water ski. In 2001, he bought a pre-owned Sport Nautique from Mitch Sr. and he later worked with a mutual non-profit organization, Leaps of Faith Adaptive Skiers, where he taught individuals with disabilities how to waterski. After retiring, Tom was interested in joining the Candlewood East team to follow his passion for boating and to work with a team and company he had always admired. If you get some time with Tom be sure to ask about his families cottage on Lake Zoar, how many boats he’s owned (spoiler alert, it’s over 12) and why he decided to stop barefooting.

Tom Sullivan

Service Advisor

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Josh joined Candlewood East Marina in 2021 assisting the yard, shrink wrap and service teams. He got his start boating on his grandfather’s house boat when he lived in Texas. Josh later moved to Georgia and then Alaska after joining the US Army Airborne Division at the age of 18. During his 10-years of service he spent 15-months in Iraq, 12-months in Afghanistan and 2-years training units in mountaineering and cold weather leadership survival. Quick question, do you know anyone who can run a marathon in 2:59:12? Now you do! If you can catch him, ask Josh why they call him the Rodeo GOAT.

Josh Richardson

Junior Marine Technician

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Dave began working at Candlewood East Marina in 2002. Super Dave, as he’s been nicknamed, can drive anything you put in front of him. From a Marina Bull Forklift and Yanmar Tractor to a Ford F-450 Platinum Dually with a 30-foot Cobalt Boat in tow, he makes it look effortless. While he has a CDL Class A License, his favorite things to drive are his 1983 Pro Street 427 Powered Ford Ranger, 2009 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1. It safe to say he’s a Ford-guy. When the winter hits he doesn’t slow down, you can find him on the frozen lake or backcountry snowmobiling on his Arctic Cat Thundercat Snowmobile.

Dave Kellogg

Yard Manager

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Chris literally keeps Candlewood East moving as a certified Forklift Operator. While he began working here in 2018, he wasn’t always doing the “heavy lifting”! Chris started boating at the age of 10 and still enjoys spending time with family and friends on Candlewood Lake and Lake Champlain. Lake life, summer sun and a fully stocked Yeti…what more can you ask for?! There’s a lot of employees named Chris here so to keep them all straight Chris Ryan is the one who loves GM Trucks, is a triplet and enjoys snowmobiling in the winter

Chris Ryan

Forklift Operator

CLUB TEAM

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Chris decided to turn his hobby of boating into a career in 2005 after selling his property maintenance company. He could not pass up the opportunity to work with the O’Hara family and helped transform the Candlewood East property into the gem it is today. When he’s not working you can find Chris playing with cars, trucks and motorcycles (he's hoping to pass that passion on to his grandson).

Chris Cawley

Property Manager

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Miguel began working for the Candlewood East Marina team in August of 2007. With an attention to detail he enjoys learning about the ever-changing boating industry and hopes to own his own in the future. In his free time Miguel enjoys being a DJ and making remixes…it’s a passion he’s had for years. When he’s not dropping the beat he enjoys the adrenaline high of racing jet-skis. Try and keep up!

Miguel Saquicela

Property Maintenance

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Bridgit started working summers at Candlewood East in 2009, continuing through high school, college, and grad school and finally transitioning to a full-time position in 2021. Even though she was bom and raised on Candlewood, she's not the best at water sports and prefers just going along for the boat rides. In her free time she enjoys painting, baking, and trying out all kinds of restaurants. If you've got any suggestions, let her know

Bridgit O’Hara

Club Restaurant Manager / Administration

Careers

Interested in joining a team that believes the best days are spent on the water?! Candlewood East Marina is looking to add driven, enthusiastic members to our team. If you think you'd be a good addition to our team we want to hear from you! View the available positions and submit your application below. Someone from our team will be in touch.

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