See how these team members climbed the ladder of success at The Wolak Group!
Darlene started with Dunkin’ Donuts in May of 2003 as a part-time Baker but was promoted to a full-time Shift Leader about a year later. During this time, she grew close with a coworker named Jean, who had a sarcastic, charismatic way with customers and peers that made her extremely likeable. Jean told Darlene she was a natural leader; from the way she ran her shift to the way she owned her mistakes when they were made. She told her to look at the bigger picture and work towards climbing the ladder in her career. This was a driving moment for Darlene, but the opportunities available to her within the company were limited. Luckily, in February of 2005, The Wolak Group purchased that company and, consequently, the location she was working at. Darlene was promoted to Restaurant Manager almost immediately. She continued expanding her knowledge of the business, using her great instincts and the expertise of her peers to give her the tools she needed to climb even higher. Darlene was promoted in 2006 to Area Manager, in 2007 to Lead General Manager, and in 2008 to Area Director. She pursued her career even further by learning countless lessons through her own trials, as well as from the team of hard-working, intelligent individuals around her. Darlene moved to the Director of Operations position in 2015 and was promoted to Executive Director of Operations in 2017. As of 2020, Darlene is our Executive Director of Operating Systems and Staff Support.
Darlene’s advice to anyone looking to grow within The Wolak Group is:
“Keep your mind open and take a breath before every decision. The door to opportunity is already open here. You just must be ready to really work to push yourself through it. There has never been a time that I did not see someone succeed when that was what they truly wanted. Those open-minded people will put in the work and put their best foot forward.
This is a great company to work for. It is the combination of a large company with a mom-and-pop shop. Working here, you are not just a number. Every person is seen as an asset and allowed to contribute to the company in their own way. That is an amazing opportunity, one that should not be taken lightly.”
Laurel started at Dunkin’ Donuts as an overnight Donut Finisher/Cashier after answering a help wanted ad in 1976. In 1977, she met an overnight Baker from The Wolak Group’s first location in Portland, ME named Ray, who she would marry in 1983. Laurel worked to prove her capabilities and dedication and was moved to the day shift when The Wolak Group opened a new location in Portland. When Ray and Laurel began growing their family, Laurel took several years off from The Wolak Group to stay home with their two sons. She returned as a Donut Finisher in 1992 but resumed her full-time stay-at-home Mom position in 1996 due to daycare issues. In 2004, Terry Bilodeau (our current Director of Loss Prevention) called Laurel hoping she would come back to The Wolak Group to learn the office and auditing procedures for the Maine locations. Terry’s encouragement and support worked, and Laurel agreed. This move led to the creation of our invaluable Loss Prevention Department! Laurel attributes her success in the company to the support of Ed and Kim Wolak, Terry Bilodeau, and her husband, Ray.
Laurel’s advice to anyone looking to grow within The Wolak Group is:
“Just try it. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. You may find your ‘inner’ Leader with the company’s amazing support teams and opportunities!
This company has been like family to me. Not many employers can give you that feeling.”
Lacey joined the Wolak family in 2015 when she became the nanny to Chief Operating Officer Kim Wolak’s two young boys. Lacey was the full-time nanny for about three and a half years before the youngest started preschool. At this time, she began working in the office as Kim’s Personal Assistant. It was at this time that Lacey was offered the incredible opportunity of earning her degree through the Southern New Hampshire University College for America program with tuition reimbursement through The Wolak Group. While this program was quite challenging at times, her strong support system helped her to keep going. It was at this time Lacey began to view Kim as a mentor, as she continuously pushed Lacey to see her truest potential. This program would prove to be more valuable than she ever could have imagined. Through this, she learned more about not only the industry as a whole but about the most important resource a company has; it’s people. Upon earning her Associates Degree in General Studies with a concentration in Business in 2021, Lacey was promoted to Communications Manager. Through this position she has assisted in the design, development, and relaunch of the new Company website, as well as all other social media platforms for the Company. She continues to build her skillset and education surrounding content creation, social media marketing, and analytics.
Lacey’s advice for anyone looking to grow within The Wolak Group is:
“Don’t miss out on the limitless opportunities The Wolak Group has to offer. The growth you will feel in this company goes beyond your career and professional life. The support and collaboration here will help you to become so confident in your abilities, you may truly surprise yourself.
I have never been so proud to work for a company as I am to work for The Wolak Group. Here, you are genuinely a member of the family.”