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Steve’s interest in real estate started with construction.  Growing up, his neighbor was a contractor and hired Steve when he was just 10 years old to clean the mortar off used bricks for a penny a brick and all the soda he could drink!  Over the next 8 years, Steve progressed from a laborer to a carpenter, electrician and plumber honing his skills in each different area.  He was able to purchase and sell his first home before graduating from Washington State University in Construction Management.

Upon graduating from WSU, Steve became a Field Superintendent for Murray Franklyn Homes and was tasked with overseeing large residential developments throughout the Puget Sound Area.  From there, he was hired as the Construction Manager for the Pacific Cascade Corporation, a national shopping center development company.  It was while Steve was with PCC that he became interested in real estate and was put on their property acquisition team.

In 1983, Steve and four partners formed First Western Development of Washington. First Western developed and owned a variety of real estate projects including retail shopping centers, hotel, office and light industrial. 

Just a few years later, Steve’s reconnected with his former boss from PCC, and together Terry Olsen and Steve formed Olsen & Merwick, Inc. in 1987 and Western Real Estate, Inc. in 1988. Olsen & Merwick and Western Real Estate provided construction management and real estate services to a variety of businesses, but primarily grocery companies including Haggen Inc., TOP Foods, Safeway, QFC and Supervalu.  Terry retired in 2006 and at that point Olsen & Merwick came to a happy ending.  Steve continues to operate as the president of WRE.

In addition to real estate, Steve is passionate about hiking, fishing, hunting, and most of all, his family.  He and his wife Patti were Junior High sweethearts and have been married for over 40 years! 

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Sophie joined the WRE team in 2018 after spending 12 years in the restaurant industry.   With a background in hospitality, Sophie is passionate about people and has a knack for anticipating clients’ needs and ensuring they well taken care of.   

Sophie has a BA in Business Management from Whitworth University. She is in charge of all office administration and transaction coordination details for Western Real Estate, as well as keeping Steve on task. 

When she’s not working, you’ll likely find Sophie exploring the great outdoors, cooking for family and friends, tending her small patio garden, enjoying a local microbrew, or snuggling her Australian Shepherd pup “LoLo.”

Sophie and Steve are also currently searching for a restaurant ownership opportunity. 

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