Jeffrey P. Ossen
From Humble Beginnings…
Jeffrey Peter Ossen or “J.P.”/”Jeff” as his friends and family called him, was raised in Torrington, CT. His early interest in business included mowing lawns, shoveling sidewalks, Kool Aid stands, and working in a restaurant. As a teen he became interested in collecting stamps and advertising and selling in national magazines. This was the beginning of his becoming an entrepreneur…
College Bound….Business Focus..
Jeff earned a BA in Political Science at the University of Connecticut, (UConn), in 1962, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. In 1965, he earned his law degree from Harvard University. During all his years in studies, Jeff was involved in student press conferences, and public affairs of all kinds.
After law school, Jeff and his wife moved to New York City, so he could join the U.S. Housing & Home Finance Agency, predecessor to HUD. Describing “boredom and frustration with bureaucracy,” he returned to UConn to pursue his Masters in Political Science. His return to UConn proved to be decisive to his business future. He had placed an ad for housing in Storrs, and received a response from an undergraduate who lived in a mobilehome in Mansfield. In no time, the two “budding entrepreneurs” were sharing their excitement about the opportunities in the mobilehome industry. With a personal loan, they purchased their first mobilehome in 1966. By the end of 1967, they had a total of 33 mobilehomes.
In the midst of the parenting, politics, and teaching as Assistant Professor of Business Law at UConn, Jeff was continuing to grow his foothold in the mobilehome business as well as maintaining a real estate law practice from 1972 –1981.
At the time of his death, in 2007, Jeff had built a manufactured housing company with 10 communities in three states, composed of nearly 900 sites. He founded the Connecticut Manufactured Housing Association, after having been the longest serving President of the New England Manufactured Housing Association. Jeffrey also served on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing, as chair of the Windham Region Transit District, and head of the E.O. Smith High School building committee.