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An Inside Look at our 2019 Annual Company Meeting

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Michael Saunders, Founder and CEO, opens the 2019 Annual Company Meeting

Nowhere but here is there such a strong appreciation for teamwork and community within Sarasota real estate. This was evident during our All Company Meeting, filled with motivational and encouraging messages from Michael and Drayton as well as public speakers Molly Fletcher and Marci Rossell.

Putting a scarf on the meeting, as she does with all things, Michael opened the morning with an expression of pride. She thanked all the agents and leaders who have helped shape the company into what it is known for today – reputation, values, collaboration, market insights, a global network, and local roots.

Making Sense Out of Nonsense

Michael then introduced economist and public speaker, Marci Rossell. Marci’s message was a gift of information regarding our local, national and global economies. From the TechBoom and bust of 2000 to the concerns and confusion of Brexit, Marci explored the two very different sides of a term we hear all too often: “Disruption.” Like a set of twins (she noted from experience), there’s usually one good and one – let’s just say – not good. The good disruptors challenge industries to be better with innovative concepts and technology that ultimately improve the world around us and the services provided. The bad, like failing or convoluted policy, recessions, slowdowns and more words we hear all too often, knocks things off track. Her overall message, however, was one of hope and confidence, noting that perhaps we’re consumed by today’s headlines because the last recession had left a devastating mark on the nation. Ultimately her takeaway on today’s and tomorrow’s economy boiled down to three key things:

  • Expansions don’t die of old age – economies naturally expand and recessions are the oddity
  • If you can plan for disruption, it mitigates the effects
  • Real estate professionals have a special responsibility to communicate what the local market looks like to their customers amid the media noise of the world

She also noted that success could be found in high-quality goods that everyone wants – our real estate. The “ah-ha’s,” “ohs” and clicking of pens were audible in the conference room as if the agents in attendance had been given an assignment from 007’s Secret Intelligence Service.

Locally Rooted

Drayton addressed the room following a video capturing the humanizing work done by the generous contributions to the MSC Foundation. His message was on relationships – the true heart of what Michael Saunders & Company is all about, and he recognized the tremendous work of the foundation’s board and the agents who not only donate portions of their commission to local causes but also their time. Referencing his experiences as a father, he noted how the best interactions we have with others aren’t rushed – whether that’s a customer or when we soothe an otherwise unruly toddler back to sleep. “We are in the business of special moments,” he said. “We are the last bastions of a people-centric and driven business in an age where it is unnervingly easy to get information.” He closed with his own takeaways – the ways in which Michael Saunders & Company agents continue to set the standard for excellence after 43 years:

  • Michael Saunders & Company is committed to knowing what’s critical to customer goals
  • Our agents have an innate ability to focus on our buyer’s transition between homes or into their first home over the transaction of business
  • Success doesn’t die of old age either

Connections Matter

Renowned sports negotiator and businesswoman, Molly Fletcher, then took the stage. Known as the “female Jerry Maguire” she discussed the importance and power of finding the advantages in change and nurturing connections. Her own story is as remarkable as the many athletes she’s represented – moving from Michigan to Georgia on a whim and working her network and marketing skills to secure not only a job as a community’s tennis coach but live rent-free for nearly 9 years.

She credited top athletes’ ability to recover quickly and be an authentic chameleon to a large portion of their success, noting that when star Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady was drafted to the organization that he was the 199th pick. That, however, didn’t stop him from walking up to CEO Robert Kraft his first week, introducing himself and mentioning that he (Brady) was the best decision that Kraft ever made. Fletcher went on to say that that level of confidence, while less appealing in other situations, gave his team confidence in him when it came time to run the plays and allowed him to become a leader on the field.

With every speaker, video, and sentiment there was a standing ovation, a moment of discovery, and wholehearted gratitude of being surrounded by such great company. Something that is found nowhere but here.


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View and download all photography from the meeting in the SmugMug Gallery.



This piece was written in collaboration with Samantha Emelock and Shanna Bellingham


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An Inside Look at our 2019 Annual Company Meeting was last modified: June 17th, 2019 by Shanna Bellingham