Real Estate

Michael Saunders Named a Hero of History

The Historical Society of Sarasota County will honor the real estate pioneer at a luncheon March 20.

By Ilene Denton March 4, 2019

Michael Saunders

The story of Sarasota—and Florida, really—is inseparably intertwined with the story of real estate and development. On that premise, the Historical Society of Sarasota County will bestow its annual Hero of History award on March 20 to Michael Saunders—“a woman who literally made modern history in the real estate business,” says Historical Society president Marsha Fottler.

Saunders, who founded Michael Saunders & Company on St. Armands Circle in 1976, has built her real estate company into an industry leader, with nearly two dozen offices in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

“Saunders’ family roots in Manatee and Sarasota counties go back to 1895 when her great uncle John Severese piloted the Mistletoe steamboat from Tampa to the tip of Longboat Key three times a week providing goods and services to get from one place to another and for people to visit one another,” says Fottler. “That tip of Longboat Key, called Land’s End became home to Michael’s family, who subsequently owned a marina there.

“Michael Saunders has curated her family history and has been an advocate for preserving history and conserving natural places through her tireless dedication to Ca’ d’Zan restoration, Mote Marine, Sellby Gardens and a host of other organizations where she has shown leadership and a commitment Florida’s past.” 

The luncheon takes place at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 20 at Michael’s On East. For tickets and other details, visit


Filed under
Show Comments