Tampa Bay Business Journal: November 8, 2013

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses if the Tampa Bay condominium industry is finally seeing a rebound, the influence of Michael Saunders, and Cal Ripken Jr.'s five traits for successful businesses.

Five years after the Great Recession collapsed the country's housing market there are signs the condominium industry across the Tampa Bay area is on the rebound. Right now there are up to 31 condo projects being discussed or under development in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.

Developers are only interested in projects where they can make money. For example, the 84-unit Water Club Snell Isle project in north St. Petersburg has generated $13 million from 19 buyers since August.

Michael Saunders is unlike any Michael you probably have heard of. She is the founder of CEO of Michael Saunders & Co., a real estate company with over 550 sales associates, and considered to be among Tampa Bay's most prominent business icons.

From receiving a draft notice to being put in the boys dorm at Florida State, having a typically male first name has made her life interesting.

"When I was very young, I thought how could my parents do this to me?" Saunders said.

But the gender-bending name was a door opener for Michael.

"I have enjoyed having a different name," says Saunders. "It has worked well in business for me and thank goodness today, you do not need a man's name to be a successful woman."

Major League Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. recently visited Tampa. The Business Journal attended the speech he gave for clients of Regions Bank.

Ripken says the right attitude is key: you must love and have passion for your job. It's important to be competitive and consistent. Preparation helps you deal with uncertainty and the unknown.

That is the same advice he says helped him play 2,632 consecutive games for the Baltimore Orioles.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player on the left, go to youtu.be/Ryk8qo_CclM or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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