“This interview is going to make me sound like the biggest nerd,” Nick Boehme lamented with a laugh recently, as he described his passion for classical music. We opined otherwise.
The 37-year-old began his college career, in fact, on a full music scholarship to Florida State University where for his first two years he was a vocal performance major. His first inclination may have been to sing for his supper, but he decided to get insurance – just in case.
“I ended up going for a double-major, adding finance to the mix,” he explains. “It was a backup plan in case my music career didn’t work out. I figured I would be a singing accountant.”
That sense of humor just might be one of the things that has led to his success in business. The Boehme Group (that’s pronounced “Bemmy,” by the way) is a Winter Park-based commercial real estate and development management firm, and although he isn’t playing Carnegie Hall, he is thrilled with where his professional life has led him.
“I love what I do,” he says. “I love the diversity in working on different projects and not being tied to one type. I can manage large retail centers, help clients manage industrial and office projects or work in the Central Business District on offices, high-rises and so forth.”
He began his construction career straight out of college as an estimator for Orlando general contractor R.D. Michaels, and also stayed relatively active in music, singing at a host of weddings for friends and family members, and also for the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park for a couple of years before becoming a dad.
His Spotify list is still mostly populated with pieces from the likes of classical-era composers, but the Gastonia, N.C.-native does enjoy some bluegrass and acoustic music – and also a bit of pop (due in part, he says, to being father to two girls, ages 7 and 9).
Boehme is quite active at their College Park school – Lake Silver Elementary – where as a board member he helped raise $32,000 for the students.
“Via various fundraising efforts we were able to purchase an Apple/Mac computer lab with 22 computers for the school,” he notes. “It’s the first elementary school in the Orange County Public Schools system that has a Mac Lab!”
One of their biggest annual fundraisers is a showcase at The Abbey.
“We sell corporate sponsorships and have a really great concert with local bands.”
For a boy who enjoys the music and changing leaves of the Carolina mountains (“my relatives come here in winter, we go up when I miss the fall…”), he spends a good deal of time on Florida's Atlantic coast, enjoying his New Smyrna Beach condo with family.
“We’ll take the boat out to Disappearing Island and do some fishing on the weekends,” he says, noting with pride that his 9-year-old caught a redfish recently, and can shrimp-bait her own hook with ease.
And while pleasure is always nice, so, too, is business. Boehme thinks this is a very exciting time for folks in his line of work to be in Orlando.
“I think everybody is feeling a bounce back from the recession. And if you talk to any contractors, engineers, architects they’ll tell you this is the busiest they’ve been in 10 years.”
The most exciting part, he believes, is seeing developers bullish in the market again.
“It’s nice to see responsible, well-thought-out development that helps communities appreciate in value.”