After 18 years in Orlando, commercial real estate broker Cindy Schooler says she and her family are Floridians through and through.
Schooler, the president of CREW Orlando, is an Indiana native who followed her husband Rick and their healthcare careers around the country before landing in Orlando. It wasn't happenstance – that was the plan.
They own a vacation home in Southwest Florida, purchased two years before moving to Orlando. "We'll eventually retire there," Schooler said of the Bonita Springs home. "We are beach babies. We love the ocean. We're boaters."
And they love Florida in general, she said. "We used to come down and say, 'I don't know how we're going to do it, but we're going to get to Florida. We got to Orlando and said, 'we're never going to leave.' "
The Schoolers' three sons all are married, with children, and living in the state. They also all went to schools in Florida – two at Florida State University and one at University of North Florida.
"We're Florida people now," she said.
The couple met while attending college in Indianapolis. They married 34 years ago and started their family in Indiana. From there, Rick Schooler took healthcare jobs in Chicago, back in Indianapolis, Georgia and then finally Florida. During that time, Cindy Schooler also worked in healthcare - in corporate wellness, where she developed worksite health programs in the 1990s. "It was nice – it worked well with Rick's profession and my profession," she said of the ability to make moves based on his job.
"A lot of it is training. Training your clients. Training your co-workers to stay on the same pathway and move forward. … It translated really well into commercial real estate – you've got to have a plan."
The Schoolers moved to the City Beautiful when Rick was named chief information officer at Orlando Health. He retired in 2016 and is now the interim CIO at Lee Health in Fort Myers -- a bit closer to the Bonita Springs beach house.
Schooler said her training, organization and program creation skills made for a perfect "segue into this real estate profession."
A CCIM designated broker, Schooler had 15 years of experience -- both as owner of her own firm and with Cushman & Wakefield, directing their retail and office brokerage services -- when she joined SRS Real Estate Partners in 2016. She is a senior vice president and market leader for both Orlando and Tampa.