You can pitch a seashell almost anywhere along our beaches and it’ll hit somebody who knows — or knows of — Mel Lenehan.
That’s no surprise. She has her native Texan ability to open her arms wide and embrace the world. She holds an Associate’s degree in Business from Kilgore College, and a Bachelor’s in General Business from Texas Tech University. She was also a Rangerette — think Rockettes, with a southwestern flair.
Mel has been in real estate since 1985. “My mom managed apartments, and she got me into selling in that sector,” shares Mel. “I enjoyed it, and moved on to commercial real estate and high rises in the Dallas market.”
She brought her outgoing style and casual camaraderie to Treasure Island in 1996, and has immersed herself in island life ever since.
Florida’s real estate market is highly competitive, and Mel worked hard to develop her niche. She always kept her interest in rental properties, and by 2003, she and husband Dan had become “fixtures” on Treasure Island, always involved in local happenings and supporting local businesses.
She had just begun a new project, working on profiling the hotels and motels along the beaches, when Dan suffered a stroke, leaving Mel alone to raise their son.Daunted but not undone, Mel threw her energies into providing for their son, who lives with autism. “I tutored him myself for three hours each day,” Mel describes, “and now, he’s graduated from high school and is attending Pinellas Technical College.” Her pride is palpable when she talks about her son.
As her son grew up, so, too, did Mel grow in the community. She owns an 8-unit apartment complex on Sunset Beach, Lenehan Landings. She was active in the Treasure Islettes and the American Legion, and is a lifetime member of the Lupus Foundation (“I did fund-raisers for them for five years before Dan passed,” she confides.). She served as secretary to the local Hotel/Motel Association, and for the Sunset Beach Civic Association.
Always interested in how decisions are made that affect residents and businesses, she spent six years attending Planning & Zoning meetings at Treasure Island City Hall, and made two runs at the Mayor’s office. She didn’t win, but she learned a lot more about how her local government works.
Now a Realtor® with Charles Rutenberg Realty, Mel also became immersed in the activities of the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce about three years ago, attending After Hours Mixers, Ribbon Cuttings, and fund-raisers.
“The Treasure Island and Madeira Beach Chamber is a voice, a leader, for the businesses here on the beaches,” describes Mel. “Dan and I were always active in the local chamber, and I’ve come full circle with that involvement.”
Most recently, Mel was the driving force behind the popular Chamber Classes that just wrapped up its inaugural season with a Hotel/Motel Meetup on May 9 at Gator’s Café.
“I started thinking about ways the Chamber could raise its profile in the community,” explains Mel. “I’d read Stephen J. Harvill’s book, ’21 Secrets of Million Dollar Sellers,’ and one suggestion was to hold free classes, open to the public, on a variety of interesting topics. I though the Chamber was in an ideal position to offer these classes, so we started on it last year.”
The classes began in November, and covered topics like Private Investigations/Employee Background Checks; Consumer Protection; Grant Writing; Living Wills, Assigning a Health Care Surrogate and setting up Advance Directives; How the County Property Appraiser operates; and, most recently, the Hotel/Motel Meetup.
“We set up our schedule to give the classes time to grow,” says Mel, “and it worked. By the time we presented our last class, we had more than 60 business leaders in attendance, leaders who are on the front lines of our tourism industry. It was energizing, and those who attended said it was an important meeting for them.”
“It was gratifying to see the large turn-out,” agrees Chamber president Missy H. Hahn. “We provided solid information for our current members, and built relationships with some businesses that were not yet part of our Chamber. Mel did that for us! And in the process, she did exactly what we hope all our members will do: she networked her own business for future success. The Chamber Classes were effective on many levels!”
While the first season of Chamber Classes are over, Mel has plans to continue working with local hotels, motels, and apartment complexes to help them prosper. “My offer to help you in real estate will always stand,” is her promise.
Contact her at 727-403-1269.