Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

New Head of Saunders' Unit Plans Changes | Matt Drews Taps into Background in Professional Baseball and Financial Management

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

New Head of Saunders' Unit Plans Changes | Matt Drews Taps into Background in Professional Baseball and Financial Management

Article excerpt

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Matt Drews has spent most of his life as part of a team.

From the pitcher's mound and the football gridiron of Sarasota High School to Major League Baseball's biggest stage in the Bronx, Drews has seen first-hand the importance of teamwork for building long-term success.

He is now applying those same principals to his newest team, the commercial division of Southwest Florida's largest locally owned real estate brokerage.

Drews took over as director of Michael Saunders & Co.'s commercial arm this year, and now leads its group of 16 commercial real estate specialists.

Tasked with helping to grow the division and establish prominence with a brand recognized mostly for its residential power, the former professional baseball pitcher is tapping into lessons from his playing days.

"I can play the best and hardest I can, but if my teammates don't, you're not going to win," Drews said from the conference room of the brokerage's corporate office in downtown Sarasota. "That holds true in business.

"There are so many correlations. I love what I do. I feel like I'm back in sports again because I'm with this great team."

Born and raised in Sarasota, Drews starred in football, baseball and basketball at Sarasota High.

He was selected in the first-round -- as the 13th overall pick -- by the New York Yankees in the 1993 baseball draft.

He was named the Yankees organization's "Pitcher of the Year" in 1995 and played for the team until 1996. He also took the mound for the Detroit Tigers, from 1996 to 2001.

After retiring from professional baseball, Drews earned a bachelor's degree at Eckerd College, while also obtaining his licenses to sell financial securities. He returned to his hometown, working with athletes and entertainers, selling securities.

It wasn't long before he ended up at a national firm, where one his responsibilities included real estate management and investment. He eventually entered the business full-time through a smaller local brokerage, where he also learned the residential side.

He was hired to lead the Michael Saunders commercial group in September.

"I kind of equate it to the Yankees," Drews said. …

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