Earlier this summer, Michael Kobe and Jane Michaud joined the staff of Sandalfoot Condominiums. Kobe, a recent transplant from Wisconsin, was appointed as the new director of sales and marketing while Michaud, a longtime employee at VIP Realty Group, was named association manager.
Last week, both reported being very happy while settling in at their new positions.
"The first time I ever came across the causeway, I thought to myself, 'Gosh, who wouldn't want to work here?'" said Michaud with a smile.
Jane Michaud, left, and Michael Kobe stand in front of the Sandalfoot Condominium sign on East Gulf Drive.
After starting her previous stint on Sanibel back in 2000, Michaud advanced from working in commercial sales and leasing to commercial property management. However, her position was eliminated in June due to corporate downsizing.
"When Judie Zimomra was named City Manager, I helped her find her first condo," she added proudly.
Michaud, born and raised in Minnesota, has been married for 35 years and has two children. After pursuing a Community Association Manager (CAM) license earlier this year, she learned about an opening at Sandalfoot.
"It is wonderful to be back working on Sanibel," she said, "and I look forward to meeting all of the owners over the next few months."
Kobe, who moved to Southwest Florida six months ago, brings with him more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He had long heard about Sanibel through family connections.
"My ex-mother-in-law owned property here for about 10 years," said Kobe. "I was always working, so I missed several opportunities to visit. But I heard very good things about this place."
Previously, Kobe has worked in the hotel industry at front desk, food and beverage, banquets and catering and housekeeping. In addition, he was the point person in developing the entire territory for Panera Bread in Denver, Co., working as district manager, recruiting and training, special projects, human resources and marketing.
"The 11 years with Panera solidified my overall knowledge of what it takes to grow a business," said Kobe, who is looking forward to pursuing outdoor activities including biking, kayaking and jogging.
So far at Sandalfoot, both employees said that they immediately felt "at home."
"The staff has really been like a welcoming committee to us," said Michaud. "We've got a great support system in place here."
As for Kobe, he admits to feeling a bit like "a fish out of water," moving from the cooler mountainous climates of Colorado and Utah to a subtropical island.
"I'm pleasantly surprised how much I like the climate here," he added. "I used to ski a lot, but I guess I'll have to take up paddle boarding instead."
Sandalfoot Condominiums are located at 671 East Gulf Drive. For more information, call 472-2275 or visit www.sandalfootcondo.com.