Chief Operating Officer Hired to Manage Strong Growth at CBC Saunders Real Estate and CBC Saunders Ralston Dantzler, Steve Smithson Joins

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – LAKELAND, FL June 12, 2014 –Steven “Steve” Smithson of Lakeland, FL recently joined Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate and Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty as Chief Operating Officer. Smithson will be responsible for managing all hands-on operational aspects for both the land real estate brokerage and the commercial real estate brokerage, located in downtown Lakeland.

The two firms have experienced exponential growth in the last three years due to ongoing expansion of services, addition of brokers and sales agents, new technology strategies, and the roll out of the CBCSRE Forestry Group in early 2013. The position of COO was created to facilitate effective internal processes and manage staff communication for the most effective service to clients. With over 40 brokers and sales associates and nine support staff, the coordination of all efforts will lead to successful property sales for clients.

Smithson’s previous work for Patriot National Insurance Group and Summit Consulting/Liberty Mutual provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the companies have the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place. He will be responsible for effectively growing both companies and ensuring their financial strength and operating efficiency. “I’ve been responsible for work flow processes, training, systems technology, and alignment of both large and small work groups to support the business plan goals of organizations,” Smithson says. “I am excited for the opportunity to work for Dean, Gary and Todd. They have a good team here and I’m excited to apply my skills and expertise in ways that will add to the high level of success they’ve already achieved.”

Smithson also recently obtained his Florida Real Estate License. Before he was ‘officially’ hired as COO he went through the required 63-hour pre-licensing real estate course and passed the state exam. “My previous ‘world’ was insurance and risk management, so I wanted gain a good base knowledge about the real estate ‘world,’” says Smithson. “I knew having that foundation would benefit me in my new role with the companies.”

Dean Saunders, Owner and Broker of CBCSRE and CBCSRD, said about hiring Steve, “Steve possesses proven qualities in managing people. He is an excellent addition to my staff and I am grateful to bring him on board.”

Smithson graduated from Florida Southern College (Lakeland, FL) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and a Minor degree in Education. He has been a member of the National Safety Council.

He resides in Lakeland, FL with his wife Kimberly. They have three grown children who also live in Lakeland. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church and serves on the Board of Directors for Live the Life ministries. His hobbies include carpentry, golf, exercise, cooking, reading and travel.

About Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate is regarded as an authority on all types of Florida land, transacting over $1 billion in sales from 1996 through 2013. Expanded in 2013 adding the CBC Saunders Real Estate | Forestry Group with advanced timberland expertise, the Saunders team of foresters and land real estate professionals offers advisory and transactional services through the home office in Lakeland, FL and its network of Coldwell Banker Commercial affiliate offices nationwide and worldwide.

CBC Saunders Real Estate offers a broad range of services to meet the real estate needs of Florida landowners. Through long-held relationships with key government and industry decision makers, the firm provides consulting on government issues both locally and on state and national levels. For more information, please visit


Coldwell Banker Commercial SAUNDERS RALSTON DANTZLER REALTY (CBCSRD), located in Lakeland, Florida, is Polk County’s premier commercial real estate firm. CBCSRD is one of only two brokerages in Polk County with a local presence that offers national and global branding. The other, a sister company CBC Saunders Real Estate, is a land real estate brokerage.

Commercial real estate services include, site selection, disposition, leasing, property management, real estate counseling services, acquisition, portfolio assortment plan, asset management, recapitalization, and development. For more information, please visit