Executive Leadership

Executive Leadership

Founded as a land brokerage in 1996 by Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM, SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate has grown into a nationally-recognized, full-service real estate brokerage firm working in the land and commercial arenas. Today, the brokerage is led by three top industry brokers who offer clients a comprehensive range of real estate services based upon their unique contributions to the real estate industry. Our executive leadership team represents over 70 years of collective expertise in commercial and land real estate.​

Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM

Founder, Managing Director & Senior Advisor

Since 1985, Dean has specialized in Florida land and conservation easements. He served in the US Senate as Agricultural Liaison, Special Assistant, and Director of External Affairs to US Senator Lawton Chiles, then Governor Chiles (D-FL). From 1992 to 1996 he served in the Florida House of Representatives, where his strong passion for supporting landowner property rights and conserving the integrity of a property’s natural resources culminated in his authorship of groundbreaking conservation legislation. He comes from an eighth-generation Florida agricultural family, earned a BSA from the University of Florida in Fruit Crops, Food and Resource Economics, and is a recognized Florida land and conservation easement authority.

Gary M. Ralston, CCIM, SIOR, SRS, CPM, CRE, CLS, CDP, CRX, FRICS, CRRP

Managing Director & Senior Advisor

Gary M. Ralston, CCIM, SIOR, SRS, CPM, CRE, CLS, CDP, CRX, CRRP, FRICS is Managing Director of SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty, LLC – the premier commercial services provider in Central Florida. Gary is a recognized subject matter expert on retail and commercial properties, a successful real estate developer, investor and group investment sponsor. From the early 1990s through 2004 Gary was the president and a member of the board of directors of Commercial Net Lease Realty, Inc. (NYSE:NNN) the industry leader in single-tenant corporate net-leased real estate. During that time he guided the company’s growth from less than $15 million in real estate assets to over $1.5 billion.

R. Todd Dantzler, CCIM

Managing Director & Senior Advisor

Todd is a well-known authority on commercial properties and land use in the Lakeland-Winter Haven metro and surrounding areas. Also a principle with Real Estate Central Group, LLC, a residential real estate brokerage in Winter Haven, Todd has been active in East Polk County real estate for over 33 years. He is a second-generation real estate leader — his father having served as chairman of the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) in the early 80’s. Todd was recognized as the 2012 Florida Realtor® of the Year and was later elected as the youngest president of the organization, and continue in leadership roles. Todd brings substantial political and economic development expertise to the executive team, having served on the Polk County Board of County Commissioners for 8 years, and currently as president of the Central Florida Development Council.