SPECIAL SECTIONS WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Sanibel Realtor set to represent Florida businesswomen
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA’S DIFFERENCE-MAKERS
If any one person is the face of Southwest Florida businesswomen, it’s Mary Bondurant. A successful Sanibel-Captiva Realtor, Bondurant is also the two-term president of the Sanibel-Captiva charter chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) and is a candidate for the association’s national board. She plays a prominent role in women’s health issues, is a huge SanibelCaptiva booster and is active in such events as the Sanibel Thanksgiving celebration. She’s a cancer survivor, a parent and the wife of Fred Bondurant, her business partner and travel companion. Born in Ireland, she also stages elaborate and wellattended St. Patrick’s Day parties at the couple’s island home. Whew. “I have always continued to strive and grow,” she says. “And learn from other women.”
Mary learned work values early, an ethic, she says, that has propelled her into adult prominence. Her family purchased a summer resort in the Pocono Mountains, putting a young Mary to work waiting tables, cleaning laundry and serving as activity director. “At 16,” she says, “guests thought I was 21. [You] just learn to take charge.”
Resorts also taught Mary about the real estate business (her father bought, sold and repurchased the resort), the art of managing a business and staff, absorbing the lesson that being genuine and honest with guests and workers is best, she says. She joined the U.S. Air Force in 1982, later serving with the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, where she met Fred, a transport pilot. The couple has two adult children. Fred retired as an airline pilot, commuting from Florida to Michigan in the last years of his career. The couple had already settled on Sanibel after visiting, selling their Minnesota home and moving to the island within a month. “Driving over the causeway,” Mary says, “[you] know you’re home.”
Mary’s role in island business spills into Southwest Florida. She was named the 2015 Council Woman of the Year by the ABWA Southwest Florida Council and was the Sanibel-Captiva chapter’s
I have always continued to strive and grow. And learn from other women.”
2014 woman of the year. An eight-year member of the ABWA, she has represented the local chapter at regional and national conferences. Her goal this year is to become an officer with the national organization, which was founded in 1949 to represent working women. The group today has 15,000 members and 400 chapters that provide professional development and other tools to its members. Chapters also offer scholarships to women.
Along with her business affiliations, Mar y is recognized in Southwest Florida for helping other cancer survivors, caregivers and families. She leads such events as Relay for Life and Let’s Pink Out, which brings a mobile mammogram bus to Sanibel.
Mary and Fred’s business, Bondurant Realty Group, is the title sponsor of the Sanibel-Captiva Luminary, which is organized by the local chamber of commerce. Mary is also closely involved with Sanibel’s Thanksgiving celebration, with proceeds benefiting Friends in Service Here (FISH), which is a nonprofit serving lowincome and at-risk families on Sanibel and Captiva.