ENGLEWOOD — Frank Chappell was looking to buy a business when he stumbled upon Englewood, but he never expected to be as involved with the community as he is now, 14 years later.
Chappell bought Gulf Realty and Associates Sales and Rentals at 1960 Beach Road, Englewood in 1999. His wife, Jean, runs the rental side of the company.
“When we bought Gulf Realty, we had about 80 rentals,” Chappell said. “Over the next 15 years, with the help of my son, Marty, and his wife, Elizabeth, we’re up to 300 rentals.”
Chappell moved to Englewood from Hendersonville, Tenn.
“(They’re) similar in size and population,” Chappell said. “We like the weather. The people are fantastic. We’ve made many good friends here.”
The Chappells became heavily involved in the Englewood community. Jean became involved with St. David’s Episcopal Church. Frank became a member of the Englewood/Cape Haze Chamber of Commerce and the Sandpiper Municipal Services Taxing Unit. Frank now serves as MSTU chairman.
“I think (Frank’s) very efficient and dedicated,” said B.J. Galberaith, a past president of MSTU. “He’s well-connected. He’s involved with Englewood, Manasota Key and Cape Haze communities. He’s a terrific person and I thoroughly enjoy working with him. While many of the property owners are there just part of the time, Frank is there all the time. He’s always involved with the community.”
Don Musilli, executive director of the chamber, attests to Chappell’s work ethic.
“Frank’s been involved with a lot of groups here,” Musilli said. “He’s a great guy, knowledgeable, active and up-front with people. As a businessman, he’s been very successful. He tends to spearhead the projects he’s involved with.”
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