Margaritaville residents: meet your neighbor, Michael McLean.
If it hadn't been for aerobics, Michael McLean may have never discovered Latitude Margaritaville.
While living in Lake Mary, his wife Lisa went to an aerobics class and one of her friends informed her she was building a house in Daytona Beach. His wife asked for more details, and came home excited to tell McLean.
He didn't share her enthusiasm in the beginning.
"My first thought was, 'Margaritaville? And also being that it's 55-and-up-community, we're going to listen to Jimmy Buffett all day long with a bunch of old coots.'"
But, the former Seminole County Commissioner changed his tune when he heard about the beach club in Ormond-by-the-Sea. He loves the beach, and having access to a private oceanfront club that provided a shuttle to and from the community was attractive to him.
The McLeans have now been living in Margaritaville for 10 months. It's gone better than he anticipated, McLean said. They've actually just returned from a vacation in Hawaii, which they took with two other couples from their neighborhood.
“It’s kind of like, when you were 18,19, 20, 21 years old, and you’re all in the same place in life," he said. "You all have the same hopes and dreams and aspirations. Take that group and move them 40 years later, and that’s what you have in Latitude Margaritaville."
McLean, a Detroit native who is passionate about the University of Michigan, first moved to Florida in 1986. After meeting his wife, they moved to the Orlando area in 1988. He opened up an insurance agency in 1994, which he sold last year,
Froom 2000-2006, McLean served on the city commission for Lake Mary, before running for the Seminole County Commission, where he served from 2006-2010.
After he sold his business, he realized he wasn't ready to retire. So, he started McLean Strategies LLC, a governmental and business consulting firm. He recently graduated from the16th Ormond Beach Leadership Class, and forms part of the Ormond Beach Chamber. He's on the Government Affairs committee.
When he's not busy in the community, you may catch him playing pickleball in one Margaritaville's seven courts.
He's new to the sport, but three months ago, he played in a tournament and his team won.
“It’s an example of something I never would have been familiar with had we not made the decision to move to Latitude Margaritaville, or Volusia County for that matter," McLean said.
McLean has two daughters, Tera and Kaley, and thanks to them, two sons-in-law, Jason and Brenden. He's also a grandfather to three children: Jameson, and twins Weston and Violet.
McLean can describe life in Margaritaville in three adjectives: Fun, simple and easy.
“It’s not forced," he said. "You don’t get the feeling that there’s anything you have to do, but there’s so much that you want to do.”