By Martie Thompson
Sarah Olson looks for the fun in everything she does. Born and raised a “Jersey Girl,” she went to high school with a cousin of Bruce Springsteen. She earned her accounting degree from Greensboro College in North Carolina, where she met her husband Jon, who graduated from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. They married in Hershey, Pennsylvania and moved to Harrisburg as newlyweds. A year later they returned to North Carolina, this time to Winston-Salem, where they lived for more than 15 years before moving to Jacksonville. It was here that Sarah made the career change from accounting to real estate, which she’s been involved with ever since. A runner, she marked the New York City Marathon off her bucket list last year, when she ran in honor of her aunt who passed away from ALS. She and Jon have two daughters: Emily, a graduate of the University of Central Florida who is a high-risk obstetrics nurse in Fort Lauderdale, and Erin, a junior at the University of Central Florida studying health sciences. Sarah and Jon live in St. Johns with their two dogs, Tessa and Pearl.
Q: What made you decide to go into real estate as a career?
A: In 1999 when I had our first baby, I decided my personality was too fun to be at my desk job any longer. So I went into real estate. While in Winston-Salem, I opened my own boutique brokerage on Main Street, with a focus on eco-friendly, sustainable homes. In 2012, feeling burned out, I went to work in the paddlesport industry. I helped start a company that manufactured underwater lighting for paddleboards and kayaks. This is what actually brought me to Jacksonville in 2015.
Q: When did you move to St. Johns County?
A: We moved here right before COVID. I was back in the real estate business by this time, and I saw property values in St. Johns County really starting to take off. We decided to go ahead and buy our “empty nester” house.
Q: How did you find the Galloway Run Club?
A: When I first moved to Jacksonville, my goal was to run a marathon and I learned about the Jacksonville Galloway Run Club from a friend at the gym. Galloway offers a unique run/walk method for training for half and full marathons. Our chapter in Jacksonville is one of the largest ones in the world. We provide pacers for the Disney and London Marathons. Right now, I lead a power walk group for Galloway.
Q: How did you become involved with Marathon High?
A: Marathon High is a Florida non-profit that works with public schools to encourage kids to support each other and run half marathons. This is our 13th season. There are adult running buddies and the main coach for each high school’s team is a teacher at that high school. We also offer scholarships, through our corporate partnerships, to our participants as they go on to post high school training or education. It is the one of the most heartwarming and fun filled activities I’ve been involved with.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I’m learning the art of improv comedy as well as taking acting lessons to engage my creative side. Of course I like to power walk and cross train and I love to play golf.
Photo courtesy Sarah Olson