Birthplace: Stockton, CA
This California native served in the United States Marine Corps with tours in Japan and Georgia before going to school at Darton College, University of Maryland-Far East and finishing up in Tampa. She has been running her company, SOHO Cycling, for the past seven years. Her role is more behind the scenes, as of late, but she still teaches three times a week from the 29-plus classes her business offers.
Through the studio, Michelle raises funds for an organization with special spin classes. In the last seven years, SOHO Cycling has raised more than $370,000 through these special events, including a 90-minute spin class that raised a studio-best $57,000 for the Heart Gallery Tampa Bay. Her studio also hosts Ovarian Cycle, a national organization that raises funds for ovarian cancer research. SOHO Cycling has raised nearly $100,000 for this event in the last three years. Michelle is a part of The Teal Recovery Project, which raises money for women battling cervical cancer.
What do you like to do for fun when not in the office?
Work hard. Play hard. My husband and I love to travel and get away often. But locally, we love to ride our bikes, take our boat out and grab a cocktail, eat, eat, eat—and any time spent with good friends is time well spent. I also love to pop around to other small boutique fitness places and get a good sweat on around fun, positive people.
What is your motto in life?
Give without remembering but take without ever forgetting
Who has been your mentor or role model?
My husband Renier. He is the most patient and level-headed person. He is kind to everyone he meets and giving of his time to his family, friends and a good cause. He lends a helping hand to anyone and never loses his temper. He has had success from the ground up and helps me to be smart in decision making at times, keeping me grounded and sane when I need it most. I scored pretty big with him.
What is your dream vacation?
I can honestly say I have been to some pretty amazing places in the world. But uncharted territory for me would be the Amalfi Coast.
If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Oh good question. Well I love music with what I do. Can I lump the Rolling Stones into one person? That would be great. Let’s be honest: The Stones would be amazing to rub elbows with for a day. Or a tour.
If you could nominate someone else to be in the Top 10 Under 40, who would it be?
Jeannie Abreu with Mantra Fitness. A hardworking woman who brought a new concept to Tampa with her mega reformer workout. She’s always signing up for events that give back and doing donation-based classes for causes. Just an all-around awesome woman.
Where is your favorite place to visit in the Tampa Bay area?
I definitely love going to the Don Cesar when they have live music by the pool. If I had to chose one favorite place, I guess that would be it.