Real estate magnate and community partner Shirley Lyon is one of those amazing people who set their sights on a project and get it done. She prefers to stay behind the scenes, but her love of career and community drives her to stay active and involved, although retirement is a thought after 34 years in real estate.
Lyon is the owner and broker of Coldwell Banker Liberty Realty and SeeLyon Beach Rentals with offices in Morro Bay and Cayucos. She will be honored Saturday at the inaugural Cayucos Education Foundation Women of the Year Luncheon.
It won’t be her first honor. She was Realtor of the Year and received the Exemplary Service Award in 2006. She found her life’s passion in real estate after leaving an established career in insurance.
“I could have written the script for (the movie) ‘Nine to Five.’ I banged my head on the glass ceiling,” she said. “In those days I’d get praise but not the promotion. I wasn’t the guy with a family to feed. But as the single mom of Debbie, I was the breadwinner. They’d say get married and let a man take care of us.”
She did marry Bob Lyon, who worked in insurance in San Francisco. His company won the bid to insure Walt Disney World and needed them to move to Florida. “We had to buy a home in three days. We went from San Francisco formal to barefoot on the beach.”
It was in Florida she found real estate. “When I got my real estate license, I realized I could be as successful as I wanted to be. It was so empowering to know if I worked hard, I could move up. I still get excited when I get a listing or make a sale. Our son David played three sports. With my flexible hours, I could go to every game.”
And when Bob was transferred to California, she only had to pass another test to continue her career quest to achieve. They chose to move to Cayucos in 1980.
Bob grew up on the Central Coast and owned property. David attended Cayucos Elementary and Coast Union High School. As a young mother, Lyon immediately got involved and worked on Cayucos Elementary’s School Site Council, Boosters, the Cayucos Lioness club, the Morro Bay and Cayucos chambers of commerce and the Scenic Coast Association of Realtors.
She says she’s learned more than she ever wanted to know about sanitation serving on the Cayucos Sanitary District board, and she’s very positive about the tourism opportunities available as she serves on the San Luis Obispo County Business Improvement District board.
“Debbie and grandson Gary came in 1993. I’m very blessed,” she said.
Reach Judy Salamacha at 801-1422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.