Meet the Team

Chris Lumia, MBA, Ed.S, CPLP

Chris Lumia, a third-generation Florida native, founded the Sawgrass Real Estate Academy in 2015. Chris was born and raised in the Tampa Bay Area, and completed a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stetson University (DeLand, FL), a master’s degree in business administration from The University of Tampa, a specialist degree in higher education leadership from Northcentral University, and is a Certified Professional of Learning and Performance (CPLP).

He is a licensed Florida Real Estate Broker, Community Association Manager, Registered Appraiser-Trainee, has a Florida Real Estate Instructor Permit, earned the e-PRO® and Pricing Strategies Advisor certifications through the National Association of Realtors® and is a Certified Real Estate Pricing Specialist (C-REPS) through the National Association of BPO Professionals.

Chris has worked as a Realtor®, an adult education teacher, a college instructor and administrator, and as a corporate trainer for one of the nation’s largest Multiple Listing Services. He is passionate about sustainable economic development, community empowerment, and adult education, and feels that the real estate industry plays a crucial role in shaping and transforming local, state, and national economies. The Sawgrass Real Estate Academy blends Chris’ interests in helping adults achieve their educational goals and in seeing the real estate industry, and the economy, thrive.

Chris lives in Pinellas County, Florida with his wife Taryn and daughter Carley. Together, the Lumia family enjoys jogging and exploring Florida’s beaches, parks, and attractions.

Email Chris at

Taryn Lumia
Creative Director

Taryn Lumia moved to Florida in 1995, and can think of no greater place to call home. She graduated from Durant High School in Hillsborough County, and then went on to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Music Performance from the University of South Florida as well as Florida Professional Educators Certificates in K-12 Music and 6-12 Drama. Taryn currently serves as Music Teacher/Performing Arts Director at St. John Vianney Catholic School in St. Pete Beach, where she leads the student Praise Band, Drama Club/Jr. Thespians, directs and choreographs the annual middle school musical and prepares students for the Pinellas All-County Chorus. In addition to teaching and leading church worship music with piano, guitar and the organ, Taryn is a sought after performer in the Tampa Bay area with a dual specialization in classical voice/opera as well as contemporary voice/pop. She has been featured in the Tampa Bay Times and the Brandon News for her performances throughout Florida and, recently, for her role as Maria in Tarpon Arts’ production of The Sound of Music.

Taryn applies her passion for both the arts and education to the Sawgrass Academy, where she is the Creative Director. In this role, Taryn produces photos, videos and electronic materials and advises the school on how to increase its social media presence.

In her free time, you can usually find Taryn, her husband Chris, and daughter Carley enjoying the Florida lifestyle of swimming, visiting theme parks, and spending time with friends, family and pets.

Email Taryn at

Barbara Schmal

As the daughter of a homebuilder, Barbara Schmal has had a love of real estate her entire life.  Barbara grew up in the Midwest, and graduated from Thornbridge High School in Dolton, Illinois.  She obtained her first real estate license in 1990 and spent 8 years working for McColly Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in Indiana.  Then, in 1998, she moved to Clearwater, Florida and started to rehabilitate homes.  At that time, she obtained her Florida real estate license.

As a lifelong learner, Barbara has earned her Florida real estate broker’s license, Florida real estate instructor’s permit, Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designation, Resort and Second Home Property Specialist (RSPS) designation, and Pricing Strategies Advisor (PSA) certification.

Barbara has two adult sons, a daughter-in-law, and three grandsons who live in Dyer, Indiana.  When she is not practicing real estate, Barbara’s other passion is decorating cakes.  She lobbied to get the Florida Cottage Food Law passed in 2010, which allows people who have a passion for baking or cooking to have a home-based business and sell to the public.

Through the Sawgrass Real Estate Academy, Barbara offers a variety of real estate courses onsite at brokerage, affiliate, and REALTOR® board offices.  Contact her at to set up a class at your office!

Chris Lumia
Sawgrass Real Estate Academy


Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 14205
Clearwater, FL 33766

The Sawgrass Real Estate Academy offers Florida real estate sales associate and broker pre-license, post-license, exam preparation, and continuing education courses fully online.