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A Courtship Built on Adventure

  • September 21, 2021

The first time Dana Rhoden spent time with Michael Baran was in 2010 at a mutual friend’s wedding in Coral Gables, Fla. “We danced all night and innocently kissed,” said Ms. Rhoden, now 43, and the owner of The Dana Agency, a public relations firm in Miami. “Nothing else happened because I was in a relationship.”

During the next four years, Ms. Rhoden, who was raised in New Smyrna Beach, saw Mr. Baran at social events. “I was interested but Dana was taken, and I was enjoying the bachelor life in Fort Lauderdale,” said Mr. Baran, now 45, and an independent real estate agent specializing in golf communities.

In 2014, Ms. Rhoden, a University of Florida graduate, was pleased that he agreed to find a mortgage broker for a Miami Shores home that she wanted to buy. The following year, Mr. Baran, who was born and raised in Valley City, Ohio, and graduated from the University of Toledo, heard that she was single, and asked to see her new house.

After the tour, they went to Harry’s Pizzeria in Miami’s design district and talked for nearly four hours about work, life and his interest in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. “I was impressed that he was smart, confident, supportive of my career and more than a party boy,” Ms. Rhoden said.

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