Profile / Dolly Woodruff

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WHO: Dolly Riegert Woodruff, Northern Virginia Association of Realtors Lifetime Top Producer and Million-Dollar Club Member; Prudential Carruthers Leading Edge Society for 2007.

WHERE: Office at Prudential Carruthers in Old Town Alexandria, home at Aurora Hills in Arlington

WHEN: I grew up with a Realtor, Dolly reports. My mother Mimi Riegert was one of the top producers in the area. Like many Realtors children, she swore she would never follow the same career path. It just seemed to take up too much time. When I went to St. Agnes School (now St. Stephen and Agnes), I was always the last to be picked up because she was signing contracts, she recalls.

Instead, Dolly went into mortgage banking, after graduation from Randolph Macon Womans College as an economics major in 1986. But, once again, like many Realtors children, she wound up following in the parental footsteps. Within a year, she said, she realized she liked working with directly with people and joined her mothers field. Mimi and Paul Riegert, a retired Marine colonel, now live at the Greenspring Retirement  Community in Springfield, where Mimi still helps their daughter as a buyer broker.

WHY: I enjoy my work tremendously she says. Many of my clients have become my good friends. I love doing things to help them find their homes. She has even helped two clients find their spouses. I give a couple of parties every year, she explains. They met each other there and started asking me about each other. When they got married a year later, I found them their new home. She also sold the house that one partner already owned.

WHAT: Four years ago, Dolly herself married Dr. Joel Woodruff. He is an administrator at Oakwood School in Annandale, which specializes in children who combine high IQs with learning disabilities. The Woodruff family now includes his sons Noah and Idan, 12 and 10; Gloria, 2 and Esther, 1; plus a pet gecko named Little Guy.

Dolly is also active in a wide range of charitable causes. Herself a former Alexandria debutante, she is a co-chair for the National Debutante Cotillion, which raises money for the Childrens National Medical Center. I have been part of that for more than 20 years, she says. In addition, she works with a group called Birth Mothers. It pairs women facing unwanted pregnancies with friends who can help them through the process, she explains. She learned about the group from a friend, Jim Wright, who wanted to adopt a child and found that the birth mothers were in need of financial, emotional and spiritual support. An even more personal connection led to her work with another group, Special Love For Children With Cancer. My niece, Elizabeth, was a two-time cancer survivor, at ages 2 and 3. She is a walking miracle! Dolly exclaims. Among its other activities, the organization provides summer camping for both the children and their families. In addition, she helps the company president, Tom Carruthers III, in his work as National Honorary Chairperson of the Sunshine Kids Foundation, which is also devoted to children with cancer. Having taken part in Triathlons and charity runs for worthy causes, she says she looks forward to resuming them when the children are older.

WHICH WAY: Asked to forecast the housing market, she says, with a smile, That is like predicting the weather! But I think we are rounding the bend, and barring a national crisis, I expect an increase in sales this spring. In close-in areas like Alexandria, Arlington and Falls Church, I am seeing more houses under contract because people are starting to feel confident about buying homes.

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