A commentary by Kathy Dooley, Regional Owner, EXIT Realty of Mississippi and EXIT Realty Alabama

In December of 2016 when my husband, Troy Dooley, and I were considering acquiring the regional rights to Alabama, we met with EXIT Realty Corp. International CEO, Tami Bonnell and COO, Erika Gileo, during Broker Training week.  We discussed that Troy and I already owned Mississippi and I was primarily working there, and Troy was still with Walmart.  We talked about how big of a strain that was putting on our family.

Tami and Erika could have simply taken our check for Alabama, but they really paid attention to the importance of family and the quality of our lives, so they added a stipulation that in order for us to acquire the rights to Alabama, Troy would have to leave Walmart, the company where he had worked for 34 years.  They wanted to make sure that we grew the regions together.  I believe that had we owned both states and he would have stayed with Walmart, it would have been detrimental to our family.  I would have given it my all (as I always do) and I would have been really frazzled.  Troy agreed, and we became the Regional Owners of EXIT Realty Alabama in January, 2017.

What a lot of people don’t know is that Troy and I have been together for many years and we had never celebrated Thanksgiving together.  Even last Christmas Eve, in order to allow his employees to enjoy time with their families, Troy and I responded to a store alarm.  We met while I was also working for Walmart and we were never able to get our family together during the holidays because when one works in retail at this time of year, it’s impossible to take time off.  Because of the stipulation Tami and Erika placed on our acquiring the rights to Alabama, this was the very first Thanksgiving we ever had together as a family. Not only that, but Troy’s mother is ill, and we recently suffered the sudden loss of his brother.  If Troy had still been with Walmart, he wouldn’t have been able to devote the time to our family that he has been able to in recent weeks.

We are so thankful that Tami and Erika were strong and firm in wanting to make sure our family unit was intact.  It really has changed our lives a lot more than people realize, and it is because of the fundamental beliefs of EXIT and what the company stands for; at its core is family first.



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