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Portrait of Jenny

After 45 years in the real estate business, Jenny Pruitt is firmly ensconced as one of Atlanta’s premier civic leaders, and she’s not resting on her laurels. Under her stewardship, Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty is poised to enjoy its best year ever (to the tune of $1 billion in sales volume), despite a difficult economy. But to define this woman solely by her business acumen and financial success is to sell her woefully short. This lady is guided by a finely honed sense of self, faith and family.

Jenny Pruitt at home painting her angels

How do you explain your company’s success?
It’s the culture. The people who work with us know we really care about them. I believe if you care about people first, the bottom line will come. Here are my chosen titles: CEO, chief environmental officer; and CIO, chief inspirational officer. I’m known as an encourager. I keep encouraging people around me because I realize that they entrusted their livelihood—their careers—to join us. I can’t let them down. My excitement comes from helping others be successful.

You love what you do, don’t you?
It’s in my blood. I get up every morning to do a job that I love. You work with your son-in-law, David Boehmig, I hear. He’s an unbelievable partner, and we really enjoy working together. He’s president and co-founder of the company.

What do you do when you’re not working?
I spend time with my husband, Bob, who is retired. We’re married 47 years and counting. It’s a great match because we complete each other. I’m also blessed with two daughters and seven grandchildren. And then there’s Molly and Murphy, my two shih tzus, who are never far from my side.

Retirement isn’t an option is it?
That word isn’t in my vocabulary! I took up dancing after my experience with Dancing Stars of Atlanta [for Alzheimer’s Association]. And now I’ve taken up abstract art with nary a lesson. Tell me about your paintings. I go upstairs and paint away, and, when people see my angels, they want me to paint some for them. I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I’m having fun! I’m not afraid to do something—to make it happen.

So, 16 years ago, you started the Buckhead Girls Club.
I did! It was in response to the Buckhead Boys Club. With about 250 members, we meet annually for a luncheon and fashion show, select a Woman of the Year and then devote ourselves to that honoree’s chosen organization. We make a contribution and focus on that organization for the year. It’s interesting, gets people involved and exposes them to something that might be unfamiliar.

Do you have any plans to slow down?
No! I think I can do everything I want and run a company. I make time for the things I love to do and love the feeling after a hard day’s work. And when I’m ready to go, I love to get away on vacation—I just can’t imagine vacationing all the time!