I met her right before Christmas, as we chowed down on Virginia Cook Relocation Director Maggie Hall’s delicious breakfast casserole –– a Mississippi recipe that was scrumptious. Denaige Pizzutello breakfasted with the entire North Dallas Virginia Cook office before her job began because, well, that’s the kind of leader she is: someone who pitches in to work even before the starting date on her contract.
The Louisiana native moved to Texas in 1995 with her husband, Michael Pizzutello. Prior to joining Virginia Cook Realtors last month, Denaige — her name is French — served as MLS Director for the MetroTex Association of Realtors where she was responsible computer services, training and tech support, Vice President of an east Coast residential brokerage, and Assistant VP/Regional Real Estate Instructor at Republic Texas Title.
Denaige has also held numerous volunteer positions with both MetroTex and Collin County Associations of Realtors. In 2008, she was named MetroTex Affiliate of the Year.
“Naturally we are thrilled to welcome Denaige to our business family and executive team,” said Sheila Rice, Virginia Cook Executive VP. “Her experience is a tremendous asset as we enhance our professional development program to meet the educational needs of every Virginia Cook sales associate.”
Sheila added that she and the entire firm were most impressed with what she called Denaige’s “servant heart”, and willingness to go the extra mile. Like start a job before her start date!
One of the most interesting facts about Denaige’s background is her education: she was a West Point cadet at age 20. If you know anything about U.S. service academies, they require not just top academic performance, character, talent and drive, but you have to obtain a Congressional appointment. Even with that appointment, you may not be granted admission.
But Denaige was granted admission and later served her country as a Counterintelligence Special Agent with the U.S. Army. She was a two-time recipient of the Army Commendation, Army Achievement and Army Good Conduct Awards.
So yes, she is literally a special “agent” among agents!
It was during her military career that she became interested in real estate.
“I wanted to buy my first house, but could not afford it on a soldier’s salary,” she said.
Then get this gumption: she obtained permission to take a weekend civilian job as a receptionist at a real estate firm to scout real estate deals, eventually working her way up to Vice President and full time employment, once her military service ended.
“I feel now like I have come full-circle,” says Denaige, “I have “come home” to Sheila and Virginia, and I am so thankful to be working for two of the classiest and smartest women in real estate.”