Rich Company’s Top Gun honored

Published 8:42 am Friday, August 6, 2010

Staff Writer

Staff Writer
The feeling for Paula Stoltz runs deep at The Rich Company in Washington. For 25 years, she left her imprint on the real-estate firm before dying in May of this year.
“There won’t be another one like her,” said close friend Rosie Lilley. “Paula was so dedicated to her job; she worked seven days a week for years. She would get up at 4 to be here by 5 and put coffee on. And by 6, she had a group of friends — contractors, bankers, investors — who would come by and spend their morning with her. She did that for 20 years.”
Colleagues, determined to preserve Stoltz’s impact on the company and the community, dedicated a newly remodeled conference room in her honor at their office at the intersection of Carolina Avenue and West 15th Street on Wednesday.
“In your whole life, you have a mother, a sister, a friend at work and a best friend,” Lilley said. “Paula was all of those things to me all rolled up into one package.”
Office manager Charles Phillips worked alongside Stoltz, who graduated from Washington High School in 1962, at The Rich Company for nearly 25 years.
“She had such a wealth of knowledge and the ability to get on anyone’s level, whether a brain surgeon or a plumber,” Phillips said. “She had a magnetic personality. People liked her and trusted her. She built trust so quickly, and she had a knack for doing that. You can have knowledge and ability, but if you don’t have trust, it doesn’t work.”
For Bob Rich, company owner and president, Stoltz was consistently a top performer and regularly earned Top Gun honors for the highest producing agent, including 13 years in a row.
“The lady was an icon and superstar from a real-estate standpoint,” Rich said. “Once she was your friend, she was always your friend, a good friend.”
Stoltz’s daughters, Laurel Jones House and Courtney Stoltz Jones Asby, know that their mother felt just as strongly about her co-workers.
“This was her second family,” House said. “She was very down to earth. That’s why everyone liked her so much.”
“Her clients, so many became her best friends,” Asby added.
Stoltz’s down-to-earth nature was apparent in her daily business attire: blue jeans.
“Paula’s attire was the same seven days a week,” Lilley said. “She never wore a dress or pants. At her funeral, The Rich Company and her family wore jeans in her honor.”
The new conference room at The Rich Company features a convex ceiling painted as a blue sky with white clouds, a subtle touch that was not lost on her family.
“(Someone) at her funeral told me ‘I know your mother is up in heaven selling clouds,’” House said. “I thought that was fitting that the room had clouds on the ceiling.”