Meet the Dooley Family. Travis, Vanessa, Bailey (13) and twins Bennett and Brennen (12). They are residents of Flowers Crossing at the Mill and moved in two years ago after the county redistricted their neighborhood out of Brookwood. I am sure you will find their story as intriguing as I did.
I asked Vanessa how she met her husband: “Travis and I met in December 15, 1991. He had just graduated from the University of Alabama and I had just moved back to Atlanta from Des Moines, IA after completing Masters in Public Administration (MPA). His apartment was on the floor above mine and we met in the parking lot. He said “hello” we started chatting. We learned that we both loved football. We became friends and for the next year, every Sunday, we would get together and watch football. One day Travis decided we should go on a “date”, I agreed. That first date happened on 12/15/1992. On December 15,1993 (exactly one year later) he asked me to marry him at the same restaurant we went on our first date. We married in a small ceremony at my family reunion on July 9,1994 (which is also my -Vanessa’s -birthday). I have an aunt who is a minister, my family was there, and Travis’s family came to join what is always a great party! Our ceremony was 20 minutes, then we changed clothes and the family reunion went on! That was 25 years ago!”
Travis Dooley earned his bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Terry College at the University of Georgia. He is currently a Project Manager at ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation.
Dr. Vanessa Robinson-Dooley earned her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College (Atlanta, Ga). She has also earned a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from Drake University (Des Moines, IA), a Masters of Social Work (MSW) and PhD in Social Work, both from the University of Georgia. Dr. Robinson-Dooley is currently an Associate Professor of Social Work at Kennesaw State University and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). She also owns a small private practice, the Center for Empowering Resources (CFER), where she provides assessment and therapy services.
The Dooley family attends The Faith Center in Tucker, Georgia. Vanessa states “Our faith is important and we share in that faith as a family. We believe that the best way to follow Christ is in our daily interactions and we work to help those in need whenever we can. We try not to publicize doing good deeds because we teach our children that the deed itself should be enough, not the credit.”
Their family loves sports! Vanessa loves to run, is a tennis player, and loves books. She is also a certified spin instructor and is currently in love with her Peloton bike!
One of their main hobbies to driving our 3 active bots to and from piano practice, basketball practice, basketball tournaments, and trainings. Travis is the Assistant Coach of his twins AAU travel basketball team and he also loves to grill any and everything!
Dr. Vanessa Robinson-Dooley and her colleague/friend Donna Chamber (Nurse Practitioner) organize and implement free health screenings every semester which are open to the public. She and Nurse Chambers have been organizing these events every semester for 8 years (and counting). Every attendee is screened for health (blood pressure, diabetes, HIV) and behavioral health (depression), provided referrals to community services, and education resources. The Dooley family assists with these health screenings by grilling food, serving snacks, )and assisting attendees with navigating the health fair. The boys will also organize play activities for any children attending the event. Everything is free to attendees at these events. This is an event that is near and dear to Vanessa’s heart because her research is on self-management of chronic illness and behavioral health.
Dr. Robinson-Dooley is a past Crews Middle School PTA Co-President (2017-2018) and will again be the upcoming Co-President this upcoming academic year (2019-2020). Dr. Robinson-Dooley has been active in her children’s schools and education since they have been attending school. She was PTA President at their previous private school and continues this commitment today. She believes it is important to be a present and active parent and has never wavered. Ensuring students, teachers, and parents have support through activities, fundraising, and support wherever needed is important the role of a parent and good citizen.
The Dooley family is also a supporter of the Gwinnett Animal Shelter and the boys annually raise money to support the shelter.
The family loves basketball. All three boys play travel (AAU) basketball. When it comes to favorite NBA teams, everybody has their own favorites. Vanessa roots for the home team, she’s an Atlanta Hawks fan, but her favorite player is James Harden (Houston)! Travis is a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, Bailey (oldest son) is a fan of the Chicago Bulls. The twins also love different teams. Bennett is a fan of the Dallas Mavericks and Brennen is a fan of the Washington Wizards.
The family also is a fan of SEC football! Travis cheers for his alma mater of the University of Alabama (Roll Tide), Vanessa cheers for one of her alma maters, The University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!), they are truly a house divided! The boys cheer for Alabama, which truly saddens their mother.
All of the boys play two instruments each. All three of our boys have been playing piano since they were 5 years old. Bailey (oldest) also began playing the bass in 6th grade and the twins (Bennett and Brennen) both picked up the trumpet last year in 6th grade. We love music and you can come to our home and hear music playing often.
The Dooley’s also love animals. They have a dog (Shorkie) named Miss Buffalo who is 3 and cats Stormy and Smoky (sister and brother), age 1.5 years. They recently suffered the loss of their dog Butch who was a boxer and was 13 years old. He was their dog for 10 years. They rescued him when he was a stray and was 3 years old. He was a faithful companion and protector of the kids.
The Dooley children attended a private school for most elementary school. Bailey was in private school from 3k-5th grade. They always planned for him to attend Crews Middle School in 6thh grade until they were rezoned. They immediately sold their home and moved one street over to be back in the school district they love.
When asked how they feel about their community, Vanessa says that “We love our neighborhood! We have the kindest neighbors or both sides of us. One family recently moved into the community and we have become friends and look out for each other’s homes. Our other neighbor (other side) is a wonderful teacher at Crews Middle School and is the kindest soul, always showering my kids with baked goodies, holiday cheer and just being an angel to our family since we moved in. We enjoy the quiet and peaceful nature of the neighborhood. Although there are lots of children and activities, everyone seems to live in a peaceful existence that makes the community enjoyable for us all. We also love how people will step up and help anyone in need. If something is posted on the FB timeline for a need, our neighbors are quick to respond and help. That is a true community!”
Their family motto is: Always be kind, compassionate, and mind your manners. Remember that you are AWESOME! Vanessa says “You always wonder if your children are listening. Well, my children surprised me last year. I had emergency surgery, removal of a hematoma from my brain (attached to my spine). I had to spend many days in bed after the surgery. On my first morning home from the hospital, my boys came into my room before school, to say goodbye. After I told them to have a great day, they all stood, staring at me with this look of anticipation. I asked them what I was missing? They all said in unison, ‘We will remember to be kind, compassionate, and mind our manners. And we are AWESOME!’ That made me really happy and proud!” They are truly a family that the Brookwood Community can be proud of!