President Dwight Eisenhower once said, “Take your job seriously, but not yourself.” That seems to be the motto by which State Representative Barbara Dittrich lives. Originally from Milwaukee, Barb spent 13 years as a local investment advisor before creating a faith based non-profit organization for families dealing with chronic health issues called Snappin’ Ministries.
Barb has represented the 38th Assembly District since early 2019. She serves on nine committees, including as Vice Chair of the Assembly Committee of Workforce Development and as Chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption. She recently authored two of a package of four pro-life bills. Barb credits her success as a State Representative to her combination of financial and non-profit experience, her ability to listen and empathize, and the desire to reach across the aisle.
Barb has lived in Oconomowoc for 29 years and is a wife, a mother of three, and a member of Crosspoint Community Church. We’d like to thank Barb for the fun we had talking with her about her life and experiences in Lake Country.
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “I love the community, along with the desire to keep things moving in a positive direction for my kids. I’d like to make Wisconsin a great place to live. In my previous career I dealt with lawmakers often, so this opportunity is like second nature for me.”
Q. What is your favorite restaurant in Lake Country, and what do you love there?
A. “The best steak I’ve ever had was at Wine Maniacs, however I’m very excited for new establishments in the area like Coco’s Seafood and Steakhouse and Lago Su Bella.”
Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A. “Hawaii, because I’ve never been there and I love warm beaches.”
Q. What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A. “Snow White is the first movie I saw in the theatre, my older sisters took me to see it. It scared the living bejesus out of me!”
Q. What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A. “If you have no ability to laugh at yourself, you are missing out on a lot of good material.”
Q. What is your favorite music? Name three artists you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A. “I enjoy all kinds of music. My mom came from a musical family, my maternal grandfather owned a sheet music company in the Third Ward called Krainik Music Co. My grandparents met each other while playing piano along with silent movies in a movie theater. I’d like to see U2, Tom Petty and TobyMac.”
Q. What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Lake Country?
A. “Little Vittles and Little Norway. My husband’s family owned the stores, and they had such a wonderful group of employees.”
Q. Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Lake Country would you have lunch?
A. “I’d have lunch at Bella Gusto with Art Laffer, because he has such a big brain.”
Q. What is your favorite thing or something unique about Lake Country?
A. “The history is really fascinating, I love the history of Lake Country and Oconomowoc.”
Q. Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
A. “In Oconomowoc, crying about facing down my 60’s! Seriously though, still serving people, that is my mission until they sprinkle my ashes in the narrows of Lac La Belle.”
Q. Even for friends or family, what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A. “My husband and I got married on a hot air balloon that took off from the corner of highways F and B in Concord. It was very hot with no breeze, so the balloon drifted a little bit north, and we were married over I-94. I was wearing a high, poofy headpiece and was nervous about the flames from the balloon getting to it! Also, I’m able to place an IV in a moving child at 100 paces.”
Q. What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word home?
A. “Comfort, happiness, peace and ahhhhhhh.”
Q. If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be
your co-star, who would you choose?
A. “Ronald Reagan.”
The Faces of Lake Country is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured, please click the button below.