Ann Ullrich spent many years involved in Galt education while keeping the books at the family dairy on Liberty Road.
But Ullrich has reinvented herself. After serving four years on the Galt High school board, she still volunteers at school events, but now she's a real estate agent and an active member of the Galt District Chamber of Commerce.
"My personality is that I don't like doing the same thing over and over again," said Ullrich, 45.
Ullrich spent several years, in essence, following her daughter, Samantha, through school, first at Oak View School in Acampo and then at Galt High, including her stint on the Galt High school board that began in 1998.
But her daughter graduated from high school in 2006 and now attends the Paul Mitchell Hair School in San Diego. That freed up mom up to reinvent herself. She left the dairy business to her husband, Kevin, and branched out on her own.
Ullrich received her bachelor's degree in government at California State University, Sacramento and spent 2004 as supervisor of the Republican Party headquarters in Stockton. After that, she obtained her real estate license through an online course.
After her one term on the school board, Ullrich became more politically active in Galt, serving on the Galt chamber's political action committee called Businesses United for Good Government. From there, she joined the chamber board.
Ullrich pursued a real estate career because she didn't want to commute to Stockton or Sacramento. She considered real estate and kept asking her longtime friend, Terry Parker-Owning, about what a career in real estate would be like.
"She has that warm personality that you trust," said Parker-Owning, who owns Realty World - Parker and Del Grande with her father, Van Parker.
"She's smart; she's a good listener," Parker-Owning said. "I thought she was perfect for real estate."
Ullrich got into real estate two years ago, just when the housing market began going south. She says she has never seen the good times as an agent.
With a slumping market, Ullrich said she's learned not to spend all the money she makes because income may become scarce.
"August was a good month for me - I sold two houses," she said. "But I haven't had anything for September and October."
Parker-Owning says the housing slump will make Ullrich a better agent once the market turns around.
"Those early '90s, when we had those tough times, that's when I became a better agent," Parker-Owning said. "Financially it's tough, but when the good times come, she'll be ready."
Through Parker-Owning, Ullrich became involved in the Galt chamber, first as a member of Businesses United for Good Government, or BUGG, which raises money for city and regional campaigns who the chamber considers to be business-friendly.
"If I don't try to make changes, I have no right to complain," she said.
Although she lives in the northernmost reaches of San Joaquin County, Ullrich's heart is in Galt, and she especially cares about its politics. One reason she became involved politically is that she can't vote in Galt city elections because her home is outside the city limits.
High school: Wilton Christian.
College: Cosumnes River College, California State University, Sacramento, with bachelor's degree in government.
School board: Ran for Oak View School board in 1996, but was defeated. Won election to Galt Joint Union High School District board in 1998. Served one term, choosing not to seek re-election.
Real estate: Licensed in 2005 after taking online course and passing the real estate exam. Hired at Realty World-Parker and Del Grande in Galt.
Chamber: Chairwoman of the Galt District Chamber of Commerce in 2006-07.
Source: News-Sentinel staff.
The chamber's involvement in Galt elections has resulted in some heated campaigns the past several years, including some personal attacks among candidates.
"Any time you take a stand, there are people who agree and disagree with you," Ullrich said. "I don't have a problem with anyone who disagrees with me."
The greatest bone of contention is how large Galt should ultimately grow. The chamber has taken the position of annexing land north toward Arno Road to add some commercial businesses along Highway 99, while others want a slower rate of growth.
With Andrew Meredith edging out incumbent Randy Shelton for the third and final seat on the five-member Galt City Council in 2006, the city's politics shifted to a slow-growth stance. The new council, led by Meredith, Mayor Tim Raboy and Councilman Donald Haines, scaled down the future boundaries earlier this year.
"I don't think we're that far apart (politically) on a lot of things," Ullrich said. "We've got to find a middle ground."
Former chamber chairwoman Barbara Smith said that Ullrich cares about the community and has the ability to get other people involved.
As Ullrich's second one-year term chairing the chamber's board of directors comes to an end, she thinks she will remain involved with the chamber and the community. She continues to be active with the Galt Future Farmers of America, and she often works in the concession booth at Galt High sporting events. She is also a member of the Galt Kiwanis Club.
In her spare time, Ullrich enjoys reading and watching the Oakland Raiders football games. She has season tickets. And in December, she will brave the elements in Green Bay, Wis., for a Raiders game in a community known for its frigid climate.