Communist upbringing gives unique perspective
By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photo
Being born and raised in communist East Germany certainly influenced many of Ricarda Dietsch’s life choices. Dietsch was a 14-year-old kayak racer at an Olympic boarding school when the wall came down. Her life then took turns she hadn’t expected, bringing her to the United States, and ultimately to The Village at Castle Pines.
“I went from being a kayak racer traveling the world representing my country to what now?” Dietsch said. After finishing high school, Dietsch applied to an au pair program in the U.S. At 18 years old, she was on a plane for the first time flying to Arizona.
“I had been through a lot of change, but when you’re a kid, you take it in. Kids are resilient,” Dietsch said. Russian was Dietsch’s first foreign language, English her second. To learn English, Dietsch laughingly said, “I watched a lot of Barney and Sesame Street with the 1-year-old I was the au pair for.”
Dietsch loved the laid-back lifestyle in Phoenix and wanted to stay in the United States. She attended a community college for two years, then attended Arizona State University working for room and board. Dietsch, who ultimately became a U.S. citizen, was offered a job with the Ernst and Young Accounting program during her junior year.
In the real estate division of Ernst and Young, Dietsch found her niche. Having grown up in basic communist block housing, it fascinated Dietsch to see master-planned communities and the thought that went into them. Dietsch got a real estate license then worked with Pulte, a home builder. Dietsch later transitioned to Taylor Morrison where she is currently the area president for the mountain region which includes Phoenix, Las Vegas and Colorado.
Volunteering is a priority for Dietsch. She has been a board member at HomeAid Colorado, a nonprofit that battles homelessness for four years and is currently the board chair (see related story page 16). Dietsch was also chair of HomeAid’s Builders for Babies diaper drive which distributed more than 1.7 million diapers to area service providers who help families in need.
Dietsch said she is grateful to live in this community while raising her son, Torin (12) and daughter, Alexa (9). Having lived and traveled all over the world, Dietsch said, “I think Castle Pines is such a special place to live.” From the City [of Castle Pines] bringing in Lifetime Fitness to having before-and-after childcare and school bus transportation, Dietsch said she appreciates how there are community amenities and support.
Dietsch manages to do it all … raise a family, work, volunteer, exercise and listen to podcasts. “I don’t watch any TV so that’s where I save time,” Dietsch laughed. “It took me a long time to learn this life versus the old life.”