Vanessa F. Hicks-Callaway, born and raised in Victoria, Texas, is a very conservative, Republican and US Army Veteran. For the past 35 years, Vanessa has led a very productive, busy life. Vanessa’s service in the US Army included time as a Supply Sergeant and time as a Military Intelligence Officer, which included two deployments to two separate combat zones (in support of both OIF and OEF respectively) resulting in being awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Additionally, while assigned to US Army Reserves as a Military Police Officer, while working hard to obtain her college degree and commission as an Army Officer in ROTC at SHSU, Vanessa worked as a Correctional Officer for the Ellis I unit of the then Texas Department of Corrections, which housed Maximum Security and Death Row inmates.
Vanessa obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Military Science from Sam Houston State University, and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Central Michigan University. She wrote a self-help book about Christian decisionmaking called ‘Decision Precision Vision.’ Vanessa later retired from the military after 26 years of decorated, honorable, service.
After retirement, Vanessa instructed JROTC cadets as a Senior Army Instructor (SAI), and later volunteered for multiple non-profit organizations-including currently serving as president of her local Kiwanis Club. Vanessa’s political experience includes having successfully worked for the 27th Congressional District as a Constituent Liaison and Field Representative for nearly three years. She successfully led the fight to re-elect Texas Senator Ted Cruz as his Field Director for the South-Central Region in the 2018 mid-term election. Additionally, Vanessa currently serves at the pleasure of Texas Governor Greg Abbott as his appointee for the Council for Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke prevention. Vanessa’s contributions and value added to the governor’s council are based, in part, on her survival of open-heart surgery- done in 2008, which repaired her damaged mitral valve. Vanessa’s surgery was so successful, she deployed eight months later in support of OEF.
Vanessa owes her life’s successes to her faith in Jesus Christ- her Lord and Savior. She loves volunteering for non-profit, charitable/service organizations like the Kiwanis Club, the Old Landmark Committee, Disabled American Veterans/Auxiliary (DAV/DAVA), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Warriors Weekend, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Victoria Bach Festival (VBF), Victoria Police Foundation (VPF), Community and Schools and the Victoria Business Education Coalition (VBEC) as a student mentor.
Vanessa is still very actively engaged in the Republican party of Texas. As a volunteer for the Victoria GOP, she serves as the secretary, outreach coordinator, occasional newsletter writer, and the precinct chair for Precinct 21 of Victoria, Texas. Vanessa is also currently a county delegate and a state delegate for the Republican party of Texas. Vanessa not only enjoys being a member of the Victoria, TX GOP, and the Victoria County Republican Women’s Organization, she is also thrilled to be a member of the Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW).
Vanessa married fellow Texan and US Army Veteran, Jason O. Callaway who is a certified high school football coach and teacher. Vanessa and Jason have 22 years of great marriage and have two wonderful sons: Eric Callaway, who is currently a sophomore and track athlete at Sam Houston State University, and Edward Callaway, a junior high school student.
As a result of Vanessa’s public and private commitment and passion to help others, she enjoys telling people, as a Professional Public and Motivational Speaker about being a Republican and about what she has done, all with the hopes of inspiring and encouraging others. In the future, Vanessa plans to run for political office in Texas and is writing another self-help book that will likely be called ‘The Black Woman in Red’s 10 Step Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness in America.’ Vanessa is known as ‘The Black Woman in Red’ in her political circles.