Vicki Gunvalson, aka the “OG of the OC,” has been on The Real Housewives of Orange County since Season 1. Some would call her the original, and she’s been known to be chosen as a favorite by the one and only Andy Cohen.
Vicki’s early life
Born Victoria Steinmetz in 1962 in a suburb of Chicago, Vicki has 4 siblings. Her father was the owner of a construction company and her mother was a great mom who cooked for the family every night, and she was always fashionably dressed. Family was always her parents priority and Vicki still applies the same core values with her children.
Growing up, Vicki’s father was her role model and taught her to work hard. She remembers sitting in their family room at the age of 10 with her siblings and showing them all how to budget. These formative years watching her father’s work ethic and tenacity for life inspired who she is today.
Work and Home Life
Vicki worked part time at her father’s construction company at age 29 and taught herself accounting. A friend told her she should buy a life insurance policy since she had two children and was single, and this led to her getting licensed to sell insurance.
In the first year of selling insurance, Vicki became the top selling agent. She loved it and there was no limit to the amount of money she could earn.
Vicki’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and passed away at 67. Unfortunately, her parents were unprepared, and worked nights at a local store to receive health benefits. This tough time was one of the reasons she became so passionate in elder insurance.
In 1994 Vicki remarried and moved to California with her new husband. She became licensed in California, and started selling life insurance and medicare supplements.
In 2005, Vicki was asked to be part of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and has become famous throughout the world. She received Bravo’s lifetime achievement award.
Vicki is the proud owner of Coto Insurance and Financial Services, Inc, Woo Hoo Films, LLC and Diamonds by Vicki. “I love helping others and I feel as though every business customer is a family member”, Vicki says genuinely.
Mother, wife, and role model
“My most distinguished role has always been being a mother,” Vicki says proudly. Her son Michael is Vice President of Coto Insurance and is one of the top producing Life Insurance Agents in her company. Her daughter Briana, formerly a triage nurse, is married to Ryan and together they have 2 children – Troy and Owen.
In her book “More than a Housewife”, Vicki shares personal thoughts about how she learned to recognize her life’s purpose and direction. She tells readers what it took to create a profitable business and comfortable lifestyle.
“It wasn’t easy, but I knew I had to make it and I knew I could and I pulled that strength from my father’s wisdom” she states.
Vicki attributes her ambition to her DNA. “I have a fierce drive for success that I received from my parents. With the success of the show, I have newfound zest for life, more than I ever thought possible. I do believe that when one knows more, they need more.” She adds, “One lifetime is not enough for me”.
The Latest on Vicki
This past year Vicki’s boyfriend Brooks Ayres made sure everyone knew that he had cancer, and he took Vicki along for the ride. Fortunately the two have broken up and Vicki is moving on!
In January 2016, Vicki posted new photos on her Instagram account of her new man. We at RHB could not be more excited to see her smiling face once again!
Rumor has it that Vicki’s daughter Brianna approves and encourages her new relationship.