The “OG of the OC,” Vicki Gunvalson has appeared on The Real Housewives of Orange County since its first season. As a successful entrepreneur, reality star, mother and grandmother, she has redefined what it means to be a powerful modern woman. Her ability to evolve while staying true to her roots as life has progressed has led her to become America’s most loved reality star as she has continually invited us into her home and hearts for 14 seasons of The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Born in a small Northwest suburb of Chicago, Vicki is one of five children. Her father owned a large construction company, and her mother was a stay at home mom who cooked every night for the family and still always managed to look impeccable. Growing up, Vicki learned her work ethic from her father. He taught Vicki and her siblings to live within their means, to pray, to be thankful for what they had and to always strive to achieve their best in every area of their life. Those formative years watching her father’s work ethic and tenacity for life inspired who she is today.
Vicki became a single mother at the age of 29 and one of her close friends advised her to purchase a life insurance policy for herself as she was the breadwinner for herself and her two small children. After further discussions with her friend, she decided to get licensed to sell life and health insurance. Within her first year she was ranked the top salesperson at her company. Today Vicki is the proud owner of Coto Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. where she is proud to mentor and employ other women and mothers like herself. In 2018 Vicki was awarded The United States Department of Defense, “Patriot Award” for her support of military spouses and families.
In 2005, with the premier of The Real Housewives of Orange County”, her life moved in yet another direction. Since the show’s early days filming in Vicki’s office and backyard, the franchise now boasts various “housewives” series across the globe and RHOC can be seen in over 120 countries and territories around the world.
“My most distinguished role has always been being a mother,” Vicki says proudly. Her son Michael, now Vice President of Coto Insurance is following in her footsteps and is one of the top producing Life Insurance agents in her company. Her daughter Briana, pursued a career in nursing and is married to Ryan, a Marine and together they have four children Troy, Owen, Hank, and Cora.
Most recently Vicki started Financial Wellness with Vicki, a financial education platform aimed at teaching individuals’ critical financial life skills. In her time in the financial services industry, Vicki noticed a recurring theme; too often, people would seek her advice, after a significant crisis, and find out they were unprepared and uninformed. Financial Wellness with Vicki teaches everything from basic financial literacy to developing financial security at any age. Her goal is to help people have a healthy relationship with money, live life without financial stress, and have peace of mind.
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”