Rick Callender, Government Relations Manager, Santa Clara Valley Water District

Rick works for the Santa Clara Valley Water District as their manager for the Office for Government Relations where he is responsible for strategic advice and counsel to the CEO and leading and managing public affairs and for all government relations at the Federal, State and local level, which includes developing positive working relationships and implementing strategic outreach and advocacy efforts relating to flood control and water utilities.

Rick is the 2nd Vice President of the California/Hawaii State Conferences of the NAACP.  The California/Hawaii NAACP boasts 74 branches and youth units which are mobilized across the states to help ensure racial justice and equality and is a member of the National NAACP’s Powerful Resolutions committee since 2001.

Rick was the President of 5500 member branch of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP from January 2000-August 2008 when he resigned to attend Law School.   Rick was the longest serving President in the Branches 56 year history.  The San Jose/Silicon Valley Branch, which was founded in 1952, is part of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Nationally the NAACP boasts over a half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world.

After taking the helm of President in January of 2000 Rick led to branch to quadruple its membership, take an larger role in the creation of public policy and has successfully investigated over 1000 complaints that have been filed with his branch requesting the assistance of the NAACP.

Rick led the SJ/SV Branch of the NAACP to receive a record Six Thalheimer awards for being the most outstanding branch of its size in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008. The Branch won in every category in which they were considered.  In the history of the Branch they had never received a Thalheimer award in their history prior to 2004. The Thalheimer Award is the NAACP’s top national award for branches is presented annually to the NAACP branches and state conferences that have contributed most to the furtherance of the associations mission during the preceding year.
In September of 2000 Rick took a leave of absence to successfully lead the Yes on Measure B Campaign for Clean, Safe Creeks in Santa Clara Valley. This countywide campaign targeted over 500,000 voters and raised over $375 million dollars for the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

In 2009 Rick formed the Jorcal Hat Co., named after his son Jordan.  The Jorcal Hat Co. has grown to be the large men’s and women’s hat store in the South Bay. They have two locations, one in Willow Glen and Westfield Oakridge Mall, both in San Jose.
Rick has also worked as a Special Assistant to past City of San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer, as a Field Campaign Organizer for the California Democratic Party, as a Congressional Fellow for the United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Energy and as a Congressional Fellow to Congressman Ronald V. Dellums.

Rick earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial Engineering with an emphasis in electronic and computer technology from California State University, Chico and his Masters of Arts in Public Administration from San Jose State University.  He is currently in his Fourth year at Northwestern California University School of Law, having previously attended Lincoln Law School for three years.


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