Houston Treasure for 2014
Photo by: Gittings
Vanessa Sendukas, a proud sixth-generation Texan, cherishes memories of volunteering alongside her mother and grandmother as a young girl in Dallas. Arriving in Houston in 1980 after attending the University of Texas, Vanessa pursued a career in marketing and advertising and began volunteering with the Junior League. She feels that her most important responsibility is to pass along a sense of civic duty and compassion to her children.
Showing a strong commitment to children’s issues and the arts, Vanessa has organized and chaired numerous successful events raising millions of dollars. Most recently, she co-chaired the 2013 SPA Gala and the 2011 March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Gala. Other highlights of her volunteerism have been her work on the Child Advocates Board of Directors, chairing their Gala in 1999 and their luncheon in 2002, and as an American Heart Association board member and chair of the 2004 Heart Ball. Vanessa also co-chaired the Family Services Luncheon in 2007, the SPA luncheon in 2009 and served on the board of The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston for many years. She currently serves on the boards of Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and Dec My Room.
Vanessa’s love of ballet, which began as a young dance student in Dallas, continues today as a member of the Houston Ballet Guild. She has presided as Guild president and has participated in the Nutcracker Market for 22 years, chairing it in 2001. As an active member of the Ballet Foundation, Vanessa served on the Executive Committee, chaired the Special Events Committee and chaired the “Swan Lake” Ball in 2006. She received the Joann Isaacman volunteerism award in 2004.
For the last several years Vanessa has proudly served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at St. Francis Episcopal Day School. Her 13 years on their board culminated with her work to purchase additional property to expand the scope of the school and its programs.
Vanessa is ever thankful for the support of her wonderful husband Perry, her two beautiful children, Alexa and Zachary, and her loyal friends, who display infinite patience and endless encouragement.