President’s Biography

Rick Callender

Rick (Enrico) Callender


Born in Las Vegas, Nevada and raised in upstate New York and San Jose California Rick Callender has long enjoyed working in the political realm.

Currently, Rick is the President of 3500 member branch of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP. 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.

Since taking the helm of President in January of 2000 Rick has led to branch to double its membership, take an larger role in the creation of public policy and has successfully investigated over 300 complaints that have been filed with his branch requesting the assistance of the NAACP. Rick also currently serves on the Executive Committee of the California State Conference of the NAACP as the Political Action Committee Chair for the State of California and is a member of the National NAACP’s Powerful Resolutions committee since 2001.

Rick has led the SJ/SV Branch of the NAACP to receive two Thalheimer awards for being the most outstanding branch of its size in both 2004 and 2005.  The Branch won in every category in which they were considered.

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.

Professionally, Rick works for the Santa Clara Valley Water District as their Local Government Relations manager where he is responsible for developing positive working relationships and implementing strategic outreach and advocacy efforts relating with all Santa Clara County City Councils, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, all Federal and State district offices, business associations, and community leaders, within Santa Clara Valley.

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.

Rick started his political career when he was elected as the student body president of the 16,000 student California State University, Chico and was the only student in the schools history to be re-elected for a second term, no person has ever been re-elected to a second term to this day.

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 currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Mountain View and Cupertino Chamber of Commerce and serves as the chair of one of the advocacy committees for the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Rick’s other past and present community service includes serving on the industry advisory board for Math Engineering and Science Achievement program (MESA), a Board member for the Peninsula Industry Business Association, he is a active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Epsilon Sigma Lambda Chapter, he is a member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, a past commissioner for the San Jose Human Rights Commission, past vice president of the Santa Clara County African American Democratic Club, past director of the Santa Clara County Civic Diplomat Leadership Project, and past vice president of the Santa Clara County/Santa Cruz County Campfire Boys and Girls Club.

Rick earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial Engineering Technology 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.

Rick has attended and graduated from eight executive leadership programs at different universities throughout the nation. These programs include; The University of Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in Syracuse, New York; Howard University in Washington D.C.; University Of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky; Florida International University in Miami, Florida, Clark/Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia; San Jose State University and the Bureau of Government Research and the Labor/Community Leader Institute, hosted by the South Bay Labor Council and San Jose State University.

Rick’s family includes his partner Michele and their 9-year-old son Jordan Jamal who is nicknamed JJ for short.


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