2023 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees
2023 Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker Award
Saturday, February 25, 2023
Four Seasons Hotel Houston
Vicki West is a champion of community outreach and the arts, having followed the example of her mother throughout her life, and is also an enthusiastic follower of fashion.
A native of Houston, Vicki knew from a young age she wanted to be a lawyer. Her dream of practicing law followed her into adulthood. Vicki graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and the South Texas College of Law Houston.
Vicki practiced law for seven years until she moved to Los Angeles with her late husband, Ernie Criezis, who was a restaurateur. She made her home in Los Angeles for thirteen years owning and operating several restaurants, as well as enjoying the California lifestyle. In 2019, Vicki sold her Los Angeles-based restaurant, The Great Greek.
Returning to Houston in 1996, Vicki began immersing herself in community service and volunteer work. Two of her greatest passions are the Houston Symphony and The Salvation Army. Her responsibilities with the Houston Symphony have included: Houston Symphony League Board member, 2002 to the present; chairman of the Houston Symphony Ball, 2003; Houston Symphony trustee, 2003 to the present; Chairman of Houston Symphony Wine Dinner, 2006; cochairman Houston Symphony Opening Night, 2011; honorary chairman, Houston Symphony Opening Night, 2015 to 2016; president of Houston Symphony League, 2015 to 2016; chairman of Ima Hogg Competition, 2018 to 2019; and honorary cochair of Houston Symphony Wine Dinner, 2020 to 2021.
For The Salvation Army of Greater Houston, Vicki began cochairing the Neiman Marcus Kickoff Tea for Reflections on Style in 2007 and has done so several times since. Her other responsibilities to the organization have included: cochair of The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Reflections on Style Luncheon and Fashion Show, 2008; president and charter member of The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, 2009 to 2010; The Salvation Army Advisory Board member, 2010 to the present; chairman of The Salvation Army Area Command Development Committee, 2015 to 2021; cochairman of The Salvation Army Advisory Board Annual Luncheon Honoring President George Bush and Barbara Bush, 2016; and chair-elect of The Salvation Army advisory board, 2021 to 2023.
Other valuable organizations Vicki supports are: the Barbara Bush Ladies for Literacy, for which she cochaired their luncheon featuring Julie Andrews in 2019; Baylor College of Medicine; The Shepherd School of Music; and the Bayou Preservation Association, Inc. As well, Vicki cochaired the Stages Theater Gala in 2022.
Vicki’s contributions to Houston have been many and for that reason the city has given back to her in the form of numerous honors, including March of Dimes Best Dressed Honoree, 2003; Winter Ball Woman of Distinction, 2006; Houston Symphony League Ellen Kelley Volunteer of the Year, 2007; Easter Seals Hats Off to Mothers Honoree, 2008; March of Dimes Best Dressed Honoree, 2018; Texas Children’s Hospital Community Champion Honoree, 2020; The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, Reflections on Style Luncheon Honoree, 2021; The Mission of Yahweh Woman of Substance Honoree, 2021; and Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s Winter Ball Woman of Distinction Ambassador, 2022. Vicki also appeared on the Houston Chronicle’s Best Dressed list in 2019 and in 2022.
Vicki is mother to Cristina, who has returned to live in Houston, about which she is delighted, and stepmother to four children. She also has two grandchildren she adores, and she feels lucky to be included in their lives. Vicki and her better half, Ralph Burch, love to travel and spend time in Galveston where Vicki’s family is originally from.
It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Vicki West has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker for 2023.