Hi. I'm Vanessa
"Through most of my life, I was not a political person. I was not interested in public office until I began to recognize that I have the experience, especially executive and leadership experience, to truly serve my community in Northwest Jacksonville. I know how to develop and implement policy. I know how to work with people who have different yet complementary skillsets to get things done. I am ready to serve my community.”
Vanessa at age 6
Jacksonville, Florida became my home at age 10, when my father moved our family from Nashville, Tennessee at the completion of his training in general surgery. As a family, we flourished on the northside, residing initially on Cleveland Road, then in Harborview, until my father purchased the family home on Edgewood, where my husband and I now reside. In the early 1970’s Floradale, Magnolia Gardens, Harborview, Sherwood, Ribault Scenic Road, Carver International, and housing in Edgewood manor represented African American progress towards the American dream. Years later many of these areas suffer from blight and disrepair. Thus, one plank in my platform is housing repair, reduction of blight, and city capital plan improvements targeted to the Northside. Check out Affordable Housing.
I am the first born of 5 children. I attended Forest Hills, now Sallye B.. Mathis Elementary School, Jacksonville Episcopal High School for junior high school, and Ribault High School for senior high school. My husband and I met the summer before 10th grade, dated for about 5 years; yet we did not marry until about 30 years later.
I am a retired obstetrician gynecologist whose passion is preventive health care and reproductive rights. I am married to Keith “Peabody” Hopkins, a Longshoreman with over 40 years in the maritime industry.
After 10 years practicing medicine and an additional 13 years overseeing medical policy and procedures at the international non-profit, Engender Health and Planned Parenthood’s national office, I served as Vice President of External Medical Affairs, for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). As Vice President for External Medical Affairs, I operated at the intersections of Public Policy, Communications, and Medical Services to provide leadership, voice, and assistance to junior and senior staff as they developed and executed strategies to: increase access to health care services.
I currently serve as Vice President and Operations Manager for Pebo Enterprises Corporation, Pebo Enterprises Georgia LLC, PeboVan Tax Liens and Deeds, and VanPebo Florida LLC.
As Vice President and Operations Manager of the S Corporation and LLC, I researched and implemented an organizational structure that allows my husband and me to become real estate entrepreneurs who invest in single-family, high quality, and aesthetically pleasing, low-income housing. The companies buy distressed assets which are renovated with quality workmanship and materials so that the resulting house is modernly, aesthetically pleasing to a wide variety of tastes. These assets are sold or rented, with a goal of “rent to own”, thus serving our corporate philosophy of building wealth among disadvantaged Black and Brown people.
My favorite vacation is a beach vacation with my husband. I have 3 stepchildren and 6 grandchildren.