Vicki Russell, née Myers, was born in 1952 in Portland, Oregon, where she lived with her older sister, mother, and father. A participant in student government and intramural sports, she graduated from Sunset High School in 1970. She then attended Oregon State University from 1970-1971 as a Business Administration major. After that, she attended Portland State University for an additional year.
She met her husband, Vic Russell, at a student government leadership retreat while the two were still in high school. Vic was from Bend, Oregon, and they both attended OSU in the fall of 1970. In 1973, Vic and Vicki were married and moved to LaPine, Oregon. They then started the first excavation company in the Central Oregon area, called Vic Russell Construction. Vicki subsequently became President and CEO of the company.