Melissa York, a 15-year veteran of Riverview, handles the company’s accounts receivables, a job she notes is made much easier due to the fact that “clients are usually so pleased with how awesome their event turned out, and appreciate the hard work and positive attitude our team brought to it, that they make sure our invoices are processed quickly.”
Of course, the job does have its fair share of challenges for this third generation Northern Californian whose key responsibilities include obtaining vendor quotes, generating purchase orders and applying costs, communicating with warehouse managers on all upcoming outside sub-rentals, revising financial projections and much more.
Outside the Riverview offices, Melissa and her family are active in the community, most notably helping to organize the annual the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Willow Glen event in San Jose. We spoke with Melissa about her early career, role at Riverview and personal life.
Q: Your official job title is Accounts Receivable. What does that entail?
MY: My main responsibility is to make sure we bill clients for any services Riverview provides, and make sure we receive payment. I cross reference orders in our inventory program, events calendar and projections to make sure jobs aren’t missed. It’s ever changing as jobs are cancelled, postponed or new jobs pop-up at the last minute.
Q: When did you join Riverview?
MY: I started at Riverview in June 2002. I had been working for a company that Riverview did business with and I had gotten to know our CEO Evan Williams and some of the other staffers. After 9/11, the events industry faced challenges with events being canceled and companies going out of business, and I was subsequently laid off. Serendipitously, not long afterward, the position of Account Manager became available at Riverview, and the rest is history.
Q: You have a long history in the exhibit industry. How did you first get your start?
MY: My first office job was with the publishing house Miller-Freeman selling conference spots at IT Forum 1997. This was the first time I used a computer for something other than high school party fliers and quickly learned about email and the Internet that were new at the time. From there I started handling contracts for the exhibit house Contempo Design, in Milpitas, CA. During that time in the late 90s I attended shows like Semi-Con West and MacWorld. It was impressive to see these amazing live exhibits come to life that started as concepts and drawings. There I also got to work with A/V companies like Riverview who had started incorporating plasma monitors to interface with the client demo stations and other A/V components. It was a lot fun.
Q: What is the favorite part of the job? Least favorite?
I’m not sure I have a particular favorite or least favorite part of my daily routine at work. Having known a handful of people here for 15 years I’m proud of the relationships I’ve made here and the family environment Evan has fostered. I love hearing about everyone’s kids, what they said or did that was funny, their school life. I’ve known some of them since they were babies. It’s crazy to think that some of them are graduating from high school and going off to college or have gotten married.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
MY: I am a third generation Californian and was born and raised in San Jose, CA, and went to the same high school as my mother. My grandmother was born and raised in San Jose/Santa Clara and her mother moved to the area as a small child. I spent every summer with my grandparents in Chowchilla, Calif., which some may remember from the famous school bus kidnapping that took place in 1976. My husband, Noah, and I met in 1995, were together for 7 years when we married in 2003, and had our daughter Madelyn in 2006.
Q: What do you do for fun outside of the office?
MY: For fun, after work, we go on bike rides, dine with friends and family, watch bad reality TV and attend car shows. Since 2013, our family has been involved with The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. My mother, Vicky, and I are co-captains of our team Dream CancerFree. Madelyn is the captain of her own team called Too Smart To Start. Noah is one of Madelyn’s team members and he supports the three of us throughout the Relay season. We are also part of the Leadership Team for Relay, which helps provide strategy and direction to the fundraising events, and plan to continue our efforts until the cancer is put to an end.
Q: What is the one piece of technology you can’t live without?
MY: My smart phone, Galaxy S7.
Q: What were the last book you read, TV show you watched, and music you loved listening to?
MY: The last book I read was “Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir.” I’m totally into “Game of Thrones” and recently binged watched the third season of “Grace & Frankie,” on Netflix, and can’t wait for “The Walking Dead” to start. Musically my tastes run the gamut from country to 90’s HipHop/Rap, modern rock to grunge, show tunes and pretty much whatever MTV played in the 80s.