Robert Rivera got his start in the industry right out of high school by delivering newspapers at retail rack and dealer locations for the Albuquerque Journal. More than 20 years later, he’s the company’s vice president of circulation. Here Robert shares how his company rewards committed employees, the value of growing together as a team and what advice he would give to someone starting out in the industry.
How has your career evolved?
When I began, newspapers were the go-to place for news, information, classifieds and content. The digital age has changed that by putting everything at your fingertips. Our industry has had to evolve by creating websites, apps, social network pages and digital content.
Share one initiative that helped your company achieve its goals?
The Albuquerque Journal was one of the first newspapers to pull newspaper vending machines off the streets. We were able to save the company more than $1 million dollars per year and salvage any loss in newspaper sales by adding more retail locations and adjusting draws at existing locations.
What in your career are you most proud of?
My growth and the growth of my team. I have learned so much from others in our company who are eager to see us grow, and I have continued to pay that forward by helping others on my team grow as leaders.
What word describes your company?
LOYALTY. We have had many employees who have spent their entire working lives with this company. We are family owned and operated by the Lang family who are very hands on and appreciate their employees. After 25 years of employment, they gift employees with a Rolex watch and hang their picture in our cafeteria to show their appreciation. We have so many employees on the wall that we have had to create more space to hang these pictures.
How has AAM supported your company in reaching its goals?
Since AAM reporting is standardized across the industry, it has been a great tool for us to use to compare our publication to others of similar size nationwide and identify opportunities.
What piece of advice would you give someone starting out in your field?
Be prepared for anything. Anything from irate customer calls and emails to natural disasters, broken down equipment, or even a pandemic. Also, always be open to innovation.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m married with three kids and most of my time is spent with them. We are all sports fans, and our favorite teams are the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers and of course my son’s elite travel youth football team. Growing up in New Mexico, lowrider cars have been a staple in our culture. I enjoy my spare time working on and cruising my project car – a 1964 Chevrolet Impala – that I have owned since I was 13 when my mother gifted it to me.