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InterScholaTM CEO Melissa Rich Honored by
San Francisco at Annual “Women Making History” Awards
Leader of San Francisco-based business is among 11 women recognized by the
Mayor and Board of Supervisors in a ceremony at City Hall
San Francisco, CA March 6, 2012 – Melissa Rich, CEO of InterSchola, a San Francisco-based small business that manages sales of surplus goods for school districts and other local public agencies, was honored today by the City of San Francisco for her work as a leader in socially responsible business. Rich joined 10 other women from throughout San Francisco who were celebrated in a ceremony at the Board of Supervisors, and were recognized for outstanding achievements in education, women’s economic strength and women’s empowerment.
Rich founded InterSchola in 2004 as a way to help public school districts and other public agencies maximize the value of their unused surplus assets via online auctions. The company, a recently certified Benefit Corporation, has helped public agencies earn over $15 million from the sale of surplus goods. The sales divert almost three million pounds of goods from landfills each year.
While InterSchola serves one-third of school districts in California and has a foothold in five other states, the company is managed from headquarters in San Francisco’s Presidio. San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell, representing that district, tapped Rich for the honor. “Not only is Melissa creating jobs in a tough economy, she is also innovating by using the marketplace to help schools raise money,” said Supervisor Farrell. “We applaud Melissa’s contributions to our city and are thrilled to honor her as one of this year’s ‘Women Making History.’”
Rich was accompanied at the Awards by her mother and InterSchola’s all-woman management team. Rich says that empowering women underlies much of the work she does. “As a woman in business, I aim to act as a model for aspiring women entrepreneurs. I also feel strongly that – with InterSchola’s work supporting schools – we’re helping to empower and hopefully increase the capacity of the many women who educate our children every day.”
The ceremony was followed by a reception presented by the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women and the Friends of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. In addition to public recognition, the Honorees also were presented with a round-trip flight on Southwest Airlines, the event sponsor. Other women honored included community activists, civic leaders and nonprofit executives.
A certified Benefit Corporation, InterSchola was established in 2004 to help save money for and support the budgets of school districts and local public agencies so these institutions may focus on educating our children and maintaining cities and towns that allow residents to thrive. The company has helped local public agencies earn over $15M from the sales of surplus goods via online auctions. Items sold have ranged from pianos to portable buildings, from computers to cars, and from food service to facility equipment. Additionally, InterSchola is a certified Green Business committed to environmental sustainability. The company’s sales divert 3 million pounds of goods from landfills each year.
InterSchola’s work has been recognized by numerous organizations and publications. In 2010, the San Francisco Business Times named the social enterprise one of the Bay Area’s Fastest Growing Companies. InterSchola CEO Melissa Rich has been honored as 2011 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by San Francisco’s Women’s Initiative and as Outstanding Woman in Business for 2012 by the city of San Francisco. The company has been featured in the San Diego Union Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Fresno Business Journal, the Glendale Daily News, on NBC Bay Area’s Class Action and CBS-5’s Eye on the Bay, among several other media outlets.