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Just a numbers guy
December 31, 2012, 05:00 AM By Heather Murtagh Daily Journal Staff
Numbers have always been of interest to Frank Risso.

The 40-year-old fifth generation South San Franciscan grew up watching his parents run their local business. He enjoyed going with his dad to the local bank and learning about bookkeeping.

Risso laughed and said his wife, Robyn, "always says I was an old man as a little child.”

Perhaps the practice was a good thing. Risso found his perfect profession early. Numbers have since become part of his day-to-day work both professionally and while working with local organizations. Earlier this month, Risso, who was South San Francisco’s deputy city treasurer, was appointed as the new city treasurer. Richard Battaglia, who had served as the city treasurer since November 2003, died Nov. 25. Risso will serve the rest of Battaglia’s term through November 2013.

Risso’s parents instilled in him a desire to give back to his community. He sees his new role as a chance to do that while continuing the work of Battaglia.

Risso attended St. Veronica School in South San Francisco then Serra High School before attending San Francisco State University for business administration with a concentration in accounting. It was while at Serra that Risso took his first accounting class.

"It was like church,” said Risso of taking the accounting course.

Risso has spent his whole professional career with numbers, although the type of businesses with which he has worked has changed. His work started at Wells Fargo on Chestnut Avenue. He then went on to work with an international company with a Brisbane office that specialized in saw blades. After two years, Risso took a position with forensic accounting firm RGL Gallagher then Sacramento-based Deloitte. Deloitte allowed Risso to work as an auditor for a variety of companies. It was while in that position that he was introduced to city finances while auditing the city of Stockton.

But Risso’s family remained in South San Francisco so he moved back to work at a local publishing company. Today, after 13 years, he’s the corporate controller of South San Francisco-based Future US, Inc., previously named Imagine Media. It was after returning home that Risso met his future wife Robyn, who also worked at the company in a different department. It was after Robyn left the company that the two began seeing each other. They’ve been together 10 years now, a little over a year of which has been in marriage. This year, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Olive.

Risso’s local roots became stronger once he returned and groups asked for help in their IRS reporting duties. It was through that work that Risso got to know Battaglia. Two years ago, Battaglia approached Risso about taking on the deputy city treasurer role. Risso was happy to help.

Now Risso plans to continue the work he started with Battaglia. The time he spent with Battaglia gave Risso a chance to become comfortable in the role before first running for the position he now holds.

Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.

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