When Riverside’s new finance director starts her job on Jan. 23, one person she won’t need to be introduced to is Village Manager Peter Scalera.

That’s because Scalera and the new finance director, Jessica Frances, worked together from 2004 to 2009 for the village of Glencoe. Scalera was the assistant village manager and Frances was the assistant finance director.

Scalera announced the hire on Dec. 29.

“I look at her the way I was when I was looking to make that first step [out of the assistant role],” said Scalera. “I’m confident she can do the job and she’s ready for that next step.”

Frances has spent the past seven years in Glencoe as the assistant finance director. According to Scalera, it was Frances who did most of the heavy lifting putting together annual budgets, working with department heads to review budget projections, pulling together the numbers and submitting the budget for consideration by the village board.

She also had responsibilities outside of the finance department, and has experience handling some of the same things – like technology and human resources issues – handled by her predecessor in Riverside, Kevin Wachtel.

Frances was chosen from a field of 10 applicants, said Scalera, who did initial interviews with four candidates along with village trustee and village board finance chairman Lonnie Sacchi.

“We felt she was the all-around candidate,” said Scalera.

Frances is not an accountant, but she has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public administration from the University of Illinois–Chicago.

“She has completed a number of finance certificate training programs,” Scalera said.

Frances’ base salary with the village of Riverside will be $89,000 per year.

Prior to her years in Glencoe, Frances was client service manager for the law firm of Wakenight & Associates.

-Bob Uphues