Remarkable Leadership: 10 questions with Amanda Riley, SVP Skip to content

Remarkable Leadership: 10 questions with Amanda Riley, SVP

6 min read

Read about Amanda Riley, SVP Enterprise Client Relationships

September marked the 20-year anniversary for HealthEquity. As we celebrate two decades of empowering Americans to take control of their health and wealth, it’s also the perfect time to visit with teammates who are part of the success. While Amanda Riley, SVP Enterprise Clients, didn’t join HealthEquity until 2011, she did witness over a decade of transformation in the company. And, in many ways, her story of career growth mirrors how the company has grown—through relationships, heart, and dedication to the mission.

Yes, Amanda has over a decade of experience building relationships with clients, partners, and brokers—driven by a mission to help everyone find the financial healthcare future that is most beneficial for them. But did you know that before she led an organization representing the top 425 managed clients, she started in Member Services on the phones? Let’s take a look at how her career grew over the past decade and what it means for how HealthEquity values both clients and teammates.

HealthEquity: Amanda, I know you travel quite a bit, so thank you for making time to talk about your role. You’re talking to us from Seattle, right?

Amanda Riley: Yes! I live in Seattle with my family. I have three daughters—ages five to 18—so if it isn’t my travel schedule that’s keeping me hopping, it’s my home life.

HealthEquity: That sounds like a full life! We’ll get into the 10 questions that we ask every leader, and as you answer, will you talk about how you have seen HealthEquity grow over the years?

Amanda Riley: Absolutely. I love telling my story, because I hope others who are reading this—especially those who may be joining at an entry level—can see how much our company invests in teammates’ career growth.

10 Questions with Amanda Riley, SVP

1. What was your first job and what is your role now?

OK, here we go with my story and how it connects to HealthEquity. My first job was at Arby’s in Arizona. I loved it. Some people complain about working in fast food, but I loved the freedom and making my own money. I was promoted to Assistant Manager by the time I turned 18 and worked there for another year until I moved to Utah.

I suppose I stayed in the service industry because after Arby’s I found a position as a teller at a local credit union. I worked my way up to be an Assistant Branch Manager, and it was that job that really shaped the rest of my career and led me to HealthEquity.

Several credit union colleagues left to work at HealthEquity and they asked me to consider a job in Member Services. It was a tough sell at first because I was happy in my current role, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to start from the ground up again. But I interviewed and had a great experience. I remember I was so excited when I got the call to offer me a role, I jumped up and down and banged my elbow. I’m a very animated person.

It’s interesting to talk about it now. I started at HealthEquity in 2011—it’s wild that in my 11 years here I’ve seen the company grow tremendously. I started in Member Services on the phones. And then one day, there was an issue with some overnight charges, and I was (literally) tapped on the shoulder and a team lead said, “I hear you have a banking background.” I was pulled in to talk to members to explain the situation. Operations liked how I was able to resolve a tricky situation, so they asked me to work in a unique role in Client Services and Operations. For three years I spent my days divided between four hours of employer phone calls and four hours of working in operations.

When we went public in 2014, I transitioned to sales and relocated to Seattle with my family. Back in those days I supported someone that covered what felt like half of the country. But everything was a stepping stone. Over the last few years, I moved into a Regional Sales Director role, then a Western Area VP of Sales, and then Interim Field Sales Leader.

I promise I’m almost done, because now I’m to my current role. This July I transitioned into SVP Enterprise Client Relationships. Four leaders report to me, and their teams manage our top 425 clients. The heart of what we do is to work closely and strategically with our largest clients to help cultivate amazing benefits for their members and retain their business. And we align with our sales teammates when there is an opportunity to grow clients’ product offerings.

What a ride! I shared all of that because I think it’s important for people to know how HealthEquity supports career development. It’s been incredible to be a part of this journey, especially to work with powerhouse people that have helped us get to where we needed to be.

2. What is your guiding principle or North Star?

To me, it’s very simple—show respect to receive respect. I always lead with respect and that has helped me in all aspects of my life.

3. HealthEquity has a strong commitment to deliver a remarkable experience—how are we continuing to improve in this area?

I don’t think it’s a surprise to say the last few years have been difficult. From navigating through the pandemic to doubling in size after the WageWorks acquisition, our teams have had to make adjustments and mature quickly. Many things were outside of our control, but it was a great time to revisit the things within our control that needed to improve.

That’s when we started what we call Commit to Purple. It’s all about a dedication to the mission. Each leader has a voice in the initiatives we’re pursuing and how they connect. We’re breaking down silos and seeing a very strong alignment between service delivery, account executives, and sales. It’s working. Our clients are getting more unified answers and service because we’re speaking with one voice. And we have a service recovery process with how to escalate concerns with purpose.

Our top 75 brokers now have one point of contact for assistance. What I love about what we’re doing is that we’re resolving concerns and identifying the root cause. Our organization is now 100% virtual, so we had to create strategic channels and processes to do this at scale.

4. What advice do you have for people just starting out in their career?

I think it’s important to accept that change is part of the process. You have to be able to change because it’s really the only constant. If you get bogged down thinking about your career path and how quickly you want to advance, you could get lost. You’re going to get assignments you didn’t expect. And my advice is to just go with it. Control your controllables and keep moving forward.

5. What would surprise people to know about you?

I’m not tall. People tell me I radiate tall person energy, but I’m not even five feet tall. My goal was to be 5’1”. (Laughs) It used to bother me, especially because being a woman in business can be challenging, period! I used to feel like I had to wear the highest heels and needed to dress up so people would take me seriously. But with our culture at HealthEquity, I don’t feel the need to do it anymore. I embrace the joke—like when I can’t see over a podium when I’m presenting—and embrace my height.

6. What is a defining moment in your life?

That’s easy. The moment I found out I was pregnant with my first child was life changing. I was 17. That’s the moment I decided I needed to be on a path to recovery and put substance abuse behind me. The world suddenly became very clear to me. That was my chance to repurpose my life because it was very apparent that I had important responsibilities bigger than me.

I’m proud of my decades of sobriety and my resilience. The reality is that if I hadn’t known I was bringing a child into the world my life might have gone down a much different path.

7. What book influenced you in your professional life?

I don’t typically read business or leadership books. I read for pleasure, but I don’t enjoy business books. When I need to quickly absorb a new concept my go-to is an audio book. That said, I can recommend one book that has helped me in every job I’ve ever had. John Maxwell’s book, “The 360 Degree Leader”, tells you how to lead across, below, and above. It’s essential to be able to have a conversation with a peer and demonstrate leadership without coming across as overbearing.

8. What cause is closest to your heart?

Addiction recovery. This goes back to question six and my personal experience with addiction as well as knowing people in my life impacted by addiction. I make it a point to do anything I can to help my family and others. I also want to emphasize that addiction or being an addict doesn’t make you a bad person. And there are tons of resources to help, from AA to Al-Anon, and more. There’s always help and hope.

9. What’s your favorite part of helping clients and members reach their goals?

Personal interaction is everything to me. I’m a relationship seller. I like to connect with people, build a relationship, and solve problems. It’s energizing to be strategic and help a client work through an issue. I also love talking to members about their account and how to invest.

10. What absolutely excites you right now about HealthEquity?

This connects to my first answer and why I described my career trajectory in detail (laughs). What’s most exciting to me is how HealthEquity has grown. Maybe it’s the benefit of working closely with our executive leadership team and Steve Neeleman, our founder, but I feel like I have a special understanding of where we came from and where we are now. It’s personal. I work with a special group of people.

Over a decade later, I still feel just as excited as when I first got the call to work here. I love telling my career story and talking about how the company has grown up. With all the changes—good and tough—we’ve kept our Purple spirit. I know we have a lot more left to accomplish, but we’re just going to do it. I know the goals we’ve set—like the audacious goal to make HSAs more common than retirement accounts by 2030—and I can see it happening. We’re getting very close.

I even feel a resurgence of Purple. With every single new hire, I witness amazing, energetic, positive teammates making a difference. And the draw of our Purple culture is still strong because I can’t even count how many teammates have left and returned. I know other leaders have talked about what makes our culture special and I’m right there with them.

HealthEquity: Amanda, thank you for sharing your story with us.

HealthEquity does not provide legal, tax or financial advice. Always consult a professional when making life-changing decisions.

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