Jesse J. Risha graduated from Uniontown High School in 1968. He went on to join our Armed Forces in the US
Navy. Jesse served aboard the USS Yorktown CVS-10, until it was decommissioned in Boston in 1970. Then, he
served on the USS Independence CVA-62. He was honorably discharged in 1971. Upon returning to Uniontown, he
was hired at Steel Scaffolding by plant manager and family friend John Chisler. Then, honoring his mother’s
wishes, Jesse enrolled at California University of PA under the GI Bill. Jesse decided to open his very first pool
hall while attending school and continuing to work at Steel Scaffolding. Eli Gabriel a local business entrepreneur
entrusted Jesse completely and in so treated him extremely well over the years. This enabled Jesse with a $1,000
loan he obtained to purchase a building located on Gallatin Avenue from him and Mr. Gabriel graciously carried the
loan for Jesse for 10 years.
The building later became the base of operations of the original James Vending business. After
approximately eighteen months of juggling school, full-time employment, and his commitment to his business
venture, Jesse decided to leave Steel Scaffolding but never wavered on his goal of finishing school. Jesse graduated
from California University with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education. After teaching sixth grade for a short
time, Jesse found himself becoming more devoted to his growing company. He decided it was time to focus all of
his efforts on James Vending! Jesse handled all aspects of the business himself. This included the servicing and
replenishing of all machines. Because of his hard work and dedication, his business continued to grow annually.
In the meantime of course just being a young man he fell in love with a registered nurse Joanne M. Sulik. Ten
months later they married on September 13th 1978. Joanne would help on and off with the business and we raised
three children together Jessie Catherine, Tofy Daniel and James Michael.
On January 1, 2002, James Vending became incorporated. In 2007, James Vending, Inc. built a state of the
art building, which is located at 160 Shady Grove Road in Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania. In 2011, James Vending,
Inc. built a satellite location in Jane Lew, West Virginia. James Vending, Inc. has grown to operate more than 20
routes, covering 5 states.
Lifelong employee and oldest son, Tofy D. Risha, has since assumed the position of majority owner and
CFO, as Jesse is now partially retired and is a consultant for the company. Tofy has been an integral part of the
company’s growth, and has served in several positions, learning all facets of the business. He is continuing to build
on the foundation set forth by his father, including the assembling of a strong team of managers and employees and
continuing to reinvest in the company.
Jesse’s daughter, Jessie C. Risha, has worked for the company after graduating from Saint Francis University.
Also, Jesse’s youngest son, James M. Risha, has been working as a technician for the past five years.
Justin G. Packrone is the director of operations and now oversees all functions of the business. Together with
his knowledgeable staff of managers and tireless team, James Vending, Inc. plans to continue its success in this
ever-changing industry for years to come.