Robert Schoem's Menorah Chapel
W-150 State Route 4 (East)
Paramus, NJ
Steve, 69, (Glen Rock, NJ) marketing-communications luminary/naming legend and beloved husband, colleague, mentor, and friend died unexpectedly November 16, 2016, from complications of lung cancer. He was president of Rivkin & Associates, a naming, marketing and communications consultancy, and CEO of Estes Park Institute, a leading educational organization for healthcare executives, for which he served for 20 years. Co-author of six books on marketing strategy, differentiation, innovation and communication, Steve was a coveted speaker at global seminars and workshops. A cum laude graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he was a board member of the non-profit Volunteers in Medicine, a national network of 90 free clinics in 23 states, which cares for the uninsured. He enjoyed good food and wine, Freddie Mercury and Queen, Patsy Cline, verbal jousting and 50's rock and roll music. Reading and words were a passion, and by donating his corneas, he gave the gift of sight to two people. The love of his life and inspiration for 43 wonderful years was his wife and soul mate April. Contributions in his memory may be made to Pallative Care In-Patient Services, Valley Hospital, 223 N. Van Dien Ave., Ridgewood, NJ 07450. A memorial to celebrate Steve's life will be held at a date to be announced.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by The Record/Herald News from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, 2016.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Funeral services provided by:
Robert Schoem's Menorah Chapel
Sponsored by Robert Schoem's Menorah Chapel.
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19 Entries
Steve's knowledge and experience in Brand Naming, Positioning and Differentiation as well as Brand naming is missing in todays world.
Lorenz Wied
November 14, 2020
Just a few weeks ago, my 34 year old son asked me for business advice, and I shared some sage advice that Steve had given me when I worked for him when I was a business guppie. His wisdom lives on to another generation!!!! Gone but not forgotten!!!!
Lynne Seid
November 14, 2019
Steve was just good I knew him briefly at MU. He escorted me across a busy street, even when it was out of his way : what a gentleman! I wish I had known sooner. Love to all, especially his beloved wife. His goodness will continue to bless this world.
Virginia Moore
April 9, 2018
I knew steve briefly at MU. Steve was just good. I have never known anyone else like him. His goodness will continue to bless the world. Virginia Moore
Virginia Moore
April 9, 2018
I am deeply saddened to learn of Steve's death and send my sympathy to April and his family. I met Steve while we both were working on the student newspaper at Mizzou. When I later became the editor he was most supportive. Steve somehow instinctively knew the challenges I was facing as a female who was not expected to get the job. I was always grateful for that and for his love of our business of journalism.
Betsey Barnette Bruce
January 27, 2017
Dear April: Receive my dearest condolences for Steve's death. I'm sorry to write you so late. I just found out today thanks to Carlos, our friend of Colombia. I remember with great affection and sympathy your trip to Madrid 20 years ago. I wish you the best and gradually you will overcome this loss
January 4, 2017
Steve was more than a worker to me. I knew him from boyhood; however, contact was much more infrequent as an adult due to the distances between us. We communicated periodically, including recent messages about his illness. I was shocked to learn of his death through LinkedIn. My condolences to April and other family members.

Michael Dalton
Steve's first cousin
December 13, 2016
I just heard about Steve's passing and am so very sad. He was a wonderful, always fun and supportive business friend from Institutional Investor days. A terrible loss. My condolences to you, April, and family.
Anne Miller
December 6, 2016
A great source of knowledge. I share everyone's loss. He will be missed.

Scott Yaw
Scott Yaw
December 5, 2016
Dear April, It hit me like a huge rock. My dearest Condolences. I can feel the pain with you. Best Wishes.
Lorenz Wied
November 25, 2016
April, I was so sad to learn of Steve's passing. Steve was always so supportive when we worked together at EPI. I learned a lot from him. But what I remember most is that he was always smiling and so much fun to work with. His "review" of the Our Town skit that opened the conferences was typical Steve -- witty, creative and fun! I know he will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you now.
Margaret Bastow
November 23, 2016
April, Garrett told me of Steve's passing. I am devastated. He was such a caring man, a giant in his field, and he leaves a hole in this world. Having known him since high school from our group, I can say that this world has lost a wonderful man. Blessings to you, April.
Ruth Sklar
November 23, 2016
Steve took a chance on me, and gave me my first real job, not to mention set me on a course of success for the rest of my professional life. There wasn't one day he wasn't in a good mood. There wasn't one day he didn't say "hello sunshine," which I think was his way of putting me in a good mood. There wasn't one day he didn't take the time to teach me something new -- patiently, respectfully, and contextually. He gave me way more responsibility than I thought I was capable of handling. He gave me the confidence to go to the next level. He was hilariously funny and could make me laugh about the stupidity of what was around us in a way that made it all the more palatable. He was incredibly organized, and basically taught me how to get stuff done. His was the most curious person I know, and gave me the courage to say and think "I don't know, but I will find out." Up until that point I thought successful people were people who knew everything. He taught me that the opposite is true. He taught me to keep learning and probe, to question and go deeper. He was a brilliant diplomat. He was the lowest ego, but most sure-footed person I know. I always, took him at his word, because he always made good on his word. He was a great grammarian and typist, and I fear if he read this, he would find many areas to improve.
For me, Steve was one in a billion. What I owe him cannot be measured.
The only solace I can take in this very sad time, is that he had a steady, loving partnership with April. He always reminded me and everyone else of it. I take comfort in knowing he took his last journey with her.
Lynne Seid
November 22, 2016
Mr. SMR, you will be sorely missed. What a charmer...a gentleman...a STAR! The heavens are a bit brighter tonight because of you. Memories of you will linger. You've touched so many lives. My family and I are chief beneficiaries of the many acts of kindness demonstrated by you and Auntie April. Frederick, Abijah, and I are eternally grateful.
Carlene Anderson
November 21, 2016
I lost a great friend. He was full of enthusiasm and shared it with everyone he knew. I'll miss you, my friend.
Dave Gellis
November 21, 2016
To the Family - Steve was our classmate and fellow member of the Upper Darby High School Class of 1964. We mourn your loss and wish you all gentle healing. Condolences - Sylvia Evans Tagert and Bob Tagert
R Sylvia Evans Tagert
November 21, 2016
I always looked up to and admired Steve as a legend in the field. I will truly miss him.
Jordan Pine
November 21, 2016
Stephen Rivkin -- Steve to his friends -- was one of a kind and a marketer par excellence. Author, lecturer and communications maven of the first order, he also excelled on the volleyball court and in offering witticisms. Don't ever get into a name calling contest with him either. He will be sorely missed by all in whose shadow we walked.

Our sincere sympathy to April.
Andrew Edson
November 20, 2016
I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Rivkin. He was an exceptional talent who helped me and my companies, and set a great example for other professionals. Most of all I will miss his warm humor and friendship. My sincere condolences to Steve's family.
Patrick Hirigoyen
November 20, 2016
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