As Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Gregg Bishop is charged with running a dynamic City agency focused on equity of opportunity, that leads to economic self-sufficiency and mobility for New York City's diverse communities. SBS actively connects New Yorkers to good jobs, creates stronger businesses, and builds a thriving economy in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Since his appointment in November 2015, he has overseen the opening of new Workforce1 Career Centers, certified a record number of minority and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs) to compete for government contracts, helped businesses to open nearly three months faster, and expanded services to women and immigrant entrepreneurs.
Born in Grenada and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Bishop formerly served as Deputy Commissioner of SBS' Business Development Division from 2012 to 2015. He began his career at the agency in 2008, and was responsible for a suite of programs designed to make it easier for businesses to start, operate, and grow, and to recover from emergencies. He also improved programming for outer borough communities and collaborated with multiple City agencies to help build the capacity of entrepreneurs and operating businesses.
Bishop also served as Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity at SBS, where he was responsible for overseeing parts of the M/WBE program including certification, capacity building, and developing strategic initiatives that support the business needs of City buyers and prime contractors. He worked successfully with various community organizations to deliver services, including financing assistance to small businesses and M/WBEs.
Prior to his career in government, Bishop served as the Senior Manager of Workforce Development at NPower, where he was responsible for doubling the capacity of Technology Service Corps, a nationally recognized technology training program for young adults aged 18-25. Prior to NPower, he served as the Director of Web Operations at Oxygen Media, where he helped guide the media company's web consolidation strategy. Bishop also served as Vice President of Technology Operations at TheStreet.com, where he helped build and maintain the company's internal and external technology infrastructure. He began his career at VIBE Magazine helping to establish the publication's brand during the pioneering days of the web.
Bishop received a Master's degree in Integrated Marketing and Management Communication from Florida State University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida A&M University. He studied International Management and Marketing in Tokyo, Japan, and is a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School's Senior Executives in State and Local Government program, and the Coro Foundation's Leadership New York. He is an adjunct professor at Baruch College's School of Public Affairs and serves as Board President of Red Hook Initiative.
First Deputy Commissioner
Jackie Mallon is the First Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), where she is responsible for overseeing the agency's main programmatic divisions supporting small businesses, jobseekers, and commercial corridors citywide. She is also responsible for agency operations including finance and IT, and for overseeing priority strategic initiatives, including Small Business First and Industry Partnerships.
Jackie joined SBS in 2008, and previously served as Deputy Commissioner of Workforce Development and as Assistant Commissioner of Business Development and Strategy. Jackie led the expansion of the Workforce1 Career Center system, launching eight new centers that provide customized employment services for New York City residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy, Out-of-School/Out-of-Work Youth, and Immigrants.
She also developed the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline, a $10 million public-private partnership to support the growth of the City's tech ecosystem and prepare New Yorkers for 21st century jobs. Following the success in tech, Jackie developed similar industry partnerships in Construction, Food Service/Hospitality, and Industrial/Transportation.
Prior to City service, Jackie worked for more than 20 years in the private sector. Jackie served as Chief Operating Officer of Draft Direct Data Technology Group (acquired by Interpublic Group) and as President of Harte-Hanks Direct. She also founded two companies: the award-winning children's playground/retail business Sydney's Playground, and The Credo Group (acquired by Tranzact, Inc.), a digital marketing firm.
She received an MBA from Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, and a Bachelor of Science, Industrial Engineering from the University of Rhode Island.
Chief of Staff
Cynthia Keyser is responsible for management of the Executive office, the delegation and execution of critical agency projects, oversight of the day-to-day operations of the agency, and supervision of the Press, Marketing, and Intergovernmental and Community Affairs departments. Cynthia Keyser previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), overseeing a policy portfolio of economic opportunity initiatives. She received her Master of Public Administration degree from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College.
Rachel Van Tosh
Deputy Commissioner, Division of Business Services
Rachel Van Tosh is the Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Business Services at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). In this role, Rachel oversees initiatives to help businesses start, operate, and grow in New York City. This includes oversight of nearly fifty free and low-cost services, ranging from assistance navigating government regulations to providing specialized courses in the food, childcare, and media industries. The Division provides local programming in all five boroughs through at NYC Business Solutions centers with a focus on helping businesses access the capital they need to improve their company. Rachel also oversees citywide initiatives such as WE NYC and Small Business First.
Rachel has also worked at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in the Strategic Investments Group, where she managed a $250 million portfolio of tax and bond financing. Before her time at NYCEDC, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Commissioner of SBS. Rachel received a B.A. in Political Science from Haverford College and a M.A. in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Assistant Commissioner, Business Reform and Incentives
As Assistant Commissioner, Don oversees the Business Regulatory Reform and Business Incentives Unit for the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). Don is responsible for supporting ongoing efforts to identify and streamline the City’s regulatory process for both new and operating businesses. In this role, he is responsible for implementing Small Business First, a multi-agency initiative to make government more effective and efficient for businesses. Don also administers several key incentives programs including the Energy Cost Savings Program (ECSP), Lower Manhattan Energy Program (LMEP), and Industrial Relocation Grant Program. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Commissioner, Don served as Executive Director of the NYC Business Relocation Assistance Corp. and helped create the Industrial Relocation Grant Program and Printer's Relocation Grant Program.
Don has more than 20 years of experience in economic development and working with the City of New York to assist commercial and industrial firms relocate and expand within NYC. Before his work with SBS, Don worked with Ernst & Young Tax Incentives Division. He holds degrees from Boston College and Columbia University.
Assistant Commissioner, Business Programs
Dynishal Gross is the Assistant Commissioner for Business Programs at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). In this role, she oversees programs designed to help New Yorkers create and open new businesses, operate successfully, grow to their maximum potential, and survive emergencies. SBS' business programs are open to all New Yorkers but focus on overcoming barriers to business success faced by women entrepreneurs, NYCHA residents, worker cooperatives, and longstanding businesses in changing communities. Dynishal previously served as Assistant Commissioner for Programs in SBS' Division of Economic & Financial Opportunity.
Dynishal's career in public service includes five years of work for members of the NYC Council, including serving as Director of Legislation and Budget for the chair of the Committee on Small Business. She holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from Cornell University, an M.P.A. from Baruch College, and a J.D. from Columbia University.
Assistant Commissioner, Business Operations
Amna Malik is the Assistant Commissioner for Business Operations with the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). Amna oversees the day-to-day operations for all the NYC Business Solutions Centers (including the NYC Small Business Support Center), the Industrial Business Service Providers, assigned regulatory staff, and the compliance advising program. Through these free services, she is responsible for making it easier and faster to open and operate a business in New York City through business education courses, assistance with accessing capital and helping businesses understand regulatory requirements.
Amna has more than 10 years of experience as a public servant in New York City. Prior to joining SBS, Amna worked with the Mayor's Office and NYC Department of Buildings in operations working to improve services for businesses. Amna has a M.A. in Public Affairs from CUNY Queens College and B.A. from CUNY City College.
Deputy Commissioner, Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity
As the Deputy Commissioner for Economic and Financial Opportunity for the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Kimberly Hardy manages a division committed to promoting equity and financial opportunity for minority and women owned businesses as well as other underserved businesses. The division is responsible for the City of New York's certification of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs). In addition, the division offers technical assistance and capacity building programs to assist and strengthen businesses. Kim oversees units charged with compliance with equal employment opportunity, labor standards, and M/WBE mandates.
Immediately prior to assuming her responsibilities at SBS, Kim worked as a Managing Director at a leading construction monitoring firm. She previously served in government at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYS Empowerment Zone Corporation and NYC Commission on Human Rights. Kim practiced insurance and municipal finance law before entering the public sector. She is a graduate of Yale Law School and North Carolina Central University.
Assistant Commissioner, Certification and Compliance
Nisha Mistry is the Assistant Commissioner for Certification and Compliance at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). Nisha oversees the agency's certification programs for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs), Local Business Enterprises (LBEs), and Emerging Business Enterprises (EBEs), as well as compliance associated with the agency's M/WBE program.
Nisha has more than a decade of urban policy experience, with a focus on economic and community development. Prior to joining SBS, Nisha served as a Manager with Bloomberg Associates, a nonprofit consultancy founded by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. At Bloomberg Associates, Nisha delivered advisory services to client cities as part of the Municipal Integrity team in areas such as open contracting and citizen-centered service delivery. Previously, she served in the administration of former Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker as Newark's first Manufacturing Policy Advisor and as a Mayor's Office Fellow, where she managed the multi-stakeholder Newark Manufacturing Initiative. Nisha also spent several years as the Director of Fordham University's Urban Law Center and as a policy consultant to Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.
A native New Yorker, Nisha began her career in Brooklyn in the Civil Division of the Legal Aid Society. She received a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, M.S. in City Design & Social Science from the London School of Economics, and B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College.
Assistant Commissioner, Contractor Services
As Assistant Commissioner of Contractor Services for the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Helen's portfolio includes the Division of Labor Services and the enforcement of Executive Order 50 in the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity. Helen oversees the contract monitoring program under Executive Order 50, which ensures job opportunities generated through City contracts are available to all qualified persons by helping contractors implement fair employment practices, policies, and procedures while supporting them in their efforts to increase the representation of minorities and women in their workforce. Under her leadership, Labor Services has greatly expanded agency connections with prime contractors and developers to match more minority and women contractors to public and private subcontracting opportunities, and has helped cross-sell agency wide services to more customers.
A native from Brooklyn, Helen began her career in public service in 1980.
Deputy Commissioner for Legal & Regulatory Affairs
As Deputy Commissioner for Legal & Regulatory Affairs, Andy serves as General Counsel for the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and oversees fiscal and administrative activities of agency operations, including procurement, property management, and waterfront permitting. In his work with SBS, he has drafted and assisted in passage of legislation at City and State levels. Andy has been with SBS since 1996, and has worked in City government for more than 25 years. His career in public service includes serving as Chief Litigation Counsel for the NYC Campaign Finance Board and as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the General Litigation and Condemnation Divisions for the City's Law Department.
Andy is a graduate of New York City public schools and a cum laude graduate of Brooklyn Law School. Prior to his service with the City, he worked as a Ranger in the National Park Service at the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Saratoga Battlefield.
Chief Technology Officer
As the Chief Technology Officer at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Amit Agarwal is responsible for overall management of the Application Development and Solution Architecture teams and the Project Management Office. Amit oversees SBS Technology policy and the entire software lifecycle and works to optimize the application delivery process.
Amit has experience working in different technical roles with a focus on Application Architecture and Database Management. Amit previously worked for more than seven years at SBS; during this time he helped drive a complete overhaul of the operations and technology systems supporting the City's Workforce1 Career Center development program, and designed and implemented many technology-driven tools that make it easier for businesses to utilize City programs more efficiently. Amit then worked at Fiserv investment Services (IS) driving complex system upgrade projects, and developed technology tools to improve efficiency for IS.
Academically, Amit is pursuing an MBA at Fordham's Graduate School of Business with a focus in Information Systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology from University of Missouri.
Assistant Commissioner, Finance
As Assistant Commissioner for Finance, Shaazad oversees all Financial Management and Operations services for the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) with four Directors reporting directly to him, and is responsible for a staff of more than 40. In addition, Shaazad oversees Budget, Fiscal and Audit, Procurement, and Agency Operations.
Shaazad joined SBS 26 years ago as an auditor. Over the years, he played an integral role in various mergers of the agency, and has served under several Commissioners. In 1988, he was appointed Fiscal Director, and in 1992, he also assumed the role of Agency Chief Contracting Officer (ACCO). He served as Director of Administration until he was appointed as Assistant Commissioner in 2001.
Shaazad holds a B.B.A. from Pace University. He was certified as Government Financial Manager (CGFM) by the Association of Government Accountants in 1996, and was certified by the Universal Public Purchasing Council in 1993 as a Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB).
Assistant Commissioner, Technology and Chief Information Officer
Stephen Fisher is the Assistant Commissioner for Technology for the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and serves as the agency's Chief Information Officer. In this role, Stephen leads the day-to-day management of all critical agency technology operations and network infrastructure, software applications, and databases. He represents the agency in citywide technology forums to ensure cooperation and integration of data services across agencies.
Stephen began his technical career as a customer support technician with IBM/TSS where he was responsible for repairing technology hardware. He trained himself to become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and was hired by MCI as a Network Administrator at one of their local city offices. Stephen joined SBS as a Network Administrator and during his time here, has assisted the agency through several major networking migration projects and network security audits. Prior to his current position, he served as the agency's Executive Director of Technology Operations. Stephen is also a U.S. Air Force veteran who served for four years throughout the United States and Europe as a Ground Radio Communication Specialist.
Stephen received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the New York Institute of Technology.
M. Blaise Backer
Deputy Commissioner, Neighborhood Development Division
Michael Blaise Backer is the Deputy Commissioner of the Neighborhood Development Division at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). In this role, Blaise is responsible for oversight of the City's 75 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), the largest network in the country investing more than $130 million annually in programs and services for neighborhoods across the five boroughs. In addition, Blaise oversees the City's primary commercial revitalization program known as Avenue NYC. Avenue NYC provides annual funding of approximately $10 million to neighborhood organizations through competitive SBS grants and awards. He also manages the Neighborhood Retail Leasing Program and the Coro Neighborhood Leadership Program. These programs are all designed to empower local communities with the tools and resources necessary to strengthen the city's commercial districts and create the conditions that attract private investment, allow our small businesses to thrive, boost local employment, and make our neighborhoods better places to live, work, and shop.
Before joining SBS, Blaise was the Executive Director of Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership for 10 years. The Partnership, comprised of the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC (MARP) and the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Business Improvement District (BID), oversees the economic revitalization of the 20+ mixed-use blocks in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Wallabout, Brooklyn. Blaise also served as the co-chair of the board of the New York City BID Association, the membership association of the Business Improvement Districts in New York City.
Blaise holds a Master in Urban Planning from NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia.
Assistant Commissioner, Neighborhood Development Division
As Assistant Commissioner for Neighborhood Development at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Kris is responsible for overseeing economic development and commercial revitalization efforts designed to strengthen and preserve commercial districts across all five boroughs. In this role, he develops, implements, and oversees strategies for the agency's neighborhood development portfolio, which includes interagency and intra-agency coordination for SBS involvement in the HousingNY plan, managing New York City's Business Improvement District (BID) portfolio, expanding the agency's non-profit capacity building program offerings, and overseeing commercial revitalization and planning work carried out by local partners via the Neighborhood 360°, Neighborhood Challenge, and Avenue NYC grant programs.
Kris joined SBS in 2012 as Director of BID Expansion, and later served as Executive Director of the BID program, and Executive Director for Neighborhood Development. Prior to his transition to the public sector, Kris worked for seven years in corporate communications, media relations, and fundraising. Kris holds a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University, and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Brown University.
Deputy Commissioner, Workforce Development Division
Melanie F. Hart is the Deputy Commissioner of the Workforce Development Division for the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). In this role, Melanie leads and oversees the operation of New York City's Workforce1 Career Center System, the Workforce1 Training program, and multiple initiatives funded by the Center for Economic Opportunity. As Deputy Commissioner, she is responsible for encouraging business growth and economic development by helping businesses hire and train qualified New Yorkers. Moreover, she is responsible for helping New Yorkers to achieve economic self-sufficiency through positioning, preparing, and training to succeed in their job searches and careers within New York City companies.
After several years practicing as a corporate and securities lawyer, Melanie has spent the past 15 years leading in the philanthropic, nonprofit and public sector. Immediately prior to joining SBS, she served as the Executive Vice President for Community Programs and Development for the NYC Housing Authority.
Melanie holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law, a Master of Science from the Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.
Assistant Commissioner, Workforce1 Career Centers
Kevin Cummings serves as the Assistant Commissioner of Workforce1 Career Centers in the Workforce Development Division of the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). In his role he oversees the implementation of New York City's Workforce1 Career Center system, with the goal of using a demand-driven and sector-based approach to train New Yorkers for, and connect New Yorkers to, good job opportunities in New York City and to help New York City businesses to operate and expand via the provision of recruitment services.
Kevin joined SBS in 2017, coming from the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City where he supported the work of facilitating public-private partnerships advancing initiatives in youth workforce, mental health, immigration services, and many other programs across the spectrum of New York City government. Prior to this, Kevin spent several years at the NYC Office of the Mayor facilitating several mayoral initiatives, including the federally funded NYC Civic Corps AmeriCorps Program, all of which served and impacted several issue areas including: health, disaster preparedness, veterans and military families, economic opportunity, environment, education, and capacity building. Kevin also spent several years developing and coordinating community programs and directing an afterschool program in New York City.
Kevin holds Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Williams College and is also a graduate of the Columbia Institute for Not-for-profit Management (INM) Program.