Division of Business Services
Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity
Financial Management and Administration
Neighborhood Development Division
Workforce Development Division
As Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Gregg Bishop is charged with running a dynamic city agency that helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for New York City's diverse communities, connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building 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 M/WBE businesses 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, having begun his career at the agency in 2008 under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. As Deputy Commissioner Bishop was responsible for a suite of programs designed to make it easier for businesses to start, operate, and grow in New York City, including NYC Business Solutions, Business Incentives, and Business Recovery. He also managed the expansion of business services to immigrant and women entrepreneurs, improved programming for outer borough communities, and collaborated with agencies such as EDC, DCA, HPD, and NYCHA to help build the capacity of entrepreneurs and operating businesses.
Previously at SBS, Gregg served as Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity, where he was responsible for overseeing the Minority-and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program including certification, capacity building, and developing strategic initiatives that support the business needs of City buyers and prime contractors subject to M/WBE purchasing goals under New York City Local Law 129. He also worked with various community organizations to deliver capacity building services, including financing assistance to small businesses and M/WBEs.
Prior to his appointment in DEFO, Gregg 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. Gregg 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. Gregg began his career at VIBE Magazine helping to establish the publication's brand during the pioneering days of the web.
Bishop received his Master's in Integrated Marketing and Management Communication from The Florida State University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida A&M University, both in Tallahassee, FL. He has also 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
As Deputy Commissioner, Jacqueline Mallon is responsible for encouraging business growth and economic development by helping businesses hire and train qualified New Yorkers and positioning, preparing and training New Yorkers to succeed in their job searches and careers with New York City companies. Jacqueline leads and oversees the Division of Workforce Development, including the operation of the City’s Workforce1 Career Center System, the Workforce1 Training program, and multiple initiatives funded by the Center for Economic Opportunity.
She has served at SBS as Assistant Commissioner of Business Development and Strategy where she managed 40+ full time contracted vendor sales staff to increase the number of business customers using NYC Business Solutions services, achieve job placement goals, assisting nearly 1,000 business access financing and over 400 businesses launch. In a prior position, she built the Agency’s business development infrastructure; including the reorganization of a 40+ member sales team, the establishment of a data analysis unit and developed new service offerings for New York City businesses.
She received an MBA from the Zicklin School of Business and a Bachelor of Science 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.
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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 (EDC) in the Strategic Investments Group, where she managed a $250 million portfolio of tax and bond financing. Previous to her time at EDC, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Commissioner of SBS. Rachel received a B.A. in Political 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 City of New York’s Department of Small Business Services. Don is responsible for supporting on-going 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 over 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 Gross’s career in public service includes five years of work for members of the New York City 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 New York City Department of Small Business Services. Amna oversees the day-to-day operations for all the NYC Business Solutions Centers, the 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 over ten years of experience as a public servant in New York City. Prior to joining New York City Small Business Services, Amna worked with the Mayor’s Office and New York City 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.
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Deputy Commissioner, Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity
As the Deputy Commissioner for Economic and Financial Opportunity, 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/WBE). 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 MWBE 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, New York State 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, Capacity Building and Corporate Partnerships
As Assistant Commissioner in the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity, Biguita Hernandez oversees the agency’s Capacity Building Programs and Procurement Technical Assistance to support Minority and Women Owned Businesses in strengthening their operational and financial position as well as develop their management and leadership skills to be better positioned to win both government and private contracts. She is instrumental in developing strategies, programming, and performance metrics to ensure all MWBEs are equipped to compete in the marketplace.
Biguita has over 20 years of experience in both the private and public sectors working for Paine Webber, UBS Financial Services, JPMorgan Chase, Arbor Education and Training, The NYC Department of Small Business Services, and Babson College. She’s focused this work on the stimulation of our nation’s economy through the growth of small businesses and the development and training of the workforce. Her most recent roles were Executive Director of Business Development and Strategy at SBS, National Alumni Director for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and Chief Business Consultant for her own company, Breathe Consulting.
Biguita is a graduate of Pace University with a BS in Marketing and Advertising proud alumnus of CORO Leadership NY. Biguita was born and raised on Staten Island, NY, the daughter of an immigrant mother and father from Aruba and Puerto Rico and the mother of two wonderful sons.
Assistant Commissioner, Operations
As the Assistant Commissioner of Operations in the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity. Maria is responsible for growing the base of businesses that can compete in the government market place and help connect them to contracting opportunities. In this role, Maria will oversee DEFO’s certification and agency and business analysis units.
Maria comes to SBS with over ten years of public sector experience and a substantial knowledge of City procurement, most recently at the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, where she specialized in construction, health and human service contract analysis.
Maria holds a B.A. in Environmental Science from Wesleyan University, a Masters degree in environmental studies from Long Island University and a Masters degree in public administration from the School of Public Affairs at CUNY’s Baruch College.
Assistant Commissioner, Contractor Services
As Assistant Commissioner of Contractor Services, Helen 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 DLS customers.
A native from Brooklyn, Helen began her career in public service in 1980.
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Deputy Commissioner for Legal & Regulatory Affairs
As Deputy Commissioner for Legal & Regulatory Affairs, Andy serves as General Counsel for the agency 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 the New York City Department of Small Business Services since 1996, and has worked in City government for over 25 years. His career in public service includes serving as Chief Litigation Counsel for the New York City 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 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 over 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 more efficiently utilize city programs. 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 Agency with four Directors reporting directly to him, responsible for a staff of over forty. In addition, Shaazad oversees Budget, Fiscal and Audit, Procurement, and Agency Operations.
Shaazad joined the agency twenty-six 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 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 city-wide 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 US 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.
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M. Blaise Backer
Deputy Commissioner, Neighborhood Development Division
Michael Blaise Backer is the Deputy Commissioner of the Neighborhood Development Division at the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS). In this role, Blaise is responsible for oversight of the City’s 72 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), the largest network in the country investing more than $100 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 72 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, James Mettham is responsible for oversight of the City’s Business Improvement District (BID) program and the growth of the agency’s commercial revitalization initiatives. These programs are designed to make our commercial districts better places to live, work and shop. James manages the City’s relationship with its network of 72 Business Improvement Districts, liaising with City agencies and elected officials on a wide range of issues that impact these districts; creating reports and analysis that promote transparency and encourage innovation; ensuring that district management organizations meet contractual obligations and developing training and networking opportunities to promote best practices. At the same time, James leads efforts to support the creation of new BIDs, building relationships with business and property owners to garner stakeholder support, developing service delivery strategies and actively working with the New York City Council through the legislative approval process. James also ensures that all investments are tied to measurable outcomes and developing a capacity building initiative to support the organizational development of non profits serving commercial districts.
In addition to his experience here at SBS, he was with the Economic Development Corporation for six years performing neighborhood economic development and strategic investment work on projects throughout New York City. Mr. Mettham received a Master of Urban Planning degree from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and holds a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.
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Deputy Commissioner, Workforce Development Division
Melanie F. Hart is the Deputy Commissioner of the Workforce Development Division. In this role Melanie leads and oversees the Division of Workforce Development, including 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 New York City 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, Training
Kelly serves as Assistant Commissioner of Training for the Workforce Development Division. In this role, she oversees a training strategy that maximizes direct employment and career advancement outcomes for New Yorkers while creating sustainable bridges between educational institutions and training providers and industry to meet the city’s evolving workforce needs at scale. This includes working closely with the agency’s Industry Partnerships to design employer-validated occupational training programs that successfully connect more than 4,500 – 5,000 individuals to new and better jobs in high-demand sectors annually and integrating these training programs with pre-training and bridge programs, work-based learning experiences, and supportive services. Kelly and her team implement these training programs with public and private education and training partners in all sectors with a focus on healthcare, tech, construction, manufacturing, foodservice, retail, and media and entertainment.
Kelly joined the NYC Department of Small Business Services in 2011. Prior to her time with the agency, Kelly worked for the United States Senate on a portfolio of education, labor, healthcare, housing, and other social issues. She also supported the Lieutenant Governor and Mayor’s Offices on a variety of budget policies and anti-poverty programs related to New York State and City, respectively. Kelly holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Northwestern University.
Assistant Commissioner, Business Development and Recruitment
Kate serves as Assistant Commissioner of Business Development and Recruitment. In this role, she approaches workforce development by building connections between businesses and job candidates. Kate oversees candidate recruitment and training strategy and performance for NYC Business Solutions, which is the set of free services offered by the Department of Small Business Services to help businesses start, operate, and expand in New York City. She is responsible for setting and managing strategy for the Workforce1 Career Centers to recruit, screen, and refer candidates to these business customers.
Kate joined the Department of Small Business Services in 2008, and she has served in various programmatic and operational roles since that time. Kate has spent her career focusing on building communities and the economy through jobs. Prior to joining SBS, she worked for Columbia University, STRIVE/East Harlem Employment Service, and LIFT where she was a founding member and leader of an organization dedicated to contributing to economic stability in the Fordham-Bedford neighborhood of the Bronx.
Kate holds a Master of Science in Social Work Administration from Columbia University and a B.A. from Fordham University.
Assistant Commissioner, Quality Management and Control
Tania Jospitre is the Assistant Commissioner of Quality Management and Control in the Workforce Development Division. In this role, Tania leads the Fiscal Management, Outcome Validation, and Quality Assurance Teams. She is responsible for the development and implementation of fiscal policy and controls for contractor spending for the Workforce1 Career Centers and Workforce1 Training Programs. Tania also oversees the validation of job candidate hires and manages the strategy for the evaluation of Workforce1 Career Center services and the use of customer feedback for continuous quality improvement.
Tania joined the New York City Department of Small Business Services in 2012 as the Executive Director of Quality Assurance. Prior to joining SBS, Tania worked in the nonprofit sector in the fields of domestic violence and homelessness as a Senior Research Associate, developing and implementing quality assurance protocols for a vast network of residential programs.
Tania holds a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College, a Master of Criminal Justice from John Jay College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences from Hofstra University.
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