Small Business Commissioners
Stephen Adams manages the San Francisco branch network for Sterling Bank & Trust and is known for his accomplishments and advocacy in community organizations throughout the city.
As Board President of Castro Merchants from 2007 to 2013, and currently an active member, Stephen worked with the mayor’s office of economic development, LGBT Center and Castro Community Benefits District to develop a successful program that resulted in the Upper Market and Castro commercial districts consistently having the lowest retail business vacancy in the city. He also drove the creation of a Farmers Market in the Upper Market NCD, helped attract the MILK filming to the neighborhood, created a neighborhood retail brochure that is distributed in hotels and visitors centers in SF, and significantly enhanced the merchant holiday promotion.
Stephen has also served as Vice Chairman the Board of Project Open Hand and was on the board of the Golden Gate Business Association for several years.
As a banker dedicated to supporting small businesses in San Francisco neighborhoods, Stephen expanded the Sterling Bank & Trust network from one to fourteen branches throughout his tenure at the bank. He also pioneered and implemented the TIC mortgage program that supports home ownership and small business loan programs that help local businesses grow.
Kathleen Dooley, Commissioner
Kathleen Dooley is a 30 year resident of Telegraph Hill and a longtime North Beach small business owner. After graduating from Mills College, and a stint in NYC, she moved to San Francisco in 1983 and established Columbine Floral Design in 1985. After 20 years as a shopowner on Grant Avenue in North Beach, she transitioned to freelance design in 2005 and continues to provide custom designs for both businesses and private clients throughout the City. She has been an active neighborhood leader for many years, serving 2 terms on the Board of Directors of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers. She co-founded the North Beach Merchants Association in 2003 and currently is serving her second term as President.
During her service on the Board of the NBMA, Dooley has become active as a local liaison between small business owners who are being targeted with ADA compliance lawsuits and City government. As commissioner, she plans to continue to work to develop comprehensive City issued informational tools that will both assist small businesses to clearly understand ADA compliance requirements and also guide them to resources that will help them fulfill these obligations in an affordable manner.
Mark Dwight, Vice-President
Mark Dwight is the founder and CEO of Rickshaw Bagworks, a San Francisco-based manufacturer of messenger bags, computer carrying cases, bicycle packs and urban lifestyle luggage. Rickshaw manufactures it’s own products in its own factory in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. Since its founding in 2007, Rickshaw has grown to 30 full-time employees. Mark also serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Mark is the founder and of SFMade.org, an organization supporting San Francisco-based manufacturers and promoting job growth in the local manufacturing sector. Prior to founding Rickshaw, Mark was the CEO of Timbuk2 Designs (2002-2006), also a San Francisco-based luggage manufacturer. Before he started designing and making bags, Mark spent 18 years working in various Silicon Valley technology companies, including Cisco Systems (1997-2001). Mark served on the Backstreets Business Advisory Board (2005-2007), sponsored by Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, which produced a report with policy and land use recommendations for the City of San Francisco relating to businesses in the production, distribution and repair (PDR) sectors. Mark was born in Palo Alto, and raised in Los Altos. Mark has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1982) and an MBA (1989), both from Stanford University. Mark lives in the Dogpatch neighborhood, and has been a San Francisco resident since 2002.
William Ortiz-Cartagena, Commissioner
William Ortiz-Cartagena, born and raised in the San Francisco’s Mission District has over ten years in the hospitality industry enjoying a successful career with Joie de Vivre hospitality. After leaving Joie de Vivre, William founded several companies and now focuses his efforts in the challenges experienced by underserved communities in San Francisco. William also serves on the board of the Mission Economic Development Agency.
Paul Tour-Sarkissian, Commissioner
Paul Tour-Sarkissian is an attorney specializing in business transactions, food and beverage law, trust and estate, including business succession planning. He has particular expertise in organizing business start-ups and other commercial ventures, with an emphasis on restaurants and food service companies. Tour-Sarkissian Law Offices, LLP, which Paul co-founded in 1986, has its principal office in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco.
Paul has represented numerous small businesses in San Francisco during his 29 years of legal practice. He has provided legal assistance to many individuals and companies from outside of the Bay Area seeking to establish new small businesses in San Francisco. He is a member of, and the legal advisor to, several local trade associations and chambers of commerce. Paul is the co-author of The Essential Guide to California Restaurant Law, the only California legal treatise on restaurant law. He has a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and a Master of Laws in Taxation from Golden Gate University School of Law. He has resided in San Francisco for 35 years.
Irene Yee Riley, Commissioner
Irene Yee Riley is currently a member of the San Francisco Small Business Commission, previously a San Francisco Housing Authority Commissioner. Retired from Bank of America as a Senior Vice President and Senior Market Executive, managed the Bank of America community development programs in California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Hawaii including the development of affordable housing, specialized lending to community-based organization, affordable mortgage lending and investment in real estate development.
Riley has held a variety of leadership positions in operations and consumer banking. Since 1996, she served as senior vice president and consumer region executive for the Bank’s Special Markets Region in Northern California, which included 33 banking centers that serve a range of communities in the greater Bay Area.
Riley also owned and operated the Irene’s Fashion in the late 70’s and the Silkyway Inc., a retail store, in the 80’s.
Riley is a graduate of The CBA Graduate School of Retail Banking at the University of Virginia and The Federal Reserve Bank’s National Community Development Lending School at the Case Western Reserve University.
An active member of the community, Riley is past president of the Chinese Newcomer’s Service Center, the Chinese American Women’s Business League, the Park Presidio Lions Club and the Hong Kong Association of Northern California. She served on the board of directors of the Wu Yee Children’s Services, the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and the Chinese Culture Center. She was co-chair of the San Francisco Taipei Sister City Committee, Past President of the Association of Asian American Bankers, Chairperson of the UCSF Asian Health Institute Advisory Cabinet and she is the Vice Chair of the On Lok Senior Health Services.
Riley is the past recipient of the Outstanding Asian Women Award from the Asian Women’s Resource Center, the Asian American Achievement Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans and 2001 Outstanding Overseas Chinese Award from the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and the Chinese Consolidated Women’s Association, and the 2004 Outstanding Community Member Award from the Wu Yee Children Services. In recognition of her achievements, Irene received the CEO’s Eagle Award, Bank of America’s highest associate honor for exceptional performance.
Irene was also honored by the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors who designated May 8, 1996 Irene Yee Riley Day, and was also honored by Mayor Gavin Newsom for her outstanding contributions to the community and designated June 15, 2004 Irene Yee Riley Day.
Miriam Zouzounis, Commissioner
Miriam graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in History and continued her studies at the City College of San Francisco in Small Business Finance and Employee/Employer Rights. She worked in non-profits after graduating and developed skills and knowledge of the City at a level that has allowed her to be an advocate for the communities she grew up in and serves.
Miriam currently helps run her family’s corner store and deli, Ted’s Market (est. 1967), in addition to being the West Coast Partner in Terra Sancta Trading Company -- a small import company specializing in products from the Holy Land and Eastern Mediterranean.
Miriam has a keen interest in economic theory and application, and is a board member with the Arab American Grocers Association (AAGA) and the South of Market Business Association (SOMBA), which is part of the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations (SFCDMA).
She has been active around legislation affecting small businesses and affiliated communities, including the San Francisco Language Access Ordinance; Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance (passed June 2012); Energy Efficiency Coordinating Committee, Small Business Seat, (appointed 2015);Tobacco Retail Density Policy, amended San Francisco Department of Health Code Article 19H in 2014; Healthy Food Retailer Ordinance (2014); Produce Delivery Model Working Group; Formula Retail Conditional Use Controls and Formula Retail Subsidiary Policy Working Group (2015); CalRecycle’s Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, 2015, etc.
Commissioners may be contacted through the Commission office at:
Small Business Commission
City Hall, Room 110
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102