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Small Business Commission

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About Us

Small Business Commission

The County Board of Supervisors appointed Small Business Commissioners to serve in each of the five Supervisorial Districts. The Commission provides ongoing advice and support to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to help businesses grow and do business with Los Angeles County.

ROSE ACOSTA YONAI Commissioner

Commissioner Acosta-Yonai was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Hilda Solis. Yonai is CEO and Principal of Tierra West Advisors, Inc., a licensed full service real estate and financial advisory firm; providing cities, public agencies and private entities with economic development strategies. Tierra West is a certified, small, women owned business and has been located in Boyle Heights/Los Angeles since 2008. Yonai graduated from Loyola Marymount, Los Angeles and has served on several boards including the LMU/Latino Alumni Association, whose mission is to promote the education of Latino students through scholarship support. Additionally, she has also established her own scholarship fund through LMU for local inner city youth who attend the University.

CINDY ALLEN Commissioner

Commissioner Allen was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Janice Hahn. 

Cindy Allen, President of Agency ETA, leads a multi-million dollar full-service ad agency based in Long Beach, California. Cindy was honored as the entrepreneur of the year for the business category by the Long Beach Press Telegram. She was also hand-selected by Goldman Sachs to complete an executive program at Dartmouth School of Business as part of the 10,000 Small Business Initiatives.

Cindy was born in Lexington Kentucky and moved to Long Beach as a teenager where she attended Long Beach Poly. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and went on the get her Master’s in Public Administration from Cal State Long Beach. Cindy was a Meritorious Award-winning police officer in the city of Long Beach with more than 40 commendations during a 10-year law enforcement career. An injury in the line of duty, as well as her natural affinity for community relations and growing interest in research and marketing, led her to embark in her agency career.

Her move to becoming a business owner came in 2005 when she bought a failed Long Beach franchise of Money Mailer and quickly established Money Mailer of Long Beach as one of the most successful company franchises in the country.

Cindy has served on leadership cabinets for the UNCF, Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Association, Musica Angelica, Special Olympics Southern California, LB Rotary, Women’s Business Council, Women’s President Organization, LB Memorial Hospital, and the Long Beach Police Foundation.

Cindy is married to her husband of 27 years, Long Beach Police Department Commander Randy Allen. They have two children in college, David and Erin.

DIANE ARAUJO Commissioner

Commissioner Araujo was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. Araujo holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of California, Irvine and UCLA, a Master’s of Public Administration from California State University, Northridge and Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Cal State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Araujo has over thirty years’ experience in the areas of business, community development, teaching and education administration. She is the former Executive Director of the Latin Business Association (LBA) and Principal of Pasillas & Associates Consultants (PAC) 1991-2015. Currently Araujo is Managing Member of a real estate investment company with holdings primarily in California.

SHARON E. BROWN Commissioner

Commissioner Brown was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Brown is the President of ICDC Publishing, Inc. a certified small, minority, woman-owned publishing company based in Woodland Hills. Sharon earned a BA degree from the University of Southern California, Graduate Certificates in publishing and paralegal studies from the University of California Berkeley, and a JD degree from Howard University School of Law. She sits on the board of the Greater Valley Black Business Association as Chairman; B2BConnectR XΔ as President; and the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce as a Director.

ANN CARPENTER Commissioner

Commissioner Carpenter was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Janice Hahn. 

KERRY DOI Commissioner

Commissioner Doi was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. Mr. Doi is one of the founders of Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE), a 501(C)3 non-profit community development corporation (CDC) that was founded in 1976. He has been the executive director and president of PACE for the last 39 years. Mr. Doi is an active member of the Board of Directors of a California statewide community development association, California Community & Economic Development Association (CCEDA) and chaired a national Asian Pacific Island community development association, National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development (NaCAPACD).

JOZEF ESSAVI Commissioner

Commissioner Essavi was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Michael Antonovich. Essavi is a small business owner and currently works in the fields of financial and real estate services and serves as private trustee. Essavi served on the Los Angeles County Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Commission, which merged with Alcohol Commission. He now serves as Commissioner on Alcohol and other Drugs Commission. Essavi and his family emigrated to the United States as Assyrian Christian Religious Refugees from Iran during 1980s. He previously served as Assistant Chaplin to our Juvenile Halls and has been involved in numerous private and public efforts to help youth stay away from addiction to drugs and alcohol, mainly through faith and responsibility building programs.

TODD FLORA Commissioner

Commissioner Flora was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. 

For two decades, Todd Flora has worked to shape public opinion and policy working among some of this State’s most dynamic leaders in politics, philanthropy, and the environment. He is currently Director of Quality Assurance & Government Relations for Nycote Laboratories Corporation. Previously, Todd served as Director of Business Development for EcoMotion, an environmental consulting firm, and was a Manager of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs for IBM. There, he implemented IBM’s grant programs and fostered the advancement of the company’s corporate responsibility practices and employee volunteer programs.

Todd also enjoyed several years in public affairs consulting and public relations, nonprofit advocacy, and government affairs.  He has served the Boards of Heal the Bay and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., and as an Advisory Board Member of LAANE.  He currently is the Chair of the Advisory Board of Sustainable Works, an environmental education organization. In 2010 and then again in 2014, he was elected to the Santa Monica Rent Control Board.

Todd graduated from the University of Richmond and received a Masters in Political Management from George Washington University.  He lives in Santa Monica, CA, with his wife, Erin Tanenbaum, and “Orchid,” their beloved Boxer. 

ANGELA GIBSON Commissioner

Commissioner Gibson was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 2017.  Gibson is a public affairs veteran with more than 35 years of experience in small business outreach, and community engagement. Gibson has received honors from the National Congress of Black Women, 94.7 The Wave, GLAAACC, National Action Network LA, LA Focus, Our Authors Study Club, Recycling Black Dollars, The Black Business Association, LA Focus, The National Association of University Women, and the Women in NAACP, among others. Gibson currently serves as president of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce.

TYRONE HAMPTON Commissioner

Commissioner Hampton was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Michael Antonovich. Mr. Hampton owns Pasadena Construction and Interiors, a full service, one-stop construction, maintenance, and interior decorating company. Mr. Hampton, who is legally blind, serves as Director of the Northern La County Black Business Association, President of Eye Dreams Inc. 501 © 3, member of Sons of the American Legion, Community Advisory Board Member of Los Angeles Battalion. He is a founding member and past president of the Black Business Association and the Minority Contractors’ Association.

R. CHRISTINE HERSHEY Commissioner

Commissioner Hershey was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Hershey is president and founder of Hershey Cause Communications. She was a founding member of ANGLE (Access Now for Gay and Lesbian Equality), a political action committee which spotlights gay and lesbian issues. Her first book, the Communications Toolkit, was published in 2005. Chris also co-authored “2-Minute Answer Guide for Nonprofits,” with The Center for Nonprofit Management. Honored as 2010 Women in Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. She is a founding member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, serves on the boards of The R. Scott Hitt Foundation, Southern California Grantmakers, and on national boards of RaiseAChild Foundation and PetSmart Charities. She was appointed to the Los Angeles County “Arts for All” Executive Committee.

FRIEDA HOVSEPIAN Commissioner

Commissioner Hovsepian was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Kathryn Barger. 

Frieda Hovsepian has over 25 years of experience in the engineering and manufacturing industry.  She is currently the Vice President of a manufacturing company— Riedon Inc. Her expertise in digital marketing has resulted in the exponential growth of companies. She specializes in introducing companies to international markets. She also advises local businesses and start-ups on operations expansion and competition in the digital world. 

Frieda is also a board member for two of non-profits.  The first is the One Bicycle Foundation which connects students in developing countries to schools through the power of bicycles.

The second is the Communitas Initiative, which partners with individuals and families to create a pathway out of poverty. They provide comprehensive and personalized poverty prevention and recovery programs. 

KY CHUEON KIM Alternate Commissioner

Commissioner Kim was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke. Kim has decades of experience in investment banking and education, particularly with the Korean community and his native South Korea. Kim is president of the U.S. Procurement Institute in Los Angeles. Kim is Honorary President and a former President of the Korean American Commissioners Association. Kim, who has a Ph.D in Business Administration from Graduate School of The Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

ONNIK MEHRABIAN Alternate Commissioner

Commissioner Mehrabian was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Michael Antonovich in 2015.

LISA MILLER Commissioner

Commissioner Miller was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Miller is a civil litigator in California and New York, focusing on business litigation and representation of individuals, both plaintiff and defense sides. Miller is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee and chair of its Standing Sub-Committee on Ethics and Technology. Miller is a temporary judge with the Los Angeles Superior Court and a hearing examiner with the Los Angeles Police Department. She is a trustee of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.

LUCIA MORENO LINARES Commissioner

Commissioner Moreno Linares was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Janice Hahn. 

W. STEVEN TEMPLE Commissioner

Commissioner Temple was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Mr. Temple is the founder and Chief Financial Officer of Business Affairs Management Inc. (BAM), a business management firm that provides financial management services to individuals, businesses, enterprises, and non-profit organizations. Mr. Temple was a Panelist Speaker on the Goldman Sachs LACC 10,000 Small Business Program and has been awarded a “Board Executive Leadership Certificate” by the African American Board Leadership Institute. He has been a business management panelist on several entertainment industry festivals.

MARK J. ROBERTSON Commissioner

Commissioner Robertson was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Robertson is President/CEO of Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation, a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution which provides financial and educational assistance to Los Angeles County small businesses. Robertson previously spent 17 years in banking. PCR administers four small business loan programs and operates as a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Robertson is a graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in economics.

ANDREW RODRIGUEZ Commissioner

Commissioner Rodriguez was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. 

 

Andrew Rodriguez is a lifelong resident of Walnut, and currently serves as Mayor. When elected and sworn-in, Andrew was California’s youngest councilmember serving in municipal government. During his tenure on the Walnut City Council, Mayor Rodriguez has worked to provide exceptional service to the residents of Walnut; he and his colleagues have balanced the city’s budget annually, updated the city’s general plan for the first time in forty years, and have worked with law enforcement to address public safety issues.


Born and raised in Walnut, Andrew attended public schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Andrew graduated Cum Laude from Rutgers University in New Jersey with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Minor in Planning and Public Policy. While at Rutgers, Andrew found his passion for municipal management and land use policies, gaining valuable experience working for a non-profit redevelopment corporation dealing with urban revitalization issues in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He also worked for a public affairs firm in New York City, with clients in both the private and public sectors.
Andrew returned to California after earning his degree and performed an AmeriCorps service year in Los Angeles, working with high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He has had private sector experience working as a land use consultant on projects throughout California and has a Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) from the University of Southern California.


In 2014, Andrew spent several months in Australia studying comparative politics at the University of Melbourne. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Strong Towns and other non-profit organizations.

ANNA S. WU Commissioner

Commissioner Wu was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Janice Hahn. She has a B.A. in Business from California State University, Fullerton. Wu is a former White House Intern for the office of Media Affairs. She has worked for NBC Universal Studios, South Coast Air Quality Management District, City of Pasadena, Bank of America Mortgage, and Wells Fargo. July 2016, Anna Wu was named a finalist for the 2016 Asian Business Award from the Los Angeles Business Journal. Wu is the president and Founder of Wu & Associates, a small, minority, woman-owned, Intellectual property and Business Consulting firm headquartered in Diamond Bar, CA.

ANTHONY WILLIAMS Commissioner

Commissioner Williams was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Kathryn Barger. 

Patrick Wilson Alternate Commissioner

Commissioner Wilson was appointed to the commission by Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Patrick Wilson is the founder of Fast Lane Transportation, Inc., a full-service intermodal transportation and equipment service company with locations in Wilmington, Long Beach, Oakland, and Adelanto, California. Patrick was recently elected to the City Council and now serves as Mayor for the City of Rolling Hills where he has lived for the past 20 years. He is married with three children.

Now Immediate Past President, he was President of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce for 12 years and was a founding member and Treasurer of the Wilmington Neighborhood Council since 2002.  Patrick also serves as Board Chair for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor and is a board member on the Wilmington YMCA, the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce, and the Harbor Trucking Association.

One of his favorite affiliations is serving as Chair of the International Trade Academy Advisory Committee and board member of the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP).  In this position he is able to reach out directly to the underserved youth at Banning High School in Wilmington to help prepare these promising young students for college and careers in the maritime and transportation fields.

Amy Ablakat Alternate Commissioner

Commissioner Ablakat was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Commissioner Ablakat is honored to serve her local community. Her mission as a Small Business Commissioner is to help foster, promote, and retain small businesses in the City and County of Los Angeles.

Commissioner Ablakat currently serves as Planning Deputy to Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. In this capacity, she works on land use and planning projects and advises the Councilmember on Citywide planning legislation and land-use policy related matters that affect Small Businesses. She has worked on various initiatives, including the Councilmembers business-friendly  “Open for Business” policies to help preserve, support and enhance the small business sector in the City of Los Angeles.

Prior to joining the office, Commissioner Ablakat worked with a multitude of jurisdictions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Previously, she owned AYA Couture, a small business with her sisters. AYA Couture was a local fashion brand that focused on designing, producing and manufacturing products locally.

Commissioner Ablakat received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Planning, Analysis and Design with a concentration in Urban and Regional Planning  and a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) with a concentration in Environmental Planning, from University of California, Irvine. While in graduate school, Commissioner Ablakat created a non-profit organization, S.U.P.P.O.R.T. (Serving Underserved Populations by Providing Opportunities, Resources and Technologies) based in Los Angeles.

ROSE ACOSTA YONAI Commissioner

Commissioner Yonai was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. 

CINDY ALLEN Commissioner

Commissioner Allen was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Janice Hahn. 

Cindy Allen, President of Agency ETA, leads a multi-million dollar full-service ad agency based in Long Beach, California. Cindy was honored as the entrepreneur of the year for the business category by the Long Beach Press Telegram. She was also hand-selected by Goldman Sachs to complete an executive program at Dartmouth School of Business as part of the 10,000 Small Business Initiatives.

Cindy was born in Lexington Kentucky and moved to Long Beach as a teenager where she attended Long Beach Poly. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and went on the get her Master’s in Public Administration from Cal State Long Beach. Cindy was a Meritorious Award-winning police officer in the city of Long Beach with more than 40 commendations during a 10-year law enforcement career. An injury in the line of duty, as well as her natural affinity for community relations and growing interest in research and marketing, led her to embark in her agency career.

Her move to becoming a business owner came in 2005 when she bought a failed Long Beach franchise of Money Mailer and quickly established Money Mailer of Long Beach as one of the most successful company franchises in the country.

Cindy has served on leadership cabinets for the UNCF, Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Association, Musica Angelica, Special Olympics Southern California, LB Rotary, Women’s Business Council, Women’s President Organization, LB Memorial Hospital, and the Long Beach Police Foundation.

Cindy is married to her husband of 27 years, Long Beach Police Department Commander Randy Allen. They have two children in college, David and Erin.

DIANE ARAUJO Commissioner

Commissioner Araujo was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. 

SHARON E. BROWN Commissioner

Commissioner Brown was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Brown is the President of ICDC Publishing, Inc. a certified small, minority, woman-owned publishing company based in Woodland Hills. Sharon earned a BA degree from the University of Southern California, Graduate Certificates in publishing and paralegal studies from the University of California Berkeley, and a JD degree from Howard University School of Law. She sits on the board of the Greater Valley Black Business Association as Chairman; B2BConnectR XΔ as President; and the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce as a Director.

ANN CARPENTER Commissioner

Commissioner Carpenter was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Janice Hahn. 

KERRY DOI Commissioner

Commissioner Doi was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. Mr. Doi is one of the founders of Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE), a 501(C)3 non-profit community development corporation (CDC) that was founded in 1976. He has been the executive director and president of PACE for the last 39 years. Mr. Doi is an active member of the Board of Directors of a California statewide community development association, California Community & Economic Development Association (CCEDA) and chaired a national Asian Pacific Island community development association, National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development (NaCAPACD).

JOZEF ESSAVI Commissioner

Commissioner Essavi was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Michael Antonovich. Essavi is a small business owner and currently works in the fields of financial and real estate services and serves as private trustee. Essavi served on the Los Angeles County Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Commission, which merged with Alcohol Commission. He now serves as Commissioner on Alcohol and other Drugs Commission. Essavi and his family emigrated to the United States as Assyrian Christian Religious Refugees from Iran during 1980s. He previously served as Assistant Chaplin to our Juvenile Halls and has been involved in numerous private and public efforts to help youth stay away from addiction to drugs and alcohol, mainly through faith and responsibility building programs.

TODD FLORA Commissioner

Commissioner Flora was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

For two decades, Todd Flora has worked to shape public opinion and policy working among some of this State’s most dynamic leaders in politics, philanthropy, and the environment. He is currently Director of Quality Assurance & Government Relations for Nycote Laboratories Corporation. Previously, Todd served as Director of Business Development for EcoMotion, an environmental consulting firm, and was a Manager of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs for IBM. There, he implemented IBM’s grant programs and fostered the advancement of the company’s corporate responsibility practices and employee volunteer programs.

Todd also enjoyed several years in public affairs consulting and public relations, nonprofit advocacy, and government affairs.  He has served the Boards of Heal the Bay and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., and as an Advisory Board Member of LAANE.  He currently is the Chair of the Advisory Board of Sustainable Works, an environmental education organization. In 2010 and then again in 2014, he was elected to the Santa Monica Rent Control Board.

Todd graduated from the University of Richmond and received a Masters in Political Management from George Washington University.  He lives in Santa Monica, CA, with his wife, Erin Tanenbaum, and “Orchid,” their beloved Boxer. 

ANGELA GIBSON Commissioner

Commissioner Gibson was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 2017.

TYRONE HAMPTON Commissioner

Commissioner Hampton was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Michael Antonovich. Mr. Hampton owns Pasadena Construction and Interiors, a full service, one-stop construction, maintenance, and interior decorating company. Mr. Hampton, who is legally blind, serves as Director of the Northern La County Black Business Association, President of Eye Dreams Inc. 501 © 3, member of Sons of the American Legion, Community Advisory Board Member of Los Angeles Battalion. He is a founding member and past president of the Black Business Association and the Minority Contractors’ Association.

R. CHRISTINE HERSHEY Commissioner

Commissioner Hershey was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Hershey is president and founder of Hershey Cause Communications. She was a founding member of ANGLE (Access Now for Gay and Lesbian Equality), a political action committee which spotlights gay and lesbian issues. Her first book, the Communications Toolkit, was published in 2005. Chris also co-authored “2-Minute Answer Guide for Nonprofits,” with The Center for Nonprofit Management. Honored as 2010 Women in Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. She is a founding member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, serves on the boards of The R. Scott Hitt Foundation, Southern California Grantmakers, and on national boards of RaiseAChild Foundation and PetSmart Charities. She was appointed to the Los Angeles County “Arts for All” Executive Committee.

FRIEDA HOVSEPIAN Commissioner

Commissioner Hovsepian was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Kathryn Barger. 

Frieda Hovsepian has over 25 years of experience in the engineering and manufacturing industry.  She is currently the Vice President of a manufacturing company— Riedon Inc. Her expertise in digital marketing has resulted in the exponential growth of companies. She specializes in introducing companies to international markets. She also advises local businesses and start-ups on operations expansion and competition in the digital world. 

Frieda is also a board member for two of non-profits.  The first is the One Bicycle Foundation which connects students in developing countries to schools through the power of bicycles.

The second is the Communitas Initiative, which partners with individuals and families to create a pathway out of poverty. They provide comprehensive and personalized poverty prevention and recovery programs. 

KY CHUEON KIM Alternate Commissioner

Commissioner Kim was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke. Kim has decades of experience in investment banking and education, particularly with the Korean community and his native South Korea. Kim is president of the U.S. Procurement Institute in Los Angeles. Kim is Honorary President and a former President of the Korean American Commissioners Association. Kim, who has a Ph.D in Business Administration from Graduate School of The Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

ONNIK MEHRABIAN Alternate Commissioner

Commissioner Mehrabian was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Michael Antonovich in 2015.

LISA MILLER Commissioner

Commissioner Miller was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Miller is a civil litigator in California and New York, focusing on business litigation and representation of individuals, both plaintiff and defense sides. Miller is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee and chair of its Standing Sub-Committee on Ethics and Technology. Miller is a temporary judge with the Los Angeles Superior Court and a hearing examiner with the Los Angeles Police Department. She is a trustee of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.

LUCIA MORENO LINARES Commissioner

Commissioner Linares was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Janice Hahn. 

Amy Ablakat Alternate Commissioner

Commissioner Ablakat was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Commissioner Ablakat is honored to serve her local community. Her mission as a Small Business Commissioner is to help foster, promote, and retain small businesses in the City and County of Los Angeles.

Commissioner Ablakat currently serves as Planning Deputy to Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. In this capacity, she works on land use and planning projects and advises the Councilmember on Citywide planning legislation and land-use policy related matters that affect Small Businesses. She has worked on various initiatives, including the Councilmembers business-friendly  “Open for Business” policies to help preserve, support and enhance the small business sector in the City of Los Angeles.

Prior to joining the office, Commissioner Ablakat worked with a multitude of jurisdictions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Previously, she owned AYA Couture, a small business with her sisters. AYA Couture was a local fashion brand that focused on designing, producing and manufacturing products locally.

Commissioner Ablakat received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Planning, Analysis and Design with a concentration in Urban and Regional Planning  and a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) with a concentration in Environmental Planning, from University of California, Irvine. While in graduate school, Commissioner Ablakat created a non-profit organization, S.U.P.P.O.R.T. (Serving Underserved Populations by Providing Opportunities, Resources and Technologies) based in Los Angeles.

MARK J. ROBERTSON Commissioner

Commissioner Robertson was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Robertson is President/CEO of Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation, a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution which provides financial and educational assistance to Los Angeles County small businesses. Robertson previously spent 17 years in banking. PCR administers four small business loan programs and operates as a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Robertson is a graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in economics.

ANDREW RODRIGUEZ Commissioner

Commissioner Rodriguez was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis.

Andrew Rodriguez is a lifelong resident of Walnut, and currently serves as Mayor. When elected and sworn-in, Andrew was California’s youngest councilmember serving in municipal government. During his tenure on the Walnut City Council, Mayor Rodriguez has worked to provide exceptional service to the residents of Walnut; he and his colleagues have balanced the city’s budget annually, updated the city’s general plan for the first time in forty years, and have worked with law enforcement to address public safety issues.


Born and raised in Walnut, Andrew attended public schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Andrew graduated Cum Laude from Rutgers University in New Jersey with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Minor in Planning and Public Policy. While at Rutgers, Andrew found his passion for municipal management and land use policies, gaining valuable experience working for a non-profit redevelopment corporation dealing with urban revitalization issues in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He also worked for a public affairs firm in New York City, with clients in both the private and public sectors.
Andrew returned to California after earning his degree and performed an AmeriCorps service year in Los Angeles, working with high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He has had private sector experience working as a land use consultant on projects throughout California and has a Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) from the University of Southern California.


In 2014, Andrew spent several months in Australia studying comparative politics at the University of Melbourne. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Strong Towns and other non-profit organizations.

W. STEVEN TEMPLE Commissioner

Commissioner Temple was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Mr. Temple is the founder and Chief Financial Officer of Business Affairs Management Inc. (BAM), a business management firm that provides financial management services to individuals, businesses, enterprises, and non-profit organizations. Mr. Temple was a Panelist Speaker on the Goldman Sachs LACC 10,000 Small Business Program and has been awarded a “Board Executive Leadership Certificate” by the African American Board Leadership Institute. He has been a business management panelist on several entertainment industry festivals.

ANTHONY WILLIAMS Commissioner

Commissioner Williams was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Kathryn Barger. 

ANNA S. WU Commissioner

Commissioner Wu was appointed to the Small Business Commission by Supervisor Janice Hahn. 

Patrick Wilson Alternate Commissioner

Commissioner Wilson was appointed to the commission by Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Patrick Wilson is the founder of Fast Lane Transportation, Inc., a full-service intermodal transportation and equipment service company with locations in Wilmington, Long Beach, Oakland, and Adelanto, California. Patrick was recently elected to the City Council and now serves as Mayor for the City of Rolling Hills where he has lived for the past 20 years. He is married with three children.

Now Immediate Past President, he was President of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce for 12 years and was a founding member and Treasurer of the Wilmington Neighborhood Council since 2002.  Patrick also serves as Board Chair for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor and is a board member on the Wilmington YMCA, the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce, and the Harbor Trucking Association.

One of his favorite affiliations is serving as Chair of the International Trade Academy Advisory Committee and board member of the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP).  In this position he is able to reach out directly to the underserved youth at Banning High School in Wilmington to help prepare these promising young students for college and careers in the maritime and transportation fields.

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