A Palestinian immigrant, I was raised in West Portal. My mother, a widow with 5 children in tow, settled in West Portal when I was 7. She got tired of getting evicted for having too many children. The only solution was to buy, and West Portal was the perfect place to raise a family back then. It still is.
I was a little immigrant kid during the summer of love. My mom wanted to get back on the plane and go back home. Could you imagine the culture shock? I was no taller than most hemlines on miniskirts! Being the youngest of 5, I learned to step back, take notes, and learn from the folly of others.
Fast forward a few decades and I became co-founder and CEO of The Postal Chase Inc. We have 4 locations - all in San Francisco. I am also the President (emeritus) of The West Portal Merchants Association. In 2000 I ran for supervisor in District 7 and I was the co-founder of the Cole Street Fair in 2004.
Growing up in my father's grocery stores in the Mission, I gained a good foundation in customer service, small business and community.
After graduating from UC Berkeley with an architecture degree, I co-founded a design/ furniture store in the Tenderloin with a $2k investments. This year, Zinc Details is celebrating its 27th anniversary!
I'm proud of the community of customers and designers that we've fostered and I've learned many valuable lessons in running and sustaining a small business for so long.
In addition to running my business, I'm also the executive director of the Fillmore Merchants Association. During my time, we've been able to unify upper and lower Fillmore Street into a cohesive, dynamic merchant group. I've enjoyed sharing and collaborating with the other merchants to make the FMA a successful organization.
I am president of the Potrero Dogpatch Merchants Association; vice chair of the Eastern Neighborhoods CAC; board member of the Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association; vice president of Golden Gate Senior Services.
I recently retired from Everest Waterproofing & Restoration, which I founded in 1999. I was a contractor in San Francisco for 40 years.
I live on Potrero Hill and I am active in many community and charitable endeavors. I am also co-founder and president of Nepal SEEDS (a charitable organization that does relief projects in remote villages in Nepal) and have been a Food Runners volunteer for over 25 years.
Having travelled around the world I landed in San Francisco in 1972 and made this gem of a city my home. I established my general contracting business which included both residential and commercial mostly renovation projects. Around 1998 I was honored to be accepted as a member of SOMPAC (South Of Market Project Area Committee - the advisory body to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency) and remained on this panel until the redevelopment agency was dissolved in 2012. During my time on SOMPAC I joined SOMBA, the South Of Market Business Association, which was established under the auspices of the redevelopment agency.
About five years ago I was elected president of SFCDMA. I have always been passionate and a dedicated advocate for small business. It is challenging but at the same time rewarding and my goal is to not only see small business start and survive but also have it thrive and be successful!