Meet Gregg Bishop, alumnus of the Integrated Marketing Communication Master’s program and Commissioner of New York City Department of Small Business Services.
Name: Gregg Bishop
Degree: M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Current City: Brooklyn, NY
Job: Commissioner, New York City Department of Small Business Services
Who do you admire and why?
My mother – she made the ultimate sacrifice and left me with my grandmother when I was 6 months to come to the United States. She worked as a nanny while going to school to become a registered nurse. She created the opportunity for me to come to the US and live the American dream. She truly is a hero.
What Jeopardy category could you clear, no problem?
90’s History – hands down.
Favorite office snack?
Fruits, I try to eat healthy and encourage healthy eating habits in the office.
Best account to follow on social media?
@GreggBishopNYC, of course! If you meant other than my own, I really enjoy the photojournalism work of @noorimages and seeing NYC through the lens of the Mayor’s Photography Office @nycmayorsoffice
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
The best piece of advice that I’ve received was to find my purpose. We all have a purpose in life and when we find our purpose we also find our passion.
Tell us about your job:
In NYC, the Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor. New York City has a strong mayoral system and commissioners are the equivalent of CEOs of their agencies. As Commissioner, I am responsible for running a dynamic 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 vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs.
What does your average day look like?
I start my day between 4:30/5 a.m. by catching up on emails I may have missed from the previous day. Part of my job is to be aware of industry trends, policy and political issues, so I read a number of publications and also catch up on the local newscast. Depending on the day, I may be speaking at an event to start the morning or heading to my first meeting by 9 a.m. My day is usually full with meetings, tours, or events. I usually end around 6/7 p.m., and then hit the gym.
How did your education prepare for your career?
Senior leadership in government requires an advance degree, so I certainly wouldn’t be in this position if I didn’t have my master’s. My undergrad was in business administration and the combination of my masters in communications also helps me think how to communicate the great work we are doing as an agency to our constituents, stakeholders, and handling media inquires.
How has working in your industry changed the way you look at the world?
NYC has 8.5 million people with 1/3 being born in foreign countries. We have 220,000 small businesses and about 50% (48%) are owned by foreign-born NY’ers, so NYC is a microcosm of the world because of our rich diversity. The issues we deal with in the city are equivalent to some of the issues that are playing out on the world stage. We have been the trend setters in many of our policy decisions and can be a case study on how the world deals with certain issues.
Share a notable (funny, embarrassing, exciting) experience you’ve had at work:
One of the most exciting experiences I had was meeting former president Barack Obama. As part of the job, we meet with state and federal officials. I attended the Congressional Black Caucus in 2016 and had the pleasure of meeting the president at an event there.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
Not one person but a group of people – 1% of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are black. Those five black men (as of 2016) are my inspiration, not only for my career, but also for the work I do to create more CEO’s through entrepreneurship.
How do you handle work-life balance?
Work hard but play harder. I like to travel, so I take time out to visit new places and experience new cultures and people.
What motivates you?
The people of New York City. Everyday I wake up it’s to make a difference in the life of a New Yorker.
What advice would you give yourself in college?
Learn a foreign language and how to swim!