Shine Award 2023: Vas Kiniris

June 3, 2023 • Posted by Design Bay Area

For outstanding generosity, commitment and contributions to the design community in the Bay Area, California.

The Shine Awards began in 2021 to honor and give visibility to individuals who work and live in the Bay Area and consistently use their skills, resources, and talents as a positive force to benefit others and give back to the Bay Area Community. These individuals have also supported the efforts of San Francisco Design Week, Design Bay Area, and other community-focused nonprofits. Honorees were selfless and giving of their time.

Legacy and innovative small business advocate.

Vas Kiniris, an immigrant from Greece, founded NextSF an agency and think tank which creates private and public partnerships to promote small business and neighborhood merchant corridors. Vas’ goal is to empower small business owners to thrive in San Francisco with marketing tools for more impactful exposure and the resources needed to grow. Through collaboration with the support of large corporations such as Cruise, Square, The Warriors, Lyft, Doordash and Alaska Airlines, NextSF utilizes the resources to help small businesses create new solutions on the path to success in the city.

Vas grew up in the back of his family’s grocery stores where he learned the foundation of small businesses and their role in forming strong communities. Later he studied architecture and design at UC Berkeley and had a successful furnishings company, Zinc Details for 28 years.

Vas is the former Small Business Advisor at GlobalSF, Executive Director of the Fillmore Merchants Association, West Portal Merchants Association and Director of Business Development of the San Francisco Council District of Merchant Associations.