Meet the Commissioners

Stephen Nakajo
Michael Hardeman
Francee Covington
Ken Cleaveland
Joe Alioto Veronese

 

Commissioner Nakajo

Stephen Nakajo 

Appointed in 1996 by Mayor Willie Brown, Mr. Nakajo served as President of the Commission from 2000 to 2004 and again in 2010.  Mr. Nakajo was Vice President since 2004, was reappointed in 2004 and in 2008 by Mayor Gavin Newsom and was reappointed by Mayor Edwin M. Lee on March 12, 2012.  Mr. Nakajo served as Commission Vice-President in 2013, 2017 and 2018 and currently serves as the newly-elected President of the Fire Commission. 

Mr. Nakajo was the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Kimochi, Senior Center, which serves the needs of the Japanese American Senior Community.   He was also the Co-Founder of Nihomachi Street Fair.  Mr. Nakajo was the organizer in 2017-2018 of the Japantown Business District and is currently the Executive Director of the Japantown Task Force.  He was awarded the KGO Profile in Excellence and the KQED Asian American Heritage Award.  He was awarded from the Counsel General in 2016 the Foreign Minister Commendation and in 2018 the Order of the Rising Son Gold & Silver Rays.  He was also the SPUR Award Winner in 2017.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science and a Masters in Social Welfare from San Francisco State University. 

 

 

Commissioner Hardeman

Michael Hardeman

Michael Hardeman was appointed August 2010 to the SFFD Fire Commission by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom and reappointed thereafter by Mayor Ed Lee.

Immediately prior to accepting his appointment to the Fire Commission, he served over 15 years on the S.F. Port Commission.  Prior to that, he served on the  Human Rights Commission and the S.F. Public Utilities Commission.  His cumulative (and on time) attendance record as commissioner is over 98% serving many times as president or vice-president.

Mr. Hardeman was born, raised, and educated in the City, loves the fact he graduated from Mission Dolores Grammar School.  He attended Lowell High School two years, graduating from Balboa High School,  After graduation, he became a sign painter apprentice, then journeyperson pictorial artist for Sign Display Local Union 510.  He eventually became Business Manager of Local Union 510 and retired after 33 years in office.  He was elected as an S.F. DCCC member for a couple of terms, served on dozens of boards including SF Labor Council Executive Committee for 29 years, Salvation Army Advisory Council (Chair), Angel Island Immigration Station Board and on both SF and California Conservation Corps Boards.

Currently, Mr. Hardeman continues to serve on the State of California Respiratory Care Board, Consumer Federation of California, Serenity House of San Francisco, and is a Trustee and Chair of the Office Workers Union Pension Plan and co-chair of the Medical Plan.  He is still proudly involved in many social and charitable organizations.

He is a city homeowner in the West Portal district (40 years) with his wife Marina (retired Clinical Scientist), has 3 wonderful children and 4 spectacular grandchildren.  He coached youth sports, is a decades-long season ticket holder of SF 49ers and the Giants.  Received many, many certificates, resolutions and honors but his favorite was on September 2, 2011, when the S.F. Labor Council threw a party and Mayor Ed Lee declared it was Mike Hardeman Day in San Francisco with a proclamation, a beautiful resolution, and plaque.

Commissioner Covington

Francee Covington

Francee Covington retired in 2008 after an exciting career in television and video production as a director, producer, and writer, working at WCBS New York, WBZ Boston and KGO, KPIX, and KQED in San Francisco.  She headed her self-named video production company for more than twenty years serving, Fortune 500 companies and branches of state and municipal governments. 

As a volunteer in the city she loves, her commitments have included serving in leadership positions on the boards of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Fort Mason Center, The Korean Immersion Parent Teacher Organization, Japan Center Parking Corporation and as Commissioner of the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission.  A graduate of the City College of New York (B.A., Political Science and History), and the Institute of African Studies, the University of Ghana (M.A. Anthropology), she also holds a teaching certificate in the Sogetsu School of Ikebana.

 

Commissioner Cleveland

Ken Cleaveland 

William K. (Ken) Cleaveland was appointed to the Fire Commission by Mayor Edwin M. Lee in March of 2014.  Now retired, he previously represented the legislative, political and regulatory interests of BOMA San Francisco, an organization of commercial and industrial building members, for 22 years. Prior to that, he was an advocate for construction companies involved in developing and building both residential and commercial projects. Cleaveland’s professional representation career has spanned more than 40 years and involved work at the local, state and national legislative levels.

Mr. Cleaveland has served as the President of the Northern California Society of Association Executives (1999-2001), an organization that represents professional trade association managers in the Bay Area. He has served on a number of local civic boards including the San Francisco Dept. of Public Works’ Newsrack Committee, the Mayor’s Graffiti Advisory Board and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Citizen Advisory Committee. Mr. Cleaveland also served for many years on the board of the Power Association of Northern California, an organization representing the electric and gas industry, and remains an Emeritus Board member of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, In December 2013, Cleaveland was honored to receive the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr. Cleaveland received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology (minor: Psychology) from Florida State University. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in India, working on irrigation projects in Madhya Pradesh (central India), and is a resident in the Portola neighborhood of San Francisco. (District 9)

In his spare time, Mr. Cleaveland enjoys traveling, single malt scotches, old vine zinfandels, the theatre, hiking, biking, playing bridge and (of course!) politics.

photo of Commissioner Alioto Veronese

Joe Alioto Veronese

Joe Alioto Veronese was appointed to the San Francisco Fire Commission by Mayor Edwin M. Lee in April of 2017. Mr. Alioto Veronese served as California Criminal Justice Commissioner for seven years during Governor Schwarzenegger's administration, San Francisco Police Commissioner under Mayor Gavin Newsom, and currently serves on the California Senate's International Relations Foundation. In his early life, he served as a San Francisco Police Officer (Res) and senior criminal investigator for San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan. Mr. Alioto Veronese has been practicing as a civil rights trial attorney for more than sixteen years with the Law Offices of Mayor Joseph L. Alioto & Angela Alioto, and the Alioto Law Group. In 2017, he founded the National First Responders Fund, a charitable organization supporting first responders and their families. He has served on the board of directors of the Omega Boys Club and Bay Area Democrats.

Mr. Alioto Veronese received a bachelor’s in Science at the University of California at Los Angeles and a Juris Doctor degree at the University of San Francisco School of Law. He is a native San Franciscan and is married with one child.