Served as Deputy Commissioner in Giuliani Administration
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has named Hector Batista, the CEO of the non-profit organization Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC and a veteran of city government, to serve as its new president and CEO.
The chamber’s Board of Directors announced the hiring of Batista on Oct. 16.
Batista, who starts his new job on Oct. 22, succeeds former chamber president Andrew Hoan who left in May to lead the Portland Business Alliance.
Batista is the first Hispanic to serve as president in the chamber’s 100 year history. The chamber, which has more than 2,000 members, was founded in 1918.
As president and CEO, Batista will lead all arms of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, including the Brooklyn Alliance, the Community Development Financial Institution and Brooklyn Alliance Capital Inc.
In addition to his role as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Batista has worked in both the public and non-profit sectors.
He began his career in the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, serving as director of Real Estate for the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation, director of economic development and director of development and finance over the course of nine years. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani later appointed him to serve as deputy commissioner and COO of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
He also served as executive vice president of the New York Metropolitan Region of the American Cancer Society.
Batista said he is looking forward to his new role at the chamber.
“This is kind of a homecoming for me,” Batista said in a statement. “I’m a local kid from Brooklyn, who went to high school in Brooklyn and continues to have roots in Brooklyn. It’s as if my career has come full circle having started in economic development at the Brooklyn Borough President’s office. I look forward to serving as an advocate and though leader for the business community and continuing to build on the work being done at the chamber.”
Rick Russo, acting president of the chamber, said he is “truly thrilled to hand over the reins to a person who has made quite an impact in the non-profit sector and who has the experience and energy to lead this organization.”
Ana Oliveira and Gil Cygler, co-chairs of the chamber, also welcomed Batista aboard.
“We are excited to bring Hector on board as he really has the experience and enthusiasm needed to move the chamber forward with its programming and economic development initiatives. The addition of Hector’s leadership also adds the element of diversity which is reflective of the borough, and really pushes the Chamber into the next century,” Oliveira stated.
Cygler described Batista as a person “in tune with the needs of the private and public sectors” and predicted that the new president “will be a great advocate for the business community in Brooklyn.”
The chamber promotes economic development in Brooklyn and advocates on behalf of its member businesses. The chamber celebrated its centennial with a gala earlier this year.