Batista leaving Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

May 10, 2019 Paula Katinas
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Hector Batista, who made history when he was the first Hispanic to be named president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, is leaving his post after less than a year on the job, the Brooklyn Eagle has learned.

Batista, who will officially leave the organization on June 28, has accepted a position as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the City University of New York. He will have served eight months.

His departure from the chamber was announced in a letter Chairperson Ana Oliveira wrote to the organization’s Board of Directors on Friday. J. Dozier Hasty, publisher of the Brooklyn Eagle, is a member of the board.

“When Hector joined the Brooklyn Chamber, we all looked forward to using his vast experience and talent to help boost the borough’s economy and ensure Brooklyn and New York continue to prosper,” Oliveira wrote in her letter.

Batista, who was also the CEO of the non-profit Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC, had previously served as a deputy commissioner in the Giuliani Administration and as an aide in the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, among other positions in city government.

He started his job at the chamber on Oct. 22, 2018. At the time of his appointment, he talked about how the job was like a homecoming for him.

“It’s as if my career has come full circle having started in economic development in the Brooklyn borough president’s office. I look forward to serving as an advocate and thought leader for the business community and continuing to build on the work being done at the chamber,” he said.

Oliveira referred to Batista’s short job stint in her letter to the board of directors.

“While brief, Hector’s tenure leaves us even stronger as an organization than we were when he arrived just a few months ago,” she wrote.

The chamber’s executive committee will name an interim president and put in place a process by which to select a new president, Oliveira added.

The chamber has seen several changes at the top in recent years. Batista’s predecessor, Andrew Hoan, left his post after just 18 months to move to the West Coast to lead the Portland Business Alliance. The previous president, Carlo Scissura, served for four years. He is currently president and CEO of the New York Building Congress.

Founded in 1918, the chamber is made up of more than 2,000 member businesses and is headquartered in downtown Brooklyn. It promotes economic development, advocates on behalf of its member businesses, and fights for laws favorable to small businesses.

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