Hector Batista is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce since October 2018. He is the first Hispanic President in the organization’s 100-year history.
Before coming to the Brooklyn Chamber, Batista was the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBS of NYC), the nation’s first and New York’s largest youth mentoring organization. He was the first Hispanic CEO in the nonprofit’s 112-year history and took the organization to new heights by expanding BBBS of NYC’s footprint in all five boroughs with the opening of brand new, state-of-the-art offices in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, which will allow the organization to more effectively recruit volunteer mentors in the outer boroughs.
Batista has developed a comprehensive management style across industries, devoting most of his professional and personal endeavors to public service, and has served as a leader of large government departments as well as nonprofit and private organizations. He began his career in the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, where he served 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. He was later appointed by New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to serve as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
During his time in the private sector, Batista was the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Jeffrey M. Brown Associates, Builders and Construction Managers, where he was responsible for projects in eighteen states and an operating budget of $450 million.
He also served as Executive Vice President of the New York Metropolitan Region of the American Cancer Society, where he provided strategic and operational leadership through nearly 200 employees, 2,000 volunteers and 12 offices in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester County. Batista was a powerful voice in the successful campaign to ban smoking in most New York City restaurants and public spaces. He was also a strong advocate for improving the health of the City’s youth, by promoting better quality food in the schools and reducing the sale of junk food.
Prior to BBBS of NYC, Batista spent several years as CEO of The Way to Work (formerly known as Vocational Foundation, Inc.), where he oversaw one of the nation’s leading youth workforce development programs.
Batista’s long-standing commitment to youth is further exemplified by his service on the boards of St. Francis College and Bishop Loughlin High School. He is a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Spanish language newspaper, El Diario/La Prensa, and Mayor Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative. Governor Andrew Cuomo also appointed Batista to the board of the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA). In 2016, Batista received the Community Leadership Award at the Crain's Custom Hispanic Executive & Entrepreneur Awards. In 2011, he was named a recipient of the “EL Award” – a recognition given annually by El Diario La Prensa to the most outstanding men in New York’s Latino community.