Caribbean-American business leader Roy Hastick died on Thursday, April 9.
A native of Grenada, Hastick came to the United States in 1972. He worked as a social worker, community advocate, entrepreneur, newspaper publisher, and radio and television announcer. Hastick has also served as an elected delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business and as a delegate to the United Nations.
In 1985, he founded the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where he helped those who wanted to start and grow their own business in Brooklyn and beyond.
Several political and business leaders mourned the passing of Hastick.
New York State Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James said Hastick spent his life helping the Caribbean community in the city and in Brooklyn.
“Today New York’s Caribbean community lost a cherished leader,” James said in a tweet. “Dr. Roy Hastick founded the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and committed his life to helping the Brooklyn community.”
Hastick also worked for locals at Brooklyn’s Community Board 9, which encompasses parts of Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and his dream was to develop a Caribbean American Trade and Culture Center to support local Caribbean-owned businesses and help facilitate trade with the islands, Caribbean Life reported.
The president and chief executive officer of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce lauded Hastick’s life’s work. Just this February, the group awarded him with the Samuel Dunston Business Excellence Award at their Black History Month Celebration.
“His tireless work on behalf of Caribbean Americans, African Americans, women and other minority entrepreneurs across the tri-state area will be sorely missed,” said Randy Peers in a statement.
Canarsie state Sen. Roxanne Persaud also praised Hastick for inspiring pride in the Caribbean American community through his work.
“Uncle Roy, as we affectionately called him, was a mentor to many of us. He wanted to ensure that we excelled in whatever we did. He wanted Caribbean people to be proud of their heritage and to showcase it,” Persaud said in a statement. “May we all remember Uncle Roy with love in our hearts.”
Reports have claimed that Hastick succumbed to complications related to COVID-19, however, a statement from CACCI made no mention of the virus. By publication, the organization had not yet responded to an inquiry regarding Hastick’s cause of death.