Hail to the new, history-making president!

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The biggest news ever! The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce let the O know it has a new president and chief executive officer — Hector Batista. The scuttlebutt is that the Standing O pal took the job on Oct. 22.

You heard it here first: Hector is the very first Hispanic to ever serve as president in the Chamber’s 100-year history.

The new head man brings with him to the Chamber a wealth of knowledge and experience from the non-profit sector, having served most recently as chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC.

In this new position, Batista will lead all three arms of the Brooklyn Chamber, including its 501c(3) corporation, the Brooklyn Alliance, and its Community Development Financial Institution, Brooklyn Alliance Capital Inc. He will continue to work closely with the board of directors of all three organizations, with Brooklyn’s small businesses, elected officials and other neighborhood and community leaders.

“This is kind of a homecoming for me,” Batista said. “I’m a local kid from Brooklyn, who went to high school in Brooklyn and continues to have roots in Brooklyn.”

“I am 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,” said Rick Russo, acting president of the Chamber.

“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,” said Ana Oliveira, co-chairwoman of the Chamber.

Batista’s long career of service began in the Borough President’s office. He was also 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, and later as executive vice president of the New York Metropolitan Region of the American Cancer Society.

Batista succeeds Andrew Hoan, who left last May to lead the Portland Business Alliance.

Standing O wishes both men well in their new endeavors.

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce [335 Adams St. #2700 in Downtown, (718) 875–1000].

Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Big money

The State University New York Downstate Medical Center has received a five-year federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration in the sum of $3.2 million buckaroos. The money will fund the Comprehensive National Health Careers Opportunity Program Academy at SUNY Downstate. The Office of Diversity Education and Research in the College of Medicine and the Arthur Ashe Institute of Urban Health will work in collaboration on the Academy to attract, recruit, and retain economically and educationally disadvantaged students from Brooklyn.

“We’re delighted to partner with our colleagues to address the need for STtem pipeline programs,” said SUNY Downstate president Dr. Wayne J. Riley. “This HRSA grant affords us opportunities to reach students who might otherwise not have considered the variety of career paths healthcare offers.”

Scholarships will be offered to health profession degree students from North and Central Brooklyn communities to support students entering the College of Medicine and the College of Health-Related Professions.

State University New York, Downstate Medical Center [450 Clarkson Ave. in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, (718) 270–1000;].

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Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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