New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio has joined elected officials, dignitaries and community figures in extending congratulations to Dr. Roy Hastick, the Grenadian-born founder and president of the Brooklyn-based Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), on his 66th birthday.
In a letter to Hastick — at a gala birthday reception Sunday afternoon at Hastick’s home on Rutland Road in Brooklyn, read by Tahirah A. Moore, Brooklyn Borough Director, NYC Office of the Mayor, Community Affairs Unit — deBlasio said he was “delighted to recognize the indelible mark” that Hastick has left on “our great global city.
“For more than 30 years, as president of CACCI, you have worked tirelessly to foster economic development and international trade, support the Flatbush Caton Vendors Mart, and promote minority and women-owned business enterprises,” the Mayor said. “Your commitment to empowering Caribbean Americans in Brooklyn and beyond has advanced diversity in the business sector and strengthened the bonds between New York and the Caribbean region.
“I applaud your outstanding leadership,” deBlasio added, “and I look forward to the ways your continued success will contribute to a better, brighter future, where all of us can rise together.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who attended the celebration, told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview that “Roy’s is more than an annual celebration.
“It’s a day for all of us in elected office,” he said. “We have a great deal of respect for Roy. We sit with him at the table to seek guidance.
“For 30 years, I’ve known him,” Adams added. “I get many marching orders from Roy.”
State Assembly Member Latrice Walker, who represents the 55th Assembly District in Brooklyn, said Hastick taught her protocol and candor.
“I thank you for teaching me dignity,” said Walker, chair of the Assembly’s Sub-Committee on Renewable Energy. “I wish you success.”
Speaking on behalf of Kings County Democratic Party Leader Frank Seddio, Cayman Islands-born James Connolly, said Hastick is a tremendous asset to Brooklyn and the Caribbean American community.
Bill Howard, president of the Brooklyn-based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), said he knew Hastick since the early 1970s, when Shirley Chisholm was representative for the then 11th, now 9th, Congressional District in Brooklyn, adding that they’d done “almost everything for Chisholm.”
“Roy, you’ve done a remarkable job for the chamber, and people will remember what you do [did] for a very long time,” he said.
Dr. Donna E. Hunte-Cox, Barbados’ New York Consul General, said she was glad that Hastick was celebrating another milestone with family, friends and supporters.
“It’s a pleasure to be here to share this occasion with you,” she said. “I wish you many years of strength and energy. You’re a wonderful person. You’re full of energy. I wish you many, many more years.”
Patricia Jordan-Langford, president of the Guyana Tri-State Alliance, said Hastick should be referred to as a “legend.”
“We should come together to name Dr. Hastick as a visionary for his insight,” she said, adding that she wished him “very good health.”
Jordan-Langford’s compatriot, Melissa Chapman, senior vice president for public affairs at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, told Hastick that her chamber “really appreciates what you’ve done not only for the chamber [CACCI] but for the community.
“It’s an honor and special moment to share this special day,” she said.
US Congressional Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brooklyn) and her mother, former New York City Council Member Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, had earlier attended the reception.
“I feel elated to see the numerous elected officials and leaders in Brooklyn and beyond who took time out from their busy schedule for the reception,” Hastick told Caribbean Life.
“Since 2008, which set me back physically, with a massive stroke, I thank God I’m here and am still receiving the respect and support,” he added. “God made it possible.”
Hastick migrated to the United States in 1972 and worked for several years as a social services administrator, community advocate, entrepreneur and newspaper publisher.
In 1985, he founded CACCI with 10 members. Under his leadership, the organization has become a well-recognized business entity with a membership of more than 1,700 in the Tri-State area and in the Caribbean.
Over the years, Hastick said CACCI has sustained and developed its mission which is to promote economic development on behalf of Caribbean American, African American, women and other minority entrepreneurs.
Hastick has been credited for his tireless efforts to put in place a structure that serves the small business community and fosters a climate of unity and harmony among diverse cultures.
A sort after motivational speaker, Hastick has convened more than 600 business development seminars that bring together the CACCI membership with other entrepreneurs and the wider business community to network and access business resources, to make contacts and explore contracts.