Hector Batista is the Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBS of NYC), the nation’s first and New York’s largest youth mentoring organization. Batista was appointed as CEO of BBBS of NYC in 2010, and as the first Hispanic CEO in the nonprofit’s 112-year history, he has taken the organization to entirely new heights.
Since Batista became CEO, the number of children the organization serves has doubled to over 5,200 underserved youth across the five boroughs annually. He expanded BBBS of NYC’s services in the outer boroughs and minority communities through implementing innovative and creative campaigns to recruit Bigs, including the Barbershop Initiative, which partnered with local barbers in diverse neighborhoods to serve as ambassadors for BBBS of NYC.
Over the past year, Batista led the charge to expand 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. In January 2016 – as part of National Mentoring Month – BBBS of NYC brought together public officials, community organizations, schools and current Big Brothers and Sisters for a series of ceremonies, celebrating this tremendous milestone. Under Hector’s leadership, BBBS of NYC expanded what was National Mentoring Day into BBBS of NYC’s National Mentoring Month, which engages the five boroughs in a series of community events intended to raise awareness of the critical need for mentors, and also kicks off the beginning of a year-long citywide recruitment campaign. Batista also significantly increased the organization’s fundraising efforts with the growth of major signature events, including the Annual Sidewalks of New York Dinner – which brings together 1,000 New Yorkers and raised more than $2 million at the 2016 event – and the Annual Race for the Kids, part of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play – which attracts more than 4,000 participants and raised over $500,000 last year.
In his role, Batista led the expansion of a number of the organization’s key programs, including the Education Initiative, which offers all Littles in the BBBS of NYC mentoring programs academic enrichment including college-readiness workshops and SAT prep through partnerships with the City of New York’s Think College Now program and Signet Tutoring. He also expanded the Workplace Mentoring Program, which is a collaborative effort between schools and corporations that introduces students to the world of business through on-site, one-to-one mentoring from employees of partnering companies. Today, 48 of the city’s leading corporations take part in this program, including Goldman Sachs, American Express, Related Hudson Yards, Mt. Sinai Hospital, PWC and TD Bank (compared to 36 in 2011), and over 1500 Bigs and Littles now participate (compared to 1100 in 2011).
Through a variety of specialized mentoring initiatives – including BBBS of NYC’s signature one-to-one mentoring programs, Workplace Mentoring Program, Education Initiative, and more – the organization has had a profound impact on thousands of young people across NYC under Batista’s leadership: 99% of the Littles BBBS of NYC serves are promoted to the next grade, 97% of high school seniors graduate from high school, and 96% of Littles who graduate from high school are accepted into college. He also serves on the National Leadership Council and the Large Agency Alliance for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
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, the nations’ boldest and most comprehensive effort to tackle the broad disparities slowing the advancement of African American and Latino young men. 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, which recognized outstanding Hispanic leaders with distinguished careers who have made exceptional civic and philanthropic contributions to the betterment of New York City. In 2011, Batista 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.