By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) held a membership roundtable and power breakfast meeting at its headquarters in the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Friday. The meeting gave members a chance to network, updated them on business and investment opportunities and announced the honorees at its upcoming anniversary celebration.
“This roundtable meeting was meant to recognize some emerging member who have done tremendous and great things over the past few years to support the Caribbean-American community,” said Dr. Roy Hastick, president and founder of CACCI.
Ambassador Dennie Wilson, Dawn Baxter, Thenga Jenkins, Dawn Plumber, Hector and Lucille Aponte, Zena Ali, Angel Deliz, Akin Akinsanya, Adrian Peters, Lady Jane Powell, Alfred Placeres and Deana Satur were announced as the honorees during the upcoming anniversary dinner that will be held on July 27 at the Tropical Paradise Ballroom in Brooklyn.
Hastick told members that CACCI and the New York City Economic Development Corporation are set to make an announcement “any day now” that they have reached an agreement to develop the Flatbush-Caton Market facility on Flatbush Avenue.
“We are now in the final stages of a proposal review by the New York City Economic Development Corporation to develop that site,” Hastick said. “We are developing that site to be a comprehensive facility for the trade center’s partner developer to develop 123-units of affordable housing.”
A green facility is in progress for the top of the new market to grow vegetables. Additionally, there will be a community space and a new, “21st century-driven” market. They are also planning to have a museum there.
“We are working hard to make sure that [the] partnership can become a reality,” Hastick said. “EDC should announce the developer any day now. We are in the final stages. It is a major developer that will, hopefully, sustain CACCI for another 29 years.”
CACCI tries to have as many local politicians at its meetings to help its members make connections with them. Assemblymember Walter T. Mosley, whom Hastick called his “young mentee,” has become a fixture at recent meetings.
Mosley was present to update CACCI members of the impact that New York City and New York state's budgets have on small businesses. He discussed keeping the state from selling off one of its buildings in Brooklyn on a local level. On the state level, he addressed trying to update the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus.
“In our efforts to rebrand the caucus weekend — because we thought it was kind of antiquated where we go to seminars, have a dinner, but nothing transpires — we’ve narrowed the scope of the seminars and have gotten Google to agree to expand its marketplace in the state,” Mosley said.
“With Google co-sponsoring, hopefully with the assistance of CACCI, a minority and women-owned business certification symposium we can help women and minority-owned businesses and also teach them how to effectively use the Internet,” Mosley said.
The meeting closed as Hastick discussed the upcoming anniversary celebration, which will be held at Tropical Paradise Ballroom. The cost is $80 per person, and all members are invited to bring guests. Plans have also begun for CACCI’s 30th anniversary celebration for next year.
CACCI was founded by Hastick in 1985 with the aim to provide Caribbean-American small business owners assistance in planning, financing, certification procurement and business-advancement opportunities.
“It's not just another organization,” said Bishop Dr. Cecil Riley, chaplain of CACCI. “If it were, I would not be here. I've been around for a long time and many organizations hold lots of meetings and nothing is accomplished. CACCI is different. There is a visionary in CACCI with a message and goal that is one point.”
“Business networking works,” Hastick added.