Andrew Hoan, who took the helm as president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in December 2016, plans to leave the post in May, the Chamber announced on Friday. Hoan departs after a busy year for the Chamber, in which he orchestrated the group’s centennial gala, produced a strategic plan for the next 100 years, and helped lead a spirited bid to attract Amazon’s planned second headquarters.
“Andrew Hoan is a friend to me and to our entire borough,” Borough President Eric Adams told The Bridge in a statement. “His years of dedication to public service, pursuing economic development to expand opportunity for all, will be felt in Brooklyn for decades to come.” The Chamber is the largest such group in New York State, with more than 2,100 members, and was recognized as the state’s chamber-of-the-year in 2017.
In a message to members, the Chamber said Hoan decided to depart because “his family plans to relocate outside the New York City region.” The group said it will launch an immediate search for his replacement and expects no disruption in its activities. “As a result of Andrew’s leadership and the depth of management experience of the Chamber staff, I am pleased to report that all of our planned programming and events have been scheduled through the end of 2018,” said Chamber board chair Denise Arbesu in making the announcement. “I have no doubt that these activities will be flawlessly executed.”
Before assuming the CEO role, succeeding Carlo Scissura, Hoan had served as the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief of staff. He joined the group 2012 as vice president for economic development after serving more than five years as director of capital budget and development under Borough President Marty Markowitz.
In an interview with The Bridge in April 2017, Hoan made it clear that doing justice to the Chamber’s centennial was his top priority. “It’s my job to steward the institution through its 100th birthday, which is a big deal,” he said, promising “the biggest and best party the borough has seen in the past 100 years.”
On that score, he succeeded, throwing a party for nearly 1,000 members and guests, complete with a marching band and Coney Island sideshow entertainers. “This is amazing to see,” said Juan Perez, CEO of Highbrid Media, a multicultural marketing company, in the midst of the festivities. A more contemplative observation of the group’s centennial is a year-long exhibit at the Brooklyn Historical Society called The Business of Brooklyn, which tells the story of the Chamber’s century in more than 100 objects.
One of Hoan’s most dramatic moments came in September, after Amazon announced that it was shopping around for the ideal place to build a second headquarters, with the promise of creating 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in capital investment. Hoan and borough president Adams seized the moment to launch a campaign they dubbed “Brooklyn Prime,” for which they rounded up a coalition of business and community leaders to help make the pitch. “We’re going to bring it home, no matter what,” Hoan declared at a news event while making the announcement. In January, when a short list of 20 finalists was revealed (out of 238 entrants), New York City made the cut with an application including Brooklyn and three other city neighborhoods.
Another move on Hoan’s watch was to relocate the Chamber’s annual design show, BKLYN DESIGNS, to a grander venue this year: the Brooklyn Museum. The year’s edition, its 15th, will take place May 12-13 and include a special exhibit of historic Brooklyn objects, curated by the museum’s decorative-arts director.
Hoan and his wife, an OB/GYN doctor, had their first child in April 2017. The Chamber hasn’t said what their next destination will be, but noted, “on a personal level, [we] will miss his enthusiasm.”