Harlem Business Alliance (HBA), a not-for-profit that creates environments and opportunities that produce successful entrepreneurs, is pleased to announce that Monique Hector has been appointed Executive Director, effective September 12, 2022.
Ms. Hector will continue to guide the organization in its mission dedicated to enriching the local business community, with an emphasis on Black-owned businesses through education, support, and advocacy.
Ms. Hector brings over 10 years of devoted experience in economic and workforce development from nonprofits and government agencies.
As an action-oriented leader, she has successfully developed, fundraised, and established impactful programs that provide solutions for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
Ms. Hector will succeed Regina Smith. Ms. Smith, who has been HBA’s Executive Director for the past 20 years, will continue as Deputy Director of Special Projects through 2022 before retiring in 2023.
Chairman Walter J. Edwards said, “We were concerned about who would take the place of Ms. Smith, but are proud to have found the perfect replacement. We genuinely thank Ms. Smith for her many years of contributions to HBA and Harlem overall. We look forward to Monique’s expertise and passion for creating opportunities for current business owners and future entrepreneurs.”
“I am honored to join the Harlem Business Alliance and look forward to amplifying the great work we do for the community,” Ms. Hector said. “My dedication to supporting entrepreneurs stem from growing up and not seeing enough business owners that looked like me. Historically, Black entrepreneurs have been under-resourced, but my goal is to leave that in the past. I am excited to continue strengthening community, investments, and opportunities at HBA.”
Ms. Smith said, “I am truly excited to pass the torch to this brilliant young woman who is fully capable of taking HBA to the next level. It was important to find an individual whose values align with HBA’s mission.”
Prior to joining the Harlem Business Alliance, Ms. Hector served as Director of Program Development and Implementation for Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC) at the Department of Small Business Services, an initiative focused on helping create equity of opportunity. In her role, she managed mentorship and business programs.
Prior to that, Ms. Hector was the Manager of Entrepreneurship Programs at Queens Public Library. There she created a small business incubator and pitch competition that awarded business owners funding to help them get started and was integral in securing over half a million dollars in funding for small business development, financial literacy, digital literacy, and youth development programs.
Ms. Hector held dual roles as a Relationship Manager and Entrepreneurship Coach for Centro Community Partners, a California nonprofit whose mission is to build thriving communities by providing underserved low-income entrepreneurs with education and access to capital.
She expanded its reach by establishing NYC as its first East Coast city to hold programs.
Ms. Hector holds a master’s degree in Business Management and Leadership from the CUNY School of Professional Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Business from the HBCU University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Her lifelong goals have remained consistent and her work to bridge socio-economic gaps while advocating for the voiceless makes her one of the driving forces for change.