Victor Sookdeo, from Queens, was sworn in as the president of the Chamber of Commerce at their reverse raffle event, which featured food from more than 10 Baldwin restaurants, on March 16.
The Baldwin Chamber of Commerce held their monthly meeting, which featured a reverse raffle and food from more than 10 Baldwin-based restaurants, at the American Legion Post 246 at 2754 Grand Ave and swore in Victor Sookdeo as the new chamber president, relieving Erik Mahler, the previous president, of his post.
The event began with the “Pledge of Allegiance,” followed by “God Bless America,” before Erik Mahler kicked off the reverse raffle. Raffle participants had the chance to win cash prizes, gift cards, and assorted baskets, while enjoying an assortment of foods provided by Baldwin businesses like, Kitty O’Hara’s, The Irish Pub, Raagini, Bites Galore Sweetique, and Novi.
Prior to the raffle, Mahler, and Town of Hempstead officials, like Supervisor Don Clavin, swore in Sookdeo as the official chamber president in front of Baldwin community members, and his friends and family.
Sookdeo said he and his wife Tina, moved to Baldwin in 2018 and opened his business, Park Assets Real Estate, and joined the Chamber of Commerce as a member in 2020. He was eventually asked to become a member of the chamber’s board a year later and in 2022, the board approached him to consider becoming the chamber’s president, when Erik Mahler signaled he wanted to retire the position in 2023.
Sookdeo said one of his main goals, as chamber president is to reach out and unite Baldwin businesses that are not chamber members. He said he wants to foster more cooperation between businesses and promote local shopping. Another goal of his is to fill vacant buildings and units with new businesses in Baldwin.
“We have too many vacancies in Baldwin,” said Sookdeo. “Considering how great Baldwin is, we shouldn’t have so many vacant buildings in our shopping centers.”
Sookdeo said he graduated from St. Francis Prep in Fresh Meadows Queens in 2009, before attending Baruch College, studying business administration, in September of 2009. He then transferred to Queens College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Sookdeo then started a pre-medical program at Hofstra University in 2013, where he planned to study to become a psychiatrist. During this time, he acquired a real estate license and ironically sold his first home to a Long Island-based psychiatrist, and decided to dedicate himself to become a full-time real estate agent in 2014.
Sookdeo said he now wants to focus on fostering a thriving business community and help existing Baldwin businesses grow.