Dunston’s Stuyvesant Heights

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So often we talk about Black royalty of ancient times; warriors of distant past; Black history awareness and such. Granted, all of that is crucial to the empowerment of our people – but also very crucial to our strong and relentless perseverance, is the knowledge that there are royalty right here among us. 

Kings and Queens within our reach; strong yet gentle giants who have planted the deep roots into the land and stand firm and strong and will not be moved. Role models; icons who represent living proof that economic empowerment is key in our fight for freedom. 

I have had the honor to meet such a king—the distinguished and honorable Sam Dunston, owner of the landmark Franklin Building that proudly stands firm and strong at 491 Dekalb Avenue in Brooklyn, New York and President and CEO of National Allotment Insurance Agency and Dekalb Funeral Services. Mr. Dunston is justly proud of his over 40 years of prominence in the insurance and employee benefits fields, but not nearly as proud of the opportunities his prominence brings to the people around him and he is, in every sense of the word, a people person. His laughter is as the roar of a lion, with a smile that can make the angels dance.

Mr. Dunston is a living example that empires can be built out of a home-based business. He worked in his early years as an agent in North Carolina and in came to New York in 1976. His first year in New York was a struggle. But being the good person he is, Sam had no trouble finding friends to help him. One friend was a lady who allowed Sam to sleep on her floor while he worked three jobs. “I’ve never been afraid of hard work,� Sam reminisces. He washed dishes, or whatever it took to pay his way and build his insurance company. In just one year, Sam bought his first home and founded National Allotment Insurance Agency, Ltd., an early home-based business, which has solidly and steadily grown into the empire he has today. National Allotment Insurance Agency, Ltd., is among the most recognized leading outstanding minority-owned and operated businesses in the New York metropolitan area today.

It is no accident that he is highly regarded in the business and civic communities; no accident that groups such as the Boy Scouts Council, numerous church councils and the Kiwanis are as eager for this counsel as are the Boards of Directors of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (for which he is chairman of the Women and Minority Business Development Committee), the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the central Brooklyn Coordinating Council (acting Chief Executive Officer), the Brooklyn Hospital Community Advisory Board and new York City Technical College Small Business Advisory council and, to name a few. Sam Dunston works equally as comfortably with the neighborhood’s financially challenged as he does with corporate leaders. He puts as much energy into protecting the family of a neighborhood client who can afford only $3 a week as he does for the impressive list of companies on his client roster. And what a client roster it is: Brooklyn Union Gas, Amalgamated Union, Bethel Baptist Church Day Care Center, Social Concern Community Development corp., The Blind Detective Agency, Long Life Home Attendants Agency, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Youth Service Coalition, Salem Home Care Services, Inc., Budget & Credit Counseling Services, Advanced technological Solutions, the CABS Nursing Home and the CABS Home Attendant Agency, the South Brooklyn Medical Center, the Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan and Montrose, the United States Military Academy at West Point, the NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agency union—and the list goes on.

As you would expect, Sam Dunston is a family man whose wife, Patricia and children are justly proud of their father. And so am I. We applaud Sam Dunston for his decades of entrepreneurial achievement. More importantly, we salute him for being a mentor, a role model and a symbol of hope.
[] Contact Info: National Allotment Insurance Agency, Ltd., 491 Dekalb Avenue, Suite 2, Brooklyn, NY  11205, (718)622-3888,
[] Dekalb Funeral Services, Inc., 491 Dekalb Avenue, Suite 1
Brooklyn, NY  11205,
Black Star News Special Correspondent, Brenda Wyche, is CEO, Winning Strategies & Associates, Public Relations (646) 642-5814.

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