Alia Hamada Forrest, Executive Director
Alia Hamada Forrest is the Executive Director of Roslindale Village Main Street and has lived in Boston since 2003. She has a wide-range of interests and work experience — she’s worked as a children’s book editor, as a barista and prep cook at a pie cafe, an AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow at 826 Boston, and most extensively for the last 10 years in Boston and Cambridge, as a non-profit program and volunteer manager. Alia enjoys building community with others and providing opportunities for folks of all ages to become engaged volunteers in their own neighborhoods.
She grew up in a family that values hospitality, food, and the restaurant industry -- her dad was an executive chef at several restaurants in Phoenix, Arizona and her mom manages banquets and events at a resort in Scottsdale. A first-generation American, Alia brings compassion and understanding to the immigrant experience and small business. Her father, Mohamed, immigrated from Egypt in the 1970s and worked his way up in the food service industry, starting as a dishwasher. Her mother's family is the reason Alia found her way to Boston from Arizona -- Alia's Irish-American grandparents grew up in Boston and Brookline, and much of Alia's summers were spent in the North End and Jamaica Plain (mostly at JP Licks). A graduate of Emerson College, Alia has now spent over 15 years of her life in Boston -- this City is in her blood.
Alia also has a passion for arts and culture (she has a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing and is a published poet), working with young people, and eating/cooking delicious food. Additionally, Alia lives in Roslindale with her husband and young daughter.