Adam Shutes

Adam was born in Norfolk, England, and lived his formative years in two of the (in his view) best cities in England: Oxford and London. He moved to the US in 2001 for post-doctoral studies in Molecular Oncology at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he worked for 5 years. However, he missed the cosmopolitan vibrancy of a real city, and so he moved to Boston for work in 2006. He first rented in Jamaica Plain, but moved to Roslindale in 2008, drawn by the Arboretum, the open space and the ‘village green’ (Adam’s Park).

In 2015, Adam felt an urge to contribute more to his adopted community of Roslindale, where he found the diversity, and authentic passion of other neighbours, striking. Luckily enough, he was able to take over operation of Boston Cheese Cellar on Birch St in 2015 — figuring that his time spent wandering around Turl St Covered Market in Oxford, or Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, would help him re-launch the business. 

Since then during most days, he is to be found in the shop, or elsewhere in Boston, talking about, making, or looking at cheese. 

When not thinking about cheese, he can be found riding bicycles competitively, for pleasure or for charity — or being walked by his two beloved greyhounds.

Alia Hamada Forrest

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.

aliaforrest

Anthony Giordano

anthonygiordanoPresident & Property Owner

Anthony Giordano joins RVMS in 2016. As a child, Anthony and his family moved to Roslindale in the 70’s and he hasn’t left the area since. Anthony attended Boston Public Schools, graduated from Boston Latin, attended Boston University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. After working as a consulting engineer, he started his own IT service company in 2001. Whole Mackerel helps many small businesses in and around Boston manage their technology. Most recently, along with his brother-in-law, he owns the building at the corners of Belgrade, Corinth and Birch Streets, and is learning about the challenges of being a landlord.
Anthony is looking forward to bringing his range of skills and experiences to the table. When not solving someone else’s problems, he can be found playing bass in a rock ‘n roll band or two, making a mess in the kitchen, or just daydreaming.

Chris Kollett

chriskollettResident

Chris Kollett joined the RVMS board in 2014. He has served on the board of the Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association since 2011, including three years as Vice President. He is also spearheading an ongoing effort to bring more and better playgrounds to Roslindale with Roslindale Wants to Play. Chris holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Williams College and an M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. He is a software engineer at MathWorks, a company that develops mathematical computing software for engineers and scientists. Chris and his wife Laura have lived in Roslindale since 2002, and are raising two daughters who can claim lifetime Roslindale resident status.

Daniel Johnson

danieljohnsonResident

Daniel Johnson has lived in Roslindale since 2009 with his wife and two children and is perhaps best known on Poplar Street for his long-running end-of-summer pig roast. Daniel loves that Roslindale nurtures independent businesses and hosts one of the city’s most vibrant farmers markets. Daniel is currently Director Emeritus at 826 Boston, a nonprofit youth writing center, in Roxbury’s Egleston Square. Daniel served as the founding executive director from 2009 – 2016. Prior to that role, Daniel, a Teach for America alumnus, spent more than a decade teaching underserved youth in schools, residential settings, and hospitals. He is also a poet and writer, who published How to Catch a Falling Knife with Alice James Books in 2010. His second collection-in-progress, In the Absence of Sparrows, has been featured on PBS News Hour, NPR, and in a number of media outlets. It explores Daniel’s nearly twenty-year friendship with journalist James Foley, who was killed in Syria in 2012. In the winter, Daniel can often be found snowshoeing or cross country skiing in the Arnold Arboretum. He loves to read, bike, cook, hike, and travel with his family.

Deborah DeBenedictis

debdebenedictisBusiness Owner

Deborah DeBenedictis has been a member of the RVMS board since 2012. She is married to Tony, of Tony’s Market Roslindale, helping Tony’s to participate in many of the Roslindale Village Main Street events, such as Taste of Roslindale, The Roslindale Farmer’s Market, One Small Step, and Holiday Wander. Deborah first came to live in Roslindale in 2007, from Weston. Deborah’s previous experience includes 15 years in high-tech management at a local computer manufacturer, long-range planning and executive sales and marketing. She ran her own after-school program, the Weston Wayland Success Learning Center, for almost 25 years. The Center is an independent, small business, which works with students on skills mastery and also provides standardized test prep for the Independent School Entrance Exam (aka, The Latin Exam), SSAT, SAT & ACT. Deborah received her BA & MA Degrees from Boston College.
Deb’s passions include the pursuit of equity in education, ballroom dancing, reading, horses, good food, and her family. Deb and Tony  live in West Roxbury, and enjoy visits from their far-flung off-spring. They are parents to seven accomplished children who live in locations including: New York, New Orleans, and Boston, Cambridge, Washington DC, California and Texas.

Dennis Patch

dennispatchBusiness Owner

Dennis Patch is a Real Estate Broker and Realtor who also has Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI) and Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designations. He has owned Patch Realty Group at 717 South Street – in the heart of Roslindale Village – since January, 2011. In 2013 Patch Realty Group was the #1 Real Estate firm in Roslindale, helping 30 families to buy or sell homes that year. The company’s success is based on honesty, knowledge, communication and exceptional service. Dennis has been a real estate broker for 13 years and has helped hundreds of families buy and sell homes from North Andover to Yarmouth. He also teaches first time homebuyer classes and teaches investors how to purchase, develop, manage and build investment real estate. Before he got his real estate license, Dennis was a district manager for a hotel company where he helped open and manage hotels in 12 states. He is a former member of the Harvard Square Business Association, a board member of the Boathouse Condo Association in Hull MA, and a former board member of the YMCA in Penns Grove, New Jersey, He lives in Roslindale with his daughter Chelsea and his son Zachary. In his free time, he cooks, canoes, bikes, swims, and travels.

Elizabeth Sherva

elizabethshervaResident

Elizabeth Sherva currently serves on the Roslindale Village Main Street Board and acts as the Roslindale Substation Task Force Co-Chair. Elizabeth currently works as a Preservation Planner at the Massachusetts Historical Commission where she oversees a number of Massachusetts Preservation Program Fund grant projects and reviews state historic tax credit projects. Prior to her work at MHC, she worked as a project manager in the environmental consulting industry. Elizabeth holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and a Masters of Arts degree in Historic Preservation from Boston University. She and her husband Rick moved to Roslindale four years ago from the Midwest and have enjoyed the small community feel of Roslindale. They look forward to raising their two children in Roslindale and being part of the community for years to come.

Ellie Greenler

Ellie Greenler, Farmers Market Manager

Ellie grew up on an organic vegetable farm in Wisconsin where she discovered the incredible power that food has in bringing people together. At Haverford College, Ellie earned her B.A. in anthropology/public health and further deepened her love and understanding of the power of community, food, and health! Right after graduation she ran a CSA and market garden in Canada, but knew that she eventually wanted to return to food access and community organizing work. Ellie has worked in Nicaragua with a women’s farming cooperative, in Seattle doing urban farm and nutrition education, and on multiple diversified organic farms.

Outside of farm and community work Ellie loves all things active, specifically rock climbing, rowing, yoga, and cross-country skiing, but also deeply enjoys a day spent baking cupcakes and pies.

Erin Doherty

Erin joined the RVMS board in 2017, and has been on the Marketing Committee since moving to Roslindale in 2015. Currently, Erin works for the Massachusetts Historical Commission as a Preservation Planner. There, she reviews rehabilitations of historic buildings for the Massachusetts and Federal Historic Tax Credit programs, recognized as the most significant economic incentive programs for historic preservation on the local and national levels. Formerly, Erin was a Preservation Planner for the Boston Landmarks Commission, overseeing Boston’s Beacon Hill, Fort Point, and Aberdeen local historic districts. Erin holds a B.A. in Russian and French from Wellesley College, and an M.A. in Historic Preservation from Boston University. Erin lives in Roslindale with her husband, David, and their black lab, Holly. In her free time she enjoys distance running, cooking, and taking on home improvement projects.