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 several 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 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. A graduate of Emerson College, Alia has now spent over 18 years of her life in Boston — this City is in her blood.

Alia also has a passion for arts and culture as 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 two young children.

Anthony Giordano

President, Business & Property Owner

Anthony Giordano joined 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. In 2019, he opened the popular caffe and entertainment venue, The Square Root.

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


Resident

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.

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller, Resident

Andrea Miller is originally from the small, bucolic western MA town of Gill and migrated to the Boston area after traveling and studying International Relations at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. Attracted by the greenery and plethora of parks, she and her husband sought out an old beauty of a fixer-upper and became proud Roslindale residents in 2012. She is new to the RVMS Board and serves as Co-Chair of the Economic Development Committee.

Together, Andrea and her husband own and operate Miller Custom Craftsmen LLC, a Roslindale-based residential and commercial construction company, providing classic and quality fine craftsmanship, and they enjoy working to build beautiful things. Andrea also manages the Body Composition Analysis Center and DXA Laboratory at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University and provides administrative support to the university-wide Healthy Aging Initiative.

For fun and relaxation, Andrea loves walking the Emerald Necklace parks system, enjoying boat rides on the Charles River, or sipping a craft cocktail in the Square.

Vinny Fieg

Resident

Vinny Fieg first became involved with RVMS as a member of the Marketing Committee in 2017. He really enjoyed this experience, especially having the opportunity to produce video profiles for local businesses and organizations, and has expanded his role within RVMS since then, recently joining as an RVMS board member in 2019.

Vinny currently works as a marketing associate for a medical coding company in Wellesley where he spearheads a number of marketing initiatives, including content creation, brand building, and event management.  Prior to marketing, his career dabbled in the financial services and legal fields, as well as small business entrepreneurship. He holds a B.A. in History from Connecticut College and is currently pursuing an MBA from Babson College.

Originally hailing from Allendale, New Jersey, Vinny has been a Roslindale resident since 2016 and lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and their dog, Bruce. They love the neighborhood feel of Roslindale and enjoy frequenting all the great businesses and establishments that make up the Village. In his spare time, Vinny enjoys watching movies, going for walks in the Arboretum, and eating lots of pasta.

Laura Charles

Resident

Laura moved to Roslindale in early 2018, and was involved in its yoga and small business communities since moving to Boston from Brooklyn in 2015. Laura currently works as the Senior Manager of Network Engagement at Interise, a national nonprofit organization that builds inclusive local economies through small business. Her primary focus is designing programming for and cultivating community among a national network of established small business owners and advocates. She also teaches yoga at studios in Roslindale, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain. Laura’s prior work was in international community development, having worked extensively in northern Tanzania as a co-founder of a community center. Yes, she has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro!

Laura received Bachelor’s degrees in French and Dance from Hamilton College, and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from The New School. When not at work or in the yoga studio, Laura loves cooking, running, and having outside adventures with her son, Max.

Courtney Pong

Courtney Pong, Business Owner

Courtney is a Roslindale business owner and a recent New Englander since moving to Boston in 2016 to take over as the owner and General Manager of CSz Boston. 

Since 2001, the California native has been a professional improviser and certified improv educator with CSz Worldwide, which encompasses 30 cities across the U.S. and England, all locally owned and operated. CSz Worldwide is most known for their flagship show ComedySportz, the widest-reaching and long-running competitive improv show now in its 36th year. She spent 15 yeas performing and training with CSz San Jose before making the decision to license and own the Boston location. She has led team building workshops and provided entertainment and entertainment programming for a variety of organizations from locally-owned businesses, non-profits, and higher ed institutions in Boston and the Greater Boston area, to Fortune 500 companies such as namedrop name drop and namedrop.In May 2016 she opened The Rozzie Square Theater to root Roslindale as the official home for ComedySportz in Boston.

The Rozzie Square Theater was opened with the intention of bringing entertainment, improv education, and laughter to areas she felt were overlooked as destinations, while believing that everyone is deserving of the community-strengthening and collaborative benefits an improv theater has to offer a neighborhood. The theater boasts a variety of regular weekend programming – from ComedySportz, to Riot Improv, and special collaborations with MassMouth and The Boston Magic Lab – as well as workshops and free drop-in classes. 

Today, as part of the Roslindale Village Main Street Board of Directors, Courtney brings her depth of experience in team-building, collaboration and workshop facilitation, her background in health tech start ups, and over a decade of experience in communication, public relations, and marketing. She waited many tables before and through the 2008 recession, and believes in the power of community colleges and mentorship. Courtney’s additional leadership roles include serving on the Executive Council for CSz Worldwide, continued support and involvement with ACENextGen, and volunteering with local and national orgs that focus on empowering POC/WOC/Women leadership. She is the world’s okayest indoor rock climber, nearsighted, and dust-intolerant.  

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 in the historic preservation group at Epsilon Associates, Inc., an environmental consulting firm in Maynard. Formerly, Erin was a Preservation Planner at the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Boston Landmarks Commission, where she reviewed rehabilitations of historic buildings and oversaw local historic districts. Erin received 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, daughter Fiona, and their black lab, Holly. In her free time she enjoys distance running, cooking, and taking on home improvement projects.

Hilary Sullivan

Vice President & Resident

Hilary Sullivan has been a proud Roslindale resident for nearly 10 years and has been on the RVMS board for the last five years. She also co-chairs the RVMS Design Committee and participates in the Marketing Committee Hilary works full time at Northeastern University as the Director for Service & Community Partnerships in the Center of Community Service. Hilary’s passion for working with nonprofits began while serving for two years as an AmeriCorps National Service Member after graduating from college. After traveling across the country to serve with various nonprofits, she arrived in Boston in 2008 and has been involved in volunteerism and higher education ever since. Hilary also founded and led the Boston AmeriCorps Alumni Board for four years. She hopes to help build a strong volunteer base in Roslindale and wants to ensure there are people of all ages are engaged in the community in a way that fits them best.

Hilary received a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Westfield State College and a Masters in Nonprofit Management from the University of Maryland. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, traveling, and meeting new people.