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 (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.

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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.

Tess McColgan

Tess McColgan, Program Manager

Tess is truly a New Englander at heart. She grew up in Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut before settling in Boston at age 14. She lived in Chinatown, Kenmore Square, the North End, South Boston, West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain prior to her move to Roslindale in 2015 where she found a sense of community that resonated with her. Tess’s background includes customer service, clinical research, volunteer management & recruitment and Human Resources. In her last role at the Museum of Science, Tess was inspired by the dedication of volunteers and their impact. She looks forward to being a part of enriching and supporting Roslindale Village.

In her free time, Tess likes spending time outside, doing yoga, painting, and writing poetry & short stories and is very close with her four younger siblings.

Steve Marcelin

 

Steve Marcelin, Farmers Market Assistant

Steve was born on a farm in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where is family grew various crops like corn and plantain. Steve moved to the United States when he was 14 and has lived in Hyde Park ever since.

Some of Steve’s fondest memories from his homeland were from the local farmers market on Saturday morning. It was an incredible place that brought joy, discovery, scenery, cool gifts, and a place for people to meet each other.  Those feelings have been revived through Steve’s work with RVMS where the market is once more a magical place that brings him back to those memories and Port-au-Prince and provides a weekly brake from his hectic life.

Steve strives to be the most creative version of himself and has a deep passion for design and creating. He graduated in 2017 from North Bennet Street School and loves finding physical fixes to problems.

His favorite vegetables are beets! Even though he knows a lot of people don’t like them, he finds them incredibly delicious and flexible to cook with. Steve is always outside, going for hikes, climbing trees, or sitting by camp fires.