Hiller hired to run Mt. Airy BID
Hollie Malamud-Price has lived in Chestnut Hill for less than a year. She moved here, or rather she followed her husband here (as she puts it), in late 2009. Born and raised in Michigan, it was not an easy transition until she settled into her new life in Northwest Philadelphia.
Malamud-Price was struck by the similarities between the enclave communities of Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy and the main street corridor of Germantown Avenue with the Detroit bedroom community of Ferndale where she had been living.
“Ferndale had gone through a renaissance,” Malamud-Price said during an interview at Infusion last week. “When I came here it reminded me of 9 Mile Road (the name of Ferndale’s main street).”
When she heard of an opportunity to affect the community in Mt. Airy she jumped at the chance to bring her nonprofit experience and urban sensibilities to the newly created position of executive director for the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District.
Established two years ago, the Mt. Airy BID has become a leading agency in the push to improve Germantown Avenue. The BID manages the street-cleaning project and, up until now, has been helped by the staff at Mt. Airy USA. In June, the BID decided to hire an executive director to oversee its operation and $125,000 budget.
Ken Weinstein, BID’s board chairman, said it was time for the agency to stand on its own and tackle a more ambitious agenda.
“We reached a point were we felt able to go out on our own and to see if we could stretch our dollars further,” Weinstein said of the decision to hire an executive director.
Malamud-Price was still unpacking boxes in the row home she rents with her husband, Bryan, who is in labor-management training for Center City nonprofit Keystone Development Partnership, when she heard about the position.
“It spoke to me,” she said. “I look around and I see that the bones are here. The potential is unlimited.”
Malamud-Price spent years working in public health. She has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in public health administration. She worked in HIV/AIDS programs for years.
“It was time for a change,” she said.
Her position, which is slated for 30 hours a week, is to focus on the function of the BID. She will be a Jill-of-all-trades, responsible for billing, record keeping, project management, fundraising and marketing efforts.
“Hollie stood out,” Weinstein said. “She was serious, organized and had ideas on how to make the business district better.”
For now, Malamud-Price said she would focus on continuing the street-cleaning program, making further enhancements along the Avenue – cleaning tree wells, planting more flowers and shrubs and arranging seasonal decorations.
“The goal is to figure out how to make it more exciting to attract more people,” she said. “Having moved here, I feel like I landed in the best place in Philadelphia, and I want to share that enthusiasm.”