CEI Staff

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CEI Business Advising

Alexandra Forrester

Program Developer

About Alexandra

Alexandra “Ally” Forrester is the Program Developer for the Child Care Business Lab at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), a Maine-based community development financial institution with a mission to build just, vibrant and climate-resilient futures for people and communities in Maine and rural regions by integrating finance, business expertise and policy solutions in ways that make the economy work more equitably. Ally is a member of Leadership for Educational Equity.

As CEI’s Program Developer for the Child Care Business Lab, Ally creates and delivers programs that strengthen the child care sector by helping new businesses start and established businesses grow. She advises prospective and existing child care business owners as they develop business plans to support the learning and development of children while enabling parents to participate in the workforce.

Prior to joining CEI, Ally opened two elementary schools, one as a founding teacher and another as a school leader. After earning her undergraduate degree, she joined Teach for America and spent several years leading kindergarten classrooms. She has also owned and operated several restaurants, equipping her with valuable business acumen. As a first-generation college graduate, she personally understands the impact access to quality education has on life outcomes. In her role at CEI, Ally combines her passion for educational equity with her experience launching businesses and non-profit schools.


  • Wellesley College, B.A. in Economics and History of Art
  • Relay Graduate School of Education, M.A. in Teaching
Get To Know Alexandra
If you had unlimited resources, where would you travel to?

With unlimited resources (both financial and environmental), I would travel to the moon!

What book, film, tv show or album do you return to again and again? Atomic

Habits by James Clear

What is your favorite candy or snack food?

Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels

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