A Conversation with Forrest Hill, Vice President, Senior Branch Manager, HSBC Bank


How long have you been volunteering for The Valley Economic Alliance?

I started my volunteer time with The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA) in February of 2020.  I joined the Education and Workforce Committee as this is really my passion with my volunteering: mentoring students, giving career advice, and helping anyone in need, a chance to enhance their skills in the Valley and its communities.

Tell us little about yourself.

I was born in Ithaca, New York as my father was finishing up his Master’s Degree at Cornell University.  My early childhood was with my parents and two brothers in a small cabin on the backside of Whiteface Mountain in the very tiny hamlet of Franklin Falls. My brothers were my family, but also my closest friends as the nearest village, Lake Placid, was 20 miles away.   Even though it took time to develop social skills, living in the middle of nowhere, leadership seemed to find me as an officer in student body governments as early as elementary school. Anxious to leave Northern New York, off to college I went, just outside the metropolis of New York City where I would meet my future wife and begin my career in the financial world. Marriage, Career, and life continuing, we celebrated the births of two amazing daughters, both now grown and on to their own careers, one undertaking a PHD Degree Program at Stanford University, and the other, married and developing her career as an Athletic Trainer and studying for a Master’s Degree at California Southern University.  I experienced a career stumble in 2004, but landed on my feet with a new career that has lasted into current day and completion of my Master’s Degree in 2006. As the empty nest period was beginning, I was given an opportunity for a re-location to Los Angeles with a promotion and relocation funds. With the relocation, my new role was a perfect match, mentoring and coaching employees across two markets to enhance their adoption of a sales process, their selling skills, and their interpersonal skills with clients and colleagues alike. The fresh start in Los Angeles has given me the opportunity to experience a new culture, lead new people, make new connections, and to gain a greater understanding of my experiences, skill sets, and leadership expertise.

For more information visit my LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/forrest-e-j-hill

What is one of your Passion Projects that you are working on?

Many people in my professional network are going through some impactful strategic changes as the pandemic continues and I have opened my calendar offering advice and guidance for those whose jobs might be impacted. This is nothing official, but I am enjoying helping people with resume edits, preparing for interviews, and re-branding themselves to remain or become more employable as they start a new career search.  Many of my connections have not undertaken a career search in decades so any guidance I can provide is urgent in nature. I am quite passionate about helping others across many soft skills, but career development is the passion I can be most effective with passing along my experience and knowledge to anyone who might be in need.

Why do you continue to be a member of The Valley Economic Alliance network?

Giving back to the community has always been the driving force and motivation in my career, whether helping clients achieve their financial goals or helping a recent college graduate land their first job. The power of the alliance is that if I help one individual or one business, I might be helping them to pass on the knowledge they have gained, or giving a business the ability to grow and thus hire more employees. The ultimate differentiation of the Alliance is that its broad network enables it to reach the many layers of the populous from one central organization, driven by the many people I proudly serve with on the board.