From The CEO
Malik Ahmed is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Better Family Life, Inc. (BFL), a non-profit 501(c)3 community development corporation that tackles social and economic problems in the community from a holistic approach. Under his leadership, BFL established five core pillars of development: Community Outreach, Cultural Arts, Housing and Asset Development, Workforce Development, and Youth, Family and Clinical Services. BFL has an expanded customer reach to more than 50,000 annually. Under his direction, Better Family Life recently opened The Better Family Life Cultural, Educational and Business Center (former Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School), located at 5415 Page Blvd.
For more than 40 years, Ahmed has spearheaded impactful community development initiatives around the United States and in Africa. According to Ahmed, his avocation is working to uplift African Americans who are unemployed, underemployed and skill deficient, while simultaneously bridging gaps along class, racial and cultural lines. As a Peace Corps volunteer in the 1970’s, Mr. Ahmed worked three years as an urban planner in the West African country of Mali, where he developed a cost-effective sanitation program for the capital city of Bamako.
In 2008, as the economy spiraled downward, Ahmed partnered with the City of St. Louis and other notable community development corporation CEOs to form the St. Louis Alliance for the Preservation of Homeownership. Through this partnership, homeowners were provided foreclosure crisis intervention and direct financial assistance.
Ahmed has received numerous local, national and international awards, including the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Committee “Unity in the Community Award” (1990). Under his leadership Better Family Life received the Community Service Award from the Trumpet Award Foundation in Atlanta (2003). The Trumpet Awards is a prestigious event that highlights African American accomplishments and contributions.
On November 19, 2005, Malik Ahmed was honored by Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay, Jr. with a tribute that was recorded in the 109th United States Congress, First Session. The St. Louis American Foundation selected him as the “2007 Non-Profit Executive of the Year.”
The St. Louis Business Journal recognized Mr. Ahmed as “One of 25 Most Influential Minority Business Leaders.” In 2008, Ahmed and wife DeBorah were featured in wildly popular Who’s Who in Black St. Louis.
In 2012 NeighborWorks© America and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Business selected Malik Ahmed for the NeighborWorks © America Achieving Excellence in Community Development Program, a prestigious program that offers managers High-Level Executive Coaching to Advance Organization’s Performance and Capacity.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Herbert H. Lehman College and a master’s degree in public administration/policy analysis from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.