Vida Ali was born in Trinidad & Tobago, where her parents raised her with the philosophy that “it takes a village” and “always treat everyone as family.” In her own words, “We never closed our doors. As little as we had, we always shared.”
As a child, Vida moved with her family to the Washington, DC area. She began her work life at Ben’s Chili Bowl, the iconic Washington, DC restaurant that was opened in 1958 by Ben and Virginia Ali. In 1984, she relocated to Los Angeles with her husband, Sage Ali. Vida quickly jumped into the music business, first at Virgin Records and then at Capitol Records in Hollywood. In 1992, Vida left Capitol, and in partnership with Sage, she launched her own company, Vida Media Group.
As one of the entertainment industry’s most highly respected publicists, Vida spearheaded national and international media campaigns for numerous recording artists. Her work was critical to the success of superstar MC Hammer, and her campaign helped his career to explode. Over the years, Vida worked with many other legendary artists, including Rachelle Ferrell, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Lenny Kravitz, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, The Beastie Boys, Megadeath, Poison, Grover Washington, Jr., The Whispers, The Beach Boys, Bebe and CeCe Winans, and many more. Vida continued to work with her DC family business by setting up national media campaigns from her VMG West Coast office to bring special attention to the 40 th , 45 th , 50 th and 55 th Anniversary celebrations of Ben’s Chili Bowl. Also, we worked with many non-profit organizations such as Make-A- Wish Foundation to help make difference.
After spending over 25 years in the entertainment business in Hollywood, Vida returned to Washington, DC in 2009 following the death of founder Ben Ali. She is currently working with the family to forward the expansion of the Ben’s Chili Bowl brand as well as the continuation of its legacy in the DC community and beyond. Over the past 60 years, Ben’s has been a significant part of DC history and culture, and Vida’s impact on the brand has been tremendous in terms of publicity and media relations as well as operations.
With all her credentials and experience, Vida is best known for her great integrity and work ethic. Her positive attitude and deep commitment to excellence in everything she undertakes always inspires and brings out the best in those around her. Vida truly cares about people, and as a result, she is masterful at creating a cooperative and mutually supportive team environment in which everyone takes pride in excellence and everyone wins. She has often been referred to as being “the calm in the center of the storm” because she makes doing a great job look easy and fun. Vida strives daily to spread joy in people’s lives. As Ghandi said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”