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Get to know: Board Chairman, Matt Friedman

Children’s Foundation Board Chairman, Matt Friedman, is the Co-Founder of Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications, working directly with clients and leading teams to develop and implement traditional and emerging communication strategies that support client business objectives. Since joining the Board of Trustees in 2011, he has become an integral part of Foundation success, helping lead the Foundation’s new strategic direction and enhancement of the Foundation’s brand strategy across the state. Friedman was appointed to Board Chairman in 2014.

What does it mean to you to be a Trustee at Children’s Foundation?

It means I have the privilege of playing a leadership role, among a team of exceptional colleagues, on what is becoming the most vital mission in the State of Michigan.

Which of The Foundation’s focus areas to you feel strongest about and why?

Mental health. It has been the most underfunded, undervalued, stigmatized part of health care for kids. Both of my kids have struggled with mental health challenges. I want the kids who come after them in this community to have better access to more care and no stigma.

What Foundation-related projects do you enjoy working on the most?

I’ve really enjoyed working on the Jamie Daniels Foundation since its inception. Hatching that and seeing it grow and flourish has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life as a community volunteer. Otherwise, I enjoy working on anything that keeps me close to the terrific friends I have made on this Board. And anytime Larry gets me to wear a bow tie means fun is being had!

2 Truths and 1 Lie? (answer revealed at end of post)

1. When I was in college and used to come home to hang out at MSU with friends, I spent a few nights at parties with a group that included future Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

2. I am an honorary member of the Future Farmers of America.

3. I was physically assaulted by Bobby Knight.

Where is your favorite place to travel?

I have so many favorites, but nothing calls me back year after year like Up North in the summer

If you could invite any three people to dinner (dead or alive), who would it be?

My grandfathers, Dr. Dave Friedman and Dick Golston. I really miss both of them and I’d really like to fill them in on what I’ve been up to since they each passed away, along with the chance to ask them about things now that I have some more life perspective. I’d also invite Walter Payton, who was my favorite athlete growing up. I blew the chance to meet him in 1993 (believe it or not, I was too nervous) and he died in 1999. Plus, my Papa Dick would love talking football with him and Papa Dave could probably compare some notes with him on investing.

Any vacation plans that were cancelled in 2020?

Jodi and I were going to take our two high school senior girls on their “last Spring Break” the first week in April to one of our favorite places – Southern California. It was supposed to be a few days on the beach in Orange County, a few days in Santa Monica, a Dodgers game for me (first time at Dodger Stadium) and at least one lunch at In-N-Out burger. It was a sad moment for our family when we had to cancel it all.

Learn more about Matt Friedman and other Children’s Foundation Trustees, here.

[Lie: #1. When I was in college and used to come home to hang out at MSU with friends, I spent a few nights at parties with a group that included future Governor Gretchen Whitmer.]

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