Volunteer of the year.

Author:Stanard, Alexa
Position:Member Outreach

Matt Friedman has been a media pro since age 11.

That's when the founding partner of Tanner Friedman public relations firm got his start in the news business, working as a disc jockey for WBFH 88.1, broadcast from Andover High School.

"I absolutely fell 1 love with being on the radio," Friedman says. "From that came seven years on the air."

After wrapping his stint at the station (i.e., graduating high school), Friedman headed to Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications, where he was the news director at WJPZ-FM, at the time the nation's highest-rated collegiate broadcast outlet. He spent his summers interning in Detroit, including with radio station WWJ. After graduation he logged time on the air in other cities until returning to Detroit for good, working as the lead news producer for WDIV Channel 4's evening news broadcast.

But eventually the hectic pace of broadcast news began to wear on Friedman, especially after he got married. By the late 1990s Friedman was ready for a change. He wanted something more stable--success in broadcast news often entails regular moves--and an opportunity to work for himself. In 1998 he took a break from his career and started job hunting, landing in public relations.

"I found a way to stay in Detroit, stay in communications and put my skills to work," he says. "I wanted to be a part of the business community, and I wanted to work for myself one day."

In early 2007 Friedman realized that aspiration when he founded his firm with fellow former newsman Don Tanner. The duo crafted a vision statement that focused on creating a firm with...

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