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Elizabeth Friedland was born and raised in Indianapolis, spent several years in New York City, and will defend the Oxford comma and Taylor Swift until her last breath. Professionally, she’s worked in corporate communications for nearly 20 years. Currently, Elizabeth leads corporate communications and marketing for Allegion, a $3.3B company with its North American headquarters in Carmel. She’s a big believer in giving your life away; the world is not changed by our opinions of it, but by our actions. With that in mind, Elizabeth is a foster and adoptive mother (I’ve fostered 15 children and adopted my amazing son, Jack), Safe Families host family, and operator of a small but growing network of food pantries (Central General Store) based off of the “little free library” movement. She also hosts the podcast “Instant Mom” (highlighted in Indy Maven’s Podcast Roundup), which discusses all things foster care, adoption and solo parenting. Tell us more, Elizabeth!
My Maven Superpower is … Solo motherhood, which has been my boot camp. If I can survive no sleep, no breaks and juggling it all on my own, I can do anything.
Best book I’ve read lately is … This is a tough one because I’m such a reader! But lately, I’ve been loving Emma Cline. “The Guest” and “Daddy” are fantastic.
Self-care habit I swear by … Therapy. I will move everything else on my schedule to keep my therapy appointments.
My first job was … Neighborhood babysitter extraordinaire.
The best career advice I can offer is … Say yes and figure it out later. You are likely far more qualified, resourceful and intelligent than you think.
A purchase I’ve been loving lately is … Fancy tea cups and saucers. Because why not?
I feel most confident when … I’m in a swimsuit, bizarrely. When there’s nothing left to hide behind, it’s oddly freeing!
My favorite local restaurant dish is … Tinker Street. I’ve never had anything there that wasn’t amazing.
The thing I’ve been binging lately is … Downtown Abbey. I’m obsessed.
A fun fact about me is … I was a 500 Festival Princess in college. The program still influences me 17 years later — many of my close friends and business connections were formed during my experience. And of course, the sash and tiara are nice perks. (Now my son plays dress up with them!)
A Maven you should know is … Molly Connor. She’s a loyal friend and cheerleader, a fierce professional and a natural networker. Molly is connected to everyone and everything!
My favorite nonprofit to support is … Heart Rock. Pregnant women and women with children need more resources and support to get clean and keep their family together. I’m so glad we have Heart Rock in our neighborhood!
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
Turning 40. It’s an incredibly exciting stage of life that I’ve been looking forward to. I feel more empowered and excited about my future than I ever was in my twenties or thirties. I finally feel like I know what fucks to give (philanthropy, authenticity, boundaries) and what fucks to not give (vanity, expectations, people pleasing). Why didn’t anyone tell us that 40 is just the beginning?!
What’s next for you? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I hope to continue to expand Central General Store and add new locations throughout the city. Imagine if there was a little free pantry on every corner!
What’s your free business idea?
Someone needs to open up a matchmaking service in Indianapolis. I know so many whip-smart, gorgeous, successful women who want to find a partner and just keep running into dead ends (cough cough, myself included). Someone needs to show us where our matches are hiding!