Meet Amy Burke Friedman

Amy Burke Friedman

We recently sat down with Amy Burke Friedman, a member of the Associated’s Jewish Professional Women’s Group and the recently named CEO of PROFILES, a Baltimore-based public relations and marketing firm. Amy dished on everything from her career, Jewish identity and even threw in some fun facts about her – like did you know she’s a twin? Read on to get the inside scoop.  


What was it like growing up in Jewish Baltimore?

I’m from Mt. Washington, so I didn’t grow up in the main Jewish community, though I was raised in a more religious family. Growing up, we were members of Beth Am, and I attended both Beth Am and Beth Tfiloh for Hebrew school. We kept kosher. Now, for me and my family, Judaism is more about of a sense of pride, traditions and community. A lot of what we do at home is more focused on teaching our children to be proud of their Jewish heritage and to be proud of where they came from.

Did you ever attend a Jewish summer camp?

I went to Camp Louise! The first time I went, at 11 or 12 years old, I was immediately hooked. Camp is where I really found and felt a connection to Judaism. I went for years, through the CIT program, and was a counselor, too. My daughter goes to Camp Louise, and my son goes to Camp Airy. I love that this is something I can share with my children.

You recently joined the Associated’s Jewish Professional Women’s Group. Tell us a little about what that’s been like?

The Chair of JPW, Dori Chait, and I have known each other for years, and she invited me to participate. It’s been a such a great experience so far. Because I didn’t grow up in the core of Jewish Baltimore, sometimes I feel like a bit of an outsider, so I’m focused on how we can expand our reach and build a connection with other professionals who aren’t already engaged with the Associated.

How did you get involved with PR?

I went to the University of Maryland, College Park and studied journalism because I always wanted to write for a teen magazine, like Seventeen. I had an internship with Baltimore Magazine and worked for WQSR, back when it was an oldies station. I realized I really liked the media but didn’t want to be the media. From there, I got a job doing public relations for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. About a year later, I met Amy Elias, who was running PROFILES at the time. She interviewed me for a position, and I’ve been here for the last 19 years!

Earlier this year you were named as the CEO of PROFILES – Congratulations! When you began your career, did you ever imagine that you would have a leadership role there?

When I first interviewed with Amy, 19 years ago, she said she was looking for someone to stay on, learn, grow and eventually take over. At the time, I was 22, and I wasn’t thinking that far into my future, but time just flies and here we are. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m excited for this next chapter.

What are some of the most exciting campaigns or events you have worked on?

We helped Ray Lewis open his restaurant, which was wild and fun because celebrities from all over attended the opening. In a full-circle moment, we helped the Baltimore Symphony put on one of their galas. We also did the opening of the University of Baltimore John and Frances Angelos Law Center, which then-Vice President Joe Biden attended. Every day, my team and I get to tell the amazing stories of the nonprofit organizations, the businesses and the people of Baltimore. I’m so proud to share these positive stories and to shine a light on Baltimore.

What does it mean to be a woman in a leadership position?

I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by so many female leaders throughout my career including Amy Elias, Laurie Schwartz of the Waterfront Partnership, Chickie Grayson of the former Enterprise Homes (now Enterprise Community Development), Marissa Jachman of the Erin Levitas Foundation and many others. I never had to stop and question whether I was capable or not, because I’ve always been exposed to and learning from successful women in leadership roles.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in the professional world?

Relationships matter. Establishing, building and maintaining relationships will be helpful throughout your entire life. Make sure to step out of your comfort zone and immediate bubble. It will really help you learn new things. My dad always said, “if you’re not learning than what are you doing?” and I’ve always lived by this and continue to learn.

How do you handle work-life balance?

As a working mom, having the flexibility to work from anywhere has helped a lot. It allows me to be present for my family. I always make sure to be flexible with my team, whether they are moms or not, because everyone has something going on in their life. Having this flexibility has allowed people to be more productive and focused when they are working. They don’t feel the pressure to choose one thing over another.

How do you unplug from work?

I love doing the New York Times Spelling Bee. Every night I take time to play that, which helps me decompress. I’m also a big TV person. Right now, my husband and I are watching The Last of Us and Shrinking. As a family, we’re watching anything that’s Marvel or Star Wars.

Let’s do some fun questions:

  • Favorite restaurant: Petit Louis Bistro
  • Last thing you googled: “Coverage of Biden’s visit in Baltimore”
  • Ideal vacation destination: Marco Island, FL – we love going there for spring break
  • Fun fact about: I have a twin brother!
  • Last meal on earth: I have the biggest sweet tooth so it’s going to be a big bag of Haribo gummy bears for me.
  • If you could have any superpower, what would it be: To make people happy.
  • Celebrity crush: As a mom raising a young woman, these days I’m crushing on Lizzo. She’s such an advocate for body positivity, she’s fun, powerful and talented.
  • Favorite Recipe to Cook: New York Times’ Turkey Meatballs
  • Who would you meet dead or alive: my grandmother, Abby Gibberman (Silberstein). She passed five years exactly before my birthday at age 50. I am named after her. I would love to meet her and learn more about our family history and where I come from. I have a very small family, so I did not spend time with family growing up, learning our stories, understanding who I look like or where certain traits come from.

Subscribe to our newsletter

The Associated is a home for everyone in the Baltimore Jewish community. We offer several email lists to help people find a community, engage with their peers and support Jewish journeys around the world.

Join Our Mailing List

Keep Reading

Add Impact to Your Inbox

Sign up for our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter

The Associated is a home for everyone in the Baltimore Jewish community. We offer several email lists to help people find a community, engage with their peers and support Jewish journeys around the world.

Join Our Mailing List