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Expert Viewpoints: Michele Fried, BS


Michele Fried is the founder and CEO of Adoption STAR. Her foremost responsibilities are the implementation of strategic plans and agency growth/expansion, financial management, board partnerships and supervision of the staff. Michele has her hands full with these responsibilities as well as initiating marketing and public relation campaigns and executing and implementing policies developed by the Board of Directors.

Before starting Adoption STAR, Michele worked as an educator in Pennsylvania and then after she and her husband adopted their first child, she entered the field of adoption. In 1989 she founded an adoption agency licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Michele’s own family began to grow and they chose to return home to Western New York. Michele began working locally as an Inclusion Coordinator for individuals with developmental disabilities.

As the years went by, Michele was inspired by the great need for a passionate, advocacy based, non-profit child-welfare agency in this area and so Adoption STAR was born in March of 2000! Michele is very proud of the work Adoption STAR has done and continues to do, and states she is touched by the incredible birth mothers that work with the agency.

The community-at-large has also noticed Michele and her agency. In 2003, Michele received a Business First 40 Under Forty Award and in 2004 WKBW-TV honored Michele by selecting her to be one of the community’s Everyday Heroes. The YWCA also honored Michele in 2005 by selecting her as one of twenty-six women making a difference in Western New York. In 2009, Michele was the recipient of a Business First Women of Influence Entrepreneur Award. On May 1, 2010 during the Dazzling Decade ~ A Night of Stars 10th Birthday Gala, Michele’s own agency presented her with the First Michele Fried Founder’s Award. In the future, this award will be ongoing and be given to an individual whose contributions, expertise, and dedication to adoption mirror Michele’s.

Michele carefully named the agency using the acronym STAR and was determined to utilize the words within the name to provide comprehensive services to all members of the adoption triad: Support, Training, Advocacy and Resources (STAR).

Michele believes in permanency planning and believes that every child deserves a forever family. She created Adoption STAR to operate on the belief that there is a family for every child.

Michele lives in Williamsville, NY with her husband, Chuck, their children, two cats, a couple of hamsters, and a Chihuahua named Olive who sometimes accompanies Michele to work. Additionally, Michele enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, running, and movies with happy endings!