“We identi;ied a charity, Food Angel. They collect fresh produce
and prepare hot meals for people who need them most,” says Michele
Stauff, CFRE, executive director, Million Dollar Round Table Founda-
tion. “They prepare more than 5,000 meals a day. We packaged boxes
that they distribute to community partners. They call it food rescue; I
The volunteer project brought 42 volunteers to the Food Angel
work site in Kowloon, where for ;ive hours they packed boxes to be
delivered to churches, schools and the elderly at no charge.
“MDRT supports that concept of giving back and community ser-
Dare to be Different
vice being a part of what makes you a whole person,” Stauff says. “Our
foundation was founded with the idea of MDRT as an association help-
ing our members give back to the local and global community.”
Because the foundation is funded by members, the MDRT Founda-
tion set up a booth during the conference where members could come in
to discuss personal donations, potential projects they’d like to endorse
for the company’s grant program and to sign up for service projects.
To make sure main platform speakers covered all aspects of successful living, potential speakers were diligently researched by program
committee members to unearth cutting-edge topics and pertinent
speakers. Program committee members perused magazines, read
bestsellers, watched TED Talk videos and studied the talk-show circuit
to ;ind approaches to living a better life.
“We want [the attendees] to walk away saying this was amazing,”
says Sandro Forte, CEO of Forte Financial Group.
For Forte, who has been an MDRT member for 20 years and served
as the program chair, it’s almost a scienti;ic process, getting the right
speakers, timing the program and creating the ambiance. He prefers
to call the event a show, stemming from his own training as a theater
major, and the production takes the committee 18 months to prepare.
Setting the stage is all-important to Forte.
“I got into speaking for one reason: I got frustrated that I was con-
sistently listening to speakers that really had nothing to say. If you’ve
done well, share what you’ve done in business,” he says. “I want people
to have three to four good ideas that wouldn’t cost one cent to do, and
within six to seven months, if their business hasn’t increased by 30
percent using what I’ve shared, I’ll refund their money.”
He says he’s never been asked for a refund.
To keep the inspiration high, the main platform speakers such
as Richard Parks, the ;irst person to climb the highest mountain on
each continent, shared some of the tools that enabled him to push the
boundaries of human performance. Dr. Ross Walker, cardiologist and
author of seven best-selling books, discussed the “;ive keys to ultimate
Sessions in what was called the “Connexion Zone” gave attendees
the opportunity to spend time with successful MDRT members and
main platform speakers to share ideas in an intimate setting to gain
motivation and tools to enhance their success. ■