Here's what business clients are saying about Marty Brounstein's inspirational speaking program
"Nearly a year ago I attended a management workshop with other city management staff from our local area and experienced Marty Brounstein’s Making a Positive Difference workshop. As I was planning an all-staff retreat day, I thought it would be worthwhile to bring Marty’s inspirational story and workshop to be part of our agenda for the day. I was very pleased how this session turned out so well. Marty is a very engaging storyteller. Through his presentation the audience gained depth and understanding of a significant time in world history that was very impactful.
He then takes this greater context to a personal level with the story of this Dutch couple during this time period of World War II whose courage, compassion, and leadership sets an exemplary example for all of us to follow today. People were very drawn into the story. While the greater context Marty speaks about is very dark, he tells it in a way that brings people along wanting to know more and then connects them closely to these rescuers in the Holocaust who made such a positive difference. Regardless of one’s job or position in the organization, he touches people’s sense of humanity with this story.
Marty is a great facilitator too. As he led us in discussion after the storytelling portion of the workshop, he challenged us to look at what we can do in our personal leadership and service to one another and the community. Everyone participated so positively and related messages from the story into their own jobs today. Marty’s facilitation supports staff who were able tie lessons from the story to make a positive difference in their roles today. None of us are faced with the life and death risks this Dutch couple faced, but Marty’s facilitation had people looking past that to what they can do in their own jobs in even simple ways. From showing empathy to accepting different viewpoints without judging, staff offered many solid and relevant inputs during the discussion. Real specific actions they could commit doing in their jobs came out. Overall, our group of employees took to the story and the whole workshop very well. Positive lessons with a moving story were gained by everyone."
Matt Bronson City Manager City of Grover Beach, CA
“Employee engagement is important in the organization I lead. Once a year we have the opportunity for our entire City staff team to spend a full day together focused on staff development. In this year’s program, we brought in Marty Brounstein to deliver his presentation titled “The Courage and Compassion To Do the Right Thing: A Lesson in Making a Positive Difference.” Without a doubt I can tell you that we had one of the most engaging training presentations we’ve ever experienced in our organization.
I was so happy to see how all of our employees from several different levels of the organization positively engaged with the inspirational story Marty shares and with the discussion he facilitates about applying lessons from the story in our respective public sector jobs today. Marty’s journey allowed our employees an opportunity to gain an important historical perspective at a deep personal level about the key figures of the story, and then individually apply the journey to our professional lives. His way of telling a story really connected with our hearts and minds in a very impactful way, and motivated each and every one of us on both a personal and professional level.
Interestingly enough, we purposely organized the discussion groups to blend staff members from different departments, and as I watched the employee interactions, I found it fascinating to see how our employees so actively and positively engaged with the storytelling portion and the discussion. All of us truly appreciated visiting directly with Marty after the presentation and getting a signed book from him.
In fact, even now over two months after Marty’s presentation, I am still hearing several staff members talking about the story and workshop. Without a doubt, the whole experience was very positive, motivating, and impactful, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to any leader who is looking to make a positive difference in their organization.”
Jill R. Ingram City Manager City of Seal Beach, CA
"Marty Brounstein’s Making a Positive Difference workshop with its inspirational storytelling made for a special and unique experience for our management team. We did a leadership off-site retreat with various management levels within our organization to focus on our core values. Having the management group come together like this was something that had not been done in a long time. It proved to be a very worthwhile and meaningful day.
The feedback we received across the board about the day was very positive, with the workshop Marty did in the morning portion of the retreat beautifully setting the stage for our work in the afternoon. Everyone remarked how the day went by so fast. Marty’s story and discussion with it connected very well to our organization’s core values. He gave the managers something to think about, to truly see, regardless of position, that they play leadership roles in helping build our organization and its culture.
Marty is a great storyteller, and the personal nature of the story he told added much authenticity and sincerity to it. Then in facilitating discussion with the group after the storytelling, the depth and knowledge of his management experience translated into our managers gaining valuable lessons and takeaways they can apply into their jobs. During the lunch break as the participants were in the book signing line, what was neat to see was how the line moved slowly. People spent time wanting to talk further with Marty and his wife about the special story and wanting to take pictures with them. My management staff were greatly moved by the true, inspirational story he told. Overall, Marty’s workshop gave us something different and special. It was a very worthwhile investment."
Julie Arendall City Manager City of Goodyear, AZ
"I would highly recommend Marty Brounstein’s Making a Positive Difference workshop. We had a great event when we invited him to speak at our Professional Development Network for city employees. It was a bigger turnout than we usually get for the workshops we offer.
This Making a Positive Difference workshop involves Marty telling a true story of two unsung heroes in the Holocaust. It’s a great story of two people who did not have to bother but were propelled to help those in great need as part of doing the right thing. Marty delivers this story in a compelling fashion, helping people learn the greater context of the history that is behind this story and doing so in a way that was both entertaining and moving for the audience. People really connected with this special story.
Then the discussion on applying lessons from the story to make a positive difference in our jobs today really helped reinforce core values our City has. Integrity and the theme of doing the right thing stood out for me. The group actively engaged in the discussion and provided relevant inputs that tie to our workplace environment. We could have used even more time for this. I liked how the workshop ended with participants being asked to make a commitment; that is, to take an action from the workshop for making a positive difference in their jobs today.
I received such great feedback from attendees after the workshop. They remarked how Marty was a great storyteller and appreciated learning so much about the two main characters and the history that surrounded this story. A great experience overall."
Parrish Spisz President, Tempe Professional Development Network City of Tempe, AZ
“As a management consultant and executive coach, Marty Brounstein has been a valuable resource to me as a City Manager for a number of years. But there is another side to Marty that has been a big part of his work over the last few years with which I am quite familiar.
Marty is the author of a true and special story titled Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust, which promotes doing the right thing and making a positive difference.Not only have I read this inspiring story, but I also have hosted Marty for a program here in my organization, the City of Vallejo, CA. We had a good number of managers and administrative staff on hand for this workshop. Not only did they hear this educational and inspiring story, but they also engaged in a rich discussion on its lessons of ethics and values that can apply in their work lives today. The workshop was very well received, with many people moved by Marty’s powerful storytelling presentation.
I was pleased that around a year later what we started in our City organization led to Marty getting the opportunity to deliver a keynote presentation at the annual League of California Cities City Managers’ Conference. It was exciting to see over 300 top executives being moved and responding with care and empathy to Marty’s inspirational story.”
Dan Keen City Manager City of Vallejo, CA
"I have been a long-time participant in the California Park and Recreation Society programs and professional conferences and a periodic presenter as well.Whether the opportunity comes up at state-level or national conferences, I would strongly recommend Marty Brounstein as a keynote speaker for such conferences.
Marty is a dynamic speaker who delivers an inspirational storytelling presentation and engaging discussion titled The Courage and Compassion To Do the Right Thing:A Lesson in Making a Positive Difference.He draws upon a true story of courage, compassion, and rescue related to his book Two Among the Righteous Few:A Story of Courage in the Holocaust.I have been a supporter for Marty on his unexpected journey of sharing this special story, even hosting some friends for one of his early events and bringing along others to public storytelling events he has had since over the years.Not long ago, I had the opportunity to host the Making a Positive Difference workshop at my workplace at the City of San Francisco, and it was a big hit.
Staff responded very positively to both the storytelling and the discussion on applying lessons from the story in their jobs today.They commented afterwards how they felt inspired and educated and really enjoyed the experience.In particular, this workshop helped strongly reinforce important values of diversity and inclusion my department works to promote.
As I have seen over the years, people in a variety of venues have responded so positively to Marty’s inspirational story, especially its messages of doing the right thing and making a positive difference.In a professional environment, they greatly appreciate something different, a heartfelt story, that teaches these valuable messages for our work lives today.I believe attendees at any professional conference or workplace environment would feel the same way, thus this recommendation.” Lorraine Banford, Superintendent San Francisco Recreation and Park Department
"A big part of my role is to organize trainings for our managers. In doing so, I sometimes am looking for something different, unique, and special and Marty Brounstein and his program The Courage and Compassion To Do the Right Thing: A Lesson in Making a Positive Difference did exactly that. We gained a great story and a highly engaging session that helped reinforce with our managers the importance of leading with compassion, of being authentic, and of taking a big picture perspective in how they interact and work with their staff members, others in the City, and the community weserve.
The feedback from the participants in the workshop was very positive. Managers found Marty a passionate storyteller who told a very inspirational story. They enjoyed the history lesson in the storytelling portion and how real the story was about the two unsung heroes and the difficult risks they took under the most dangerous of circumstances. They really got into the discussion activities about applying lessons from the story into their leadership practices, finding the connections so relevant for their management roles today. The group was highly engaged the whole time from the storytelling through the discussion phase.
People commented how the workshop just flew by and was such an enjoyable experience. They also greatly appreciated getting Marty’s book in the end related to the storytelling, Two Among the Righteous Few. I was so pleased to see managers from different departments interact with one another and strategize about how they lead and work with their staff members. It was a good team-building effect with participants walking away with commitments to implement to make a positive difference in their leadership roles. This was such an engaging and positive session, one that I would highly recommend to colleagues in other organizations to take advantage of."
Sandy Hess Employee Relations Manager City of Vacaville, CA
“I got such positive feedback from so many managers from Marty’s inspirational story and the discussion on its lessons of ethics they could apply. They stated that we did something different with the quarterly management meeting than just all business. The program with Marty added a very nice spice and was well worth it.”
Kim West, Human Resources Consultant Technology Risk Division, Kaiser Permanente Oakland, CA
“Marty Brounstein gave us a very strong program as he conveyed a powerful and riveting story. People may know about World War II and the Holocaust. But when you hear Marty’s inspirational story of courage, compassion, and rescue, it sparks seeing the parallels in our lives today. The discussion on the lessons we can apply from the story was so relevant for our work lives, let alone our personal lives. The audience greatly appreciated this program.”
Michelle Hemenway President of Bay Area Chapter, Women of AT&T Employee Resource Group San Ramon, CA
“How I viewed Marty Brounstein’s presentation is best summed up by one of the audience members I bumped into afterwards. I was walking down Market Street around 5 pm this evening and a woman came up to me on the street to tell me how excellent your presentation had been. She said it was one of the best she'd heard at the Commonwealth Club. I agreed. First, you thoroughly engaged the audience with self-reflective questions, then you provided a rich context of facts and statistics about World War II and Dutch society, and then told the personal story. It was engaging and informative, emotional without being maudlin, but about one of the most difficult and horrifying events of the 20th Century. Thanks again, and thanks to Harbeer and Kylie for sending you my way.”
George Hammond Coordinator for Humanities Program Commonwealth Club of San Francisco
“Marty Brounstein delivered a heartwarming story on the human spirit and its resilience to our all-staff quarterly meeting. We had a few visitors in the office that day who got to attend the meeting as well, which they greatly appreciated.
Marty is a great storyteller, which made the power of this story come through in such a meaningful way. Not only did he tell a compelling story, but he also led a thought-provoking discussion on the lessons we can apply from it. The program with its story and discussion touched our employees’ hearts and created a sense of kinship among them as they expressed common feelings and thoughts about it. Marty’s engaging presentation really moved everyone there that day in the most positive way.”
Melissa Morton District Manager, Vallejo Wastewater District Vallejo, CA
"Marty’s Making a Positive Difference workshop was a big hit with my staff. They found the story he tells about the Wijnakkers so inspirational. It’s truly a story of the human spirit. As a storyteller, Marty is captivating. He had everyone’s attention throughout, and staff remarked how he delivers the story with such real emotion. One would never know that Marty has been telling this story a number of times over the years. His passion for this special story comes out so strongly. And the meaningful personal connection he reveals at the end gives the workshop a moving and powerful finish.
In addition, the discussion we had in the workshop about applying the lessons from the story into our jobs worked very well and helped reinforce the core values of my department. In particular, it helped staff look at how we can best serve our customers and the importance of being responsive. While we must follow guidelines and regulations as part of our jobs, awareness was raised that we can negotiate how best to help the customer work within these guidelines. Showing empathy and compassion can be part of doing the job.
Marty’s powerful story and this workshop are so relevant for people’s work lives today, let alone their personal lives. It helps connect people that at the core this is about being a better person and having the ability to see things from different perspectives. So valuable and so inspirational too. I am very happy of being a supporter for Marty in his journey of sharing this special story." Kim Cagno Director of Child Support Services County of San Mateo in Redwood City, CA
"As one of the organizers for the educational programs at my company, a tech startup company, I was so pleased to bring Marty and his powerful story and workshop to our organization. I got great positive feedback from so many different staff members after the workshop. They found Marty’s story to be inspirational and thought-provoking. Our discussion that focused on how we can apply lessons from the story into our jobs, especially to help bulld a positive and productive culture, had a high level of engagement from all involved. We could have gone longer than the time we had allotted. Who says a tech company can’t take to a valuable story like this.
People greatly appreciated the special story Marty delivers so well. They were engrossed in it the whole way. For me, as someone who has experienced Marty’s storytelling presentation a few times before, I still get very moved by the courage and compassion that comes across about the story’s heroes, Frans and Mien Wijnakker.
An extra benefit we gained from the workshop was its team building effect. We don’t get the opportunity to gather 60 to 70 employees into one whole group very often. Having this shared learning experience, one that was so positive, relevant, and inspiring too, really helped bring people together, from individual contributors to top executives. We all gained from the experience. Marty, keep sharing your special story. It worked very well in our work environment."
James Hamilton Controller and Director of Human Resources PubNub in San Francisco, CA
"Stories help me as well as others learn, especially powerful stories. The human connection of a good story resonates with people strongly, and stories often help embed concepts to a much higher degree than a typical training or lecture does. That’s what Marty Brounstein accomplished when he brought his Making a Positive Difference workshop to my staff. Apprehension was expressed among some of the staff in my department who were wondering if this training would be worthwhile. But Marty is a great storyteller. These sort of naysayers, as well as the rest of the staff, expressed how inspirational Marty’s story of courage and compassion was and were highly engaged in the discussion portion of the workshop about applying the lessons of the story into their jobs.
Staff commented on how this workshop gave them a richer perspective on how to look at people and approach them in interactions as they carry out the functions of their jobs. They walked away with a greater understanding about the importance of making a connection with people when doing their jobs, to look at the human first and not just execute a process. In efforts to strengthen a customer service-focus in our work, this workshop promoted this learning very well. I would highly recommend this workshop to other executives or professional groups that want to reinforce important core values in their fields of work. The power of storytelling with thoughtful discussion makes this learning happen in a very positive way. In fact, my staff enjoyed the storytelling so much, they wish we would have had more time to explore the story and its heroes further. They look forward to reading Marty’s book that we included for participating in the workshop."
Jennifer Traumann Director, Department of Child Support Services for Sonoma County Santa Rosa, CA
“Marty Brounstein’s workshop and its powerful story are so important today on a variety of levels. On one level this workshop promotes positive values relevant for our business lives. Many participants walked away with such critical messages about showing compassion and empathy in working with others and about doing the right thing in guiding how we carry out our jobs.
In addition, the story and the workshop made one reflect on what kind of person you are and about truly being a quality person. We need to understand that people are people and that regardless of people’s personal backgrounds, learning to accept others rather than turning our back on them because they are different is the right way to go. Sometimes in our American society today, strong opinions take over that are not healthy for promoting care and respect. Marty’s inspirational story reminds us of the positive values we should strive to uphold not only in our business lives but also in our personal lives.
Furthermore, Marty’s storytelling presentation sparked for me on a personal level, as I have family history which includes those near and dear to me that went through suffering during World War II -- a Polish father. The historical background Marty paints as he does his storytelling is important for everyone to know. People need to learn from history so it does not repeat itself, and we need to appreciate the freedoms and opportunities we have in our country - - rather than take them for granted.
Again, Marty’s workshop and great storytelling were so helpful and useful on multiple levels. As I told Marty afterwards, he needs to keep going on his journey of sharing his powerful story.” Mark Warcholski Vice President of Distribution and Facilities; Meyer Corporation Vallejo, CA
"I would highly recommend Marty Brounstein’s inspirational presentation and workshop titled The Courage and Compassion To Do the Right Thing: A Lesson in Making a Positive Difference for a few important reasons. First of all, Marty is a dynamic speaker and storyteller. His storytelling presentation style really engages the audience into the story. He is not a talking head, lecturing away at people.
In addition, Mary puts such genuine emotion in delivering his presentation. This emotion, and especially at the end when he reveals his meaningful personal connection to the story, comes across in such a powerful and inspirational way. As I have seen each time I’ve heard Marty tell this true story, people are positively moved by experiencing his presentation. I also loved the historical background Marty covers in his presentation. It adds meaningful context to the story being told.
Furthermore, Marty’s workshop teaches valuable and relevant lessons of leadership and service -- key aspects for people in my profession. His facilitation of the discussion after the storytelling portion really engages the audience in applying the lessons from the story into their professional lives today.
So for an educational and inspirational experience relevant for our professional lives today -- with great storytelling involved -- I am happy to support Marty in his journey in sharing his special story related to his book Two Among the Righteous Few." Dawn Abrahamson City Clerk, City of Vallejo, CA Host for Marty at two professional conferences: The League of California Cities, City Clerks’ Conference and The International Institute of Municipal Clerks Annual Conference
"I would highly recommend Marty Brounstein’s program The Courage and Compassion To Do the Right Thing: A Lesson in Making a Positive Difference. He delivered it for us as part of a management team retreat. And my managers loved it. I received very positive reactions from them about the workshop. The theme of making a positive difference hit home strongly, with some of the managers even thinking beyond their jobs to do this such as out in their communities. We have good managers in my division who work hard. They care about their employees but can get caught up in the work they have to do. This workshop helped them recognize the need to do more communicating with their staffs and the importance of working to build the strong connections with them which make a positive difference.
For me as one of the participants too, this workshop stirred many good thoughts. From the history Marty gives in his presentation to his telling how the two main people of the story cared and helped others in the most difficult circumstances, I kept thinking about what I am doing to help others. Marty’s presentation and powerful story were both stimulating and moving. That’s why I am happy to recommend his program to other divisions within the company."
Eunice Springs Sr. Human Resources Representative Veriflo Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation Richmond, CA
“I highly recommend Marty Brounstein’s engaging and interactive workshop titled The Courage and Compassion To Do the Right Thing: A Lesson in Making a Positive Difference. The workshop provided a creative and insightful way to explore important topics related to leadership, ethics, and decision making.
This started with the inspiring and fascinating story Marty tells. People appreciated the historical context that was part of the storytelling, as that set the stage for fully understanding the positive difference the two main characters of this true story made. Marty’s personal connection to the story added a special touch as well.
Marty is an engaging, passionate, and knowledgeable speaker. His facilitation of the discussion on applying lessons from the story into our leadership practices today worked well. We got great feedback afterwards about the value of this workshop from our management team. This session was truly the right message at the right time for our managers and organization. Much appreciated.”
Jeff Tyne City Manager, City of Peoria, AZ
The retreat I held with my whole department staff that featured Marty Brounstein and his presentation The Courage and Compassion To Do the Right Thing:A Lesson in Making a Positive Difference was a huge hit.This presentation was quite different than the typical topics we usually discuss in our meetings and turned out to be very special.The powerful story and messages that Marty conveys during it were positively received by staff.The personal connection to the story he shares moved staff as well.
As I looked around the room during the storytelling portion of the workshop, I could see the audience very engaged and intrigued by the riveting story Marty tells and the compelling style in which he delivers it.As we discussed the lessons to apply from the story to make a positive difference in our jobs, the effort was easily translatable.Marty customized the theme of making a positive difference to focus everyone on the actions they can do to build a positive work environment in our department --- a key emphasis in my leadership.There was a high level of positive engagement during this discussion, with staff open to sharing and hearing each other’s ideas.Everyone walked away with a commitment to apply at least one of the ideas discussed during the workshop to help build a positive work environment.In addition, follow-up actions are taking place to ensure accountability and to reinforce the positive behaviors and practices identified back into the department.
Overall, staff really enjoyed this session.We had so much positive energy exhibited by the group that day, which has carried on long past the workshop.Thank you Marty for joining us and sharing this inspirational story with a new group of listeners.
Andrea Ouse Director of Community and Economic Development Department City of Concord, CA