Monday, November 30, 2009

Wow - Max Speaks Mandarin!

We recently announced that Max Brown, CRP joined Rideau’s Recognition Management Institute (RMI) subsidiary as a Vice President of Organizational Learning. He also recently hosted a webcast on our HCI recognition and motivation learning track.

I first saw Max speak at a Recognition Professionals International (RPI) breakout session several years ago. His presentation was powerful and very motivational. But what left a lasting impression on me that day was how he spoke about his family.

He first spoke about his parents… a truly remarkable couple that have given so much to so many. You see they had 5 of their own (Max was the eldest) and adopted 8 others for a total of 13 children! They also fostered 100 kids over 20 years! Talk about amazing!!! Max then went on to speak lovingly about his wife Sally. She was in the audience that day. She was sitting in the front row left hand side. He referred to Sally several times during his presentation and you could see that her presence meant a lot to Max that day.

I remembered thinking to myself this is a man who clearly cares about his family… a value I cherish.

My first direct conversation with Max was at another RPI event in Chicago. Max was taking the last few courses to become a Certified Recognition Professional. This too impressed me. There are a lot of “experts” who speak about recognition but never bother to get CRP certified. I know it’s not a big thing, but it bugs me. Max was literally going to practice what he preached.

Our conversation turned to personal matters. I found out that Max was a mountain climber and had lived in Shanghai, China and traveled extensively around Asia and the world. I found out that Max was an Eagle Scout and that his first major speaking engagement occurred when he was only 16! He presented to 6,000 Boy Scouts! He told me that speaking was in his blood… his grandfather, father, mother and an uncle all had the gift. Today, Max and Sally now have the gift of family with 2 beautiful children. Drew who is 15 months, and AnLi will be three in January.

I will never forget the day I gave Max a Platinum Tour around Rideau!

As we went around the company that day introducing Max, my Chinese colleagues were taken aback when Max started conversing with them in fluent Mandarin. The look on their face’s were priceless… hey you don’t look Chinese!!! What’s up??? I wish I had a camera… and that’s when I learned that Max is also a very accomplished photographer. When he gave me permission to paint some of his photos, that sealed the deal… no question… he was coming to work for our group of companies!!!

But seriously, with the addition of Max, I believe Roy Saunderson is quietly and methodically assembling a group of individuals who will make the Recognition Management Institute the world’s leading consultancy on employee recognition.

Welcome Max!