Walter J. Schneider, President and Co-Founder of RE/MAX INTEGRA, has been recognized with a prestigious David Foster Foundation Visionary Award in recognition of his exceptional contributions to local, regional, national and international business and humanitarian efforts. The award was handed out at the David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala and Concert at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on October 21, 2017.
“I’ve always felt that life is about choices, not chances, and every day we make choices,” Schneider said in his acceptance speech. “One of the most important choices we can make is to become an organ donor, and that is the basic premise of The David Foster Foundation.”
Now in its 30th year, the David Foster Foundation assists families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. This year’s event helped raise a record-breaking $10.2 million for a truly worthy cause, with a star-studded guest list that included Oprah Winfrey, Steven Tyler, Goldie Hawn, Dr. Phil McGraw, Jay Leno and others. But the spotlight was squarely on Schneider, who was honoured with the National Business Leader of the Year award.
“One of my life-long passions has been bringing people together for a common cause,” said David Foster, Chairman of The David Foster Foundation. “Anything is possible when we pull our talents together in the spirit of accomplishment, and of love, and of giving back. That is truly what the National Business Leader of the Year award is all about,” said Foster, who referred to Schneider as “an absolute visionary” with unparalleled accomplishments as an entrepreneur. “But his talent as a leader of people doesn’t stop there. He leverages his success, turns it around, and dedicates his life to helping others,” Foster said.
Schneider echoes Foster’s sentiments of community and contribution to this worthy cause.
“When I first learned I would be receiving this award, I was incredibly humbled to join a short list of people holding this distinct recognition. I have never been one to enjoy the limelight, however I have always said that with great success comes great responsibility. It is our duty as leaders to share what we have learned in our own experiences with those in need,” said Schneider.
“It is because of the risks and choices I made as a business leader that I have been so incredibly fortunate to give back – not only to my local community but other notable causes like the David Foster Foundation, that I have been able to contribute to a number of causes that have been close to my heart.”
Schneider joins past award recipients including Jim Treliving, founder of Boston Pizza and CBC Dragons’ Den star; Sheldon Kennedy, child advocate and former NHL player; Gregg Saretsky, President and CEO of WestJet Airlines; Darren Entwistle, CEO of TELUS; Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D., President and Trustee of The Asper Foundation; and Simon Keith, Chair of the Simon Keith Foundation and one of the longest living heart transplant recipients in the world.
Schneider continued, “Perhaps that unselfish act of donation will save the life of someone destined to be a great researcher, perhaps a great writer, perhaps a surgeon who saves lives, or perhaps the next generation’s David Foster.”
About Walter Schneider:
Walter Schneider is the President and Co-Founder of the RE/MAX INTEGRA group of companies. RE/MAX INTEGRA is the largest real estate sub franchisor in the world and is based in Mississauga, Ontario. Schneider, along with his partner Frank Polzler, started the company in the basement of a small office building in 1980. Today the company owns and operates the RE/MAX brand in 36 countries, has over 2,800 franchise offices, and is home to nearly 38,000 sales professionals. In 2016, a member of the INTEGRA network sold a property every 64 seconds, 24/7, every day of the year somewhere in the world. That equates to over 454,000 of transactions and $2.2B in commission revenue.
About the David Foster Foundation:
The David Foster Foundation assists with non-medical expenses of families with pediatric organ-transplant patients who have to split their time between home and a city housing one of Canada’s eight pediatric organ transplant centres. The medical system does not support non-medical expenses such as food, housing, car payments and flights. This is where the David Foster Foundation steps in. In its 30-year history, the Foundation has helped more than 1,100 Canadian families.