On September 11th, 2001, Ari Schonbrun went to his office at Cantor Fitzgerald the Wall Street firm that occupied the top five floors of Tower One and he happened to be on the 78th floor changing elevators when the first plane hit. In the midst of the smoke and chaos, Ari found a fellow employee who was terribly burned and who needed his help to walk her down 78 flights of stairs. Of the 662 Cantor employees in the World Trade Center that day, only four survived. Everyone else was killed. Why did they survive? Was it simply luck? Or was it something more? Ari believes that God was looking out for him that day. There were many large and small miracles and if there s anything that Ari does know it is how that day ended up being a day of rebirth. Before 9/11, Ari had been focused on the wrong things. All he cared about was his job. He didn't get it. He had lost sight of what matters most in life. After 9/11, Ari changed his life by putting his family first, by volunteering and giving back to the community, and by speaking to groups of people around the country. By sharing and retelling his story, Ari reveals the power of creating meaningful connections to transcend the differences that often polarize and divide us from one another. A great and enduring reminder about what matters most in life.
Mr. Schonbrun is a renowned inspirational speaker and the author of Miracles & Fate on 78. He draws from the personal heartbreak he endured during the devastation of 9/11, deftly weaving in his capital markets expertise after more than three decades of working on Wall Street. He speaks with energy, fluency and wisdom, utilizing his humorous and engaging personality to stir and inspire audiences worldwide. Mr. Schonbrun is a native New Yorker. He is passionate about philanthropy and serves as a board member of Strength to Strength, a global non-profit organization that works with victims of terror across the world. Mr. Schonbrun and his wife, Joyce, live in New York. They have five children and several grandchildren.