Marc A. Silverman,
CFP, ChFC, is a man of many interests. The 33-year MDRT member is a private pilot,
flying his own six-person plane on a weekly basis; he maintains and enjoys a large saltwater
fish tank at his home in Miami, Florida; and he’s a seasoned magician, having spent seven years
performing 100 shows a year for kids.
Yet these pale in comparison to his long-standing dedication to giving back, which has led to his new role as MDRT Foundation President, as of September 1.
“If you do well in this business, which anyone who’s part of MDRT does, I think you have an obligation to give back to the community,” he said.
Silverman, who does financial planning for retirees and pre-retirees, recalled his initial experience with the MDRT Foundation. He attended his first Annual Meeting in 1985 in San Francisco, California, where he learned about the MDRT Foundation’s charity partner, the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
He has held a volunteer position within MDRT every year since then, to the point where it would take less time to list the roles he has not had than the ones he has. As the former Divisional Vice President and continued Top of the Table qualifier, he notably proposed that the MDRT Foundation should hold a service project during the Top of the Table Annual Meeting. This service project is now going into its third year.
Throughout his decades of service, Silverman often has focused his efforts on organizations assisting children in need. He has raised and given his own money, and previously served as a board member, to the ChairScholars Foundation, which helps kids with physical disabilities afford college.
Silverman also has a client whose son was born with a variety of medical issues. Through the ChairScholars Foundation and support from donors like Silverman, Pablo was able to attend the University of Florida. After Pablo tragically died on the operating table at 18, his parents started a foundation in his honor, which Silverman has also supported.
In addition, Silverman serves on the board of Margaux’s Miracle Foundation, a nonprofit founded by one of his clients whose daughter passed away from Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, at the age of 15.
Silverman’s family is similarly committed to helping kids: Patti, his wife of 31 years and a speech pathologist in the public school system, buys Christmas presents every year for students whose families cannot afford to buy them. Silverman’s daughter, Cara, lives in New York and is studying art education.
On top of that, Silverman has spent time giving to Camillus House, an organization working to help people in Miami who are homeless. He sees these volunteer commitments as an integral part of his life and does not seek recognition for his work supporting these organizations.
“When you give without telling anybody about it, that’s where you get the greatest impact,” he said.
Even in his new role as MDRT Foundation President, Silverman repeatedly emphasized that it is not about him — it is about the Foundation serving members and properly connecting their money to the charitable organizations they care about. Since becoming involved as a board member in 2009, Silverman has seen great strides in the Foundation, including the addition of Japan as a Foundation affiliate and expansion of its annual grants budget, including doubling the top Quality of Life grant from $25,000 to $50,000.
Founded in 1959, the MDRT Foundation has given more than $30 million in grants to organizations around the world, including $1.2 million in the past year.
Silverman said the best parts of being on the Foundation board are working with the Grants Committee to determine where the grants go and giving the news to members that they were approved for a grant.
Moving forward, he wants to provide grants for the Membership Communications Committee (MCC), which connects MDRT leaders and members worldwide, to present at a local meeting to enhance the visibility of the Foundation and its operations.
“I would hope that after I’m done as a president,” he said, “we — not me, we — as board members really did the best job in acting as fiduciaries for our members, and getting the grants to the right people who our members feel deserve it.”