Fred Broder was teaching in a school in Harlem and planned to stay in New York. However, that plan changed when, in 1968, Broder assisted his parents as they moved from the Bronx to Atlanta.
Broder was hired by Atlanta Public Schools as the first white teacher at an all-black elementary school. He became the assistant principal of that school and served on the Systemwide Desegregation Task Force.
Broder, as central office coordinator of elementary curriculum for 110 elementary schools, was hired by the Georgia Association of Educators, with a membership of 35,000, to serve as director of training and professional development.
After delivering many speeches and training programs throughout Georgia, Broder began receiving invitations from non-educational groups. This led to his opening his own speaking, training, and consulting business.
He was hired to address an annual managers meeting for Zep Manufacturing, followed by a second invite to conduct a training program for their managers.
Broder received an unexpected call from Harry Maziar, president of Zep, to assume the position of director of sales training and organizational development for the company. After 12 years, he left Zep and reactivated his own business.
Broder, in conversation with the AJT, shares highlights of his speaking and cruising career.
AJT: How did you begin speaking on cruise ships?
FB: An attendee at one of my business presentations thought I would be well received as a speaker on cruise ships. She connected me with an agent, and that is many cruises ago.
AJT: How many presentations do you deliver on a cruise?
FB: Depending on the duration of the cruise, I deliver between three and five, 45-minute presentations. These presentations are usually provided when the ship is at sea. Cruises have taken my wife, Glenda, and me, to Brazil, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Scandinavia, and Russia.
AJT: What is unique about your presentations?
FB: To draw a crowd and start a buzz among passengers about my presentations, I try to be both entertaining and informative. My presentations are really “edutainment.” I may dress as Elvis, or in a full karate outfit to support my message. I may sing to the attendees, bring audience members on stage to dance with me, engage the attendees in activities, all in the context of an important point that I hope they will embrace. I am constantly moving on stage or into the audience with a lot of humor, theatrics, and high energy.
AJT: Have you ever had any unusual experiences?
FB: Many years ago, in St. Petersburg, Russia, my wife and I got separated from our tour and the tour bus left without us. We had no option but to ask a Russian police officer to help.
AJT: What is on your cruise horizon for 2023?
FB: My mom is 101 years old and lives at the Jewish Tower. I have chosen to decline speaking invites on cruise ships, for the time being, to be available to attend to my mom’s ongoing health needs. At some point, I plan to resume speaking on cruise ships. I did, however, recently, deliver a program for the staff of the Jewish Tower.
- Susanne Katz Karlick
- Fred Broder
- Atlanta Public Schools
- Systemwide Desegregation Task Force
- Georgia Association of Educators
- Zep Manufacturing
- Harry Maziar
- cruise ships
- the Mediterranean
- Jewish Tower