08.31.20 | Ep. 424 Chris Schembra | Founder of 747

Chris Schembra Ep. 424 Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg

Chris Schembra returned home to New York City in 2015 after producing a Broadway play in Italy. Feeling disconnected from his work, he started experimenting with some dishes in his kitchen and accidentally created a pasta sauce recipe. Chris invited 15 of his friends over for dinner and served them his new pasta sauce. Not only did they enjoy the meal, they liked the structure of the dinner, filled with delegated tasks, shared activities, and communal discussion. Chris fell in love with the joy of connecting people and began .

His company, 747, is an advisory firm which helps companies give the GIFT of community and belonging to their VIP clients and partners.   At each gathering, Chris asks attendees the question,  "If you could give credit or thanks to one person in your life, that you DON’T give enough credit or thanks to, who would that be?”

Chris has been selected #5 on the “10 Motivational Speakers that will Rock your next event” by Marketing Insider Group. He was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Smart Hustle Magazine, and “People of 2017” by Clientele Luxury Magazine. 

He's been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, USA Today, The New York Times, Variety Magazine, Fox News Channel, Psychology Today, Huffington Post, Bravo TV and more and is the author of the book "Gratitude and Pasta:  The Secret Sauce For Communication."



Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg Podcast was created to share the stories of men and women in business and entrepreneurship that are both well knowing and or hidden gems. Joel believes that everyone has a story and their story matters which is why Joel is eager to connect with individuals that are bringing value to their community through innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial journeys, and developing company culture. If you would like to be a guest on Joel's podcast please email us at joel@joelgoldbergmedia.com.


Joel Goldberg: Welcome into rounding the bases, the podcast that features the meeting of people between the intersection of performance and culture today, it will be a discussion about gratitude.

Joel Goldberg: Big thanks to AY Young for the music intro. I always forget to thank him but he's the one that put together that catchy tune

Joel Goldberg: I'm enjoying this episode right now. Sometimes I do them later on I'm enjoying it with my guest.

Joel Goldberg: Actually watching me on a zoom and listening to every word I say. So I see him looking at me like, all right, what are you about to say here, what I'm going to say is I'm going to guarantee

Joel Goldberg: I'm going to guarantee that this is going to be one of the best episodes. I've had and I haven't even heard it yet.

Joel Goldberg: But I can promise you that everyone will learn from this be inspired by this because those are my experiences with today's guests quick

Joel Goldberg: Bit of housekeeping. I have the rounding the bases live monday through friday on YouTube and

Joel Goldberg: Up on all the social media platforms, Facebook, so check that out for daily video guests. And then, of course, this is weekly so

Joel Goldberg: If you're not subscribed yet, I would love it if you would subscribe I won't beg for five stars, but that certainly helps to

Joel Goldberg: You know, the whole job with that. And if you need to get ahold of me, you can do so at Joel Goldberg media com this thing is going, whether it's baseball season or not pandemic or not.

Joel Goldberg: Now as for my guest. His name is Chris Schembra and he is in my world, what I would call a product of the pandemic for me.

Joel Goldberg: Because being home and being out of work. I met a ton of people that I might not have had the opportunity to do during the baseball season. Chris is

Joel Goldberg: An expert in gratitude. He wrote a book called gratitude and pasta, the secret sauce for human connection. And if that sounds strange or unique, it is no one's ever written a book.

Joel Goldberg: Like that.

Joel Goldberg: However, he is one of the most upbeat optimistic coolest guys I've ever met in I've never met him face to face just virtually in this world, Chris. How's that for an intro, is that okay

Chris Schembra: Oh my gosh, Joe, I'm so excited to be here with you today. And I mean, just before coming on this podcast I gave a keynote to the entirety of

Chris Schembra: Salesforce, you know they're there. They're so committed to their people and the person who organized that was also at the dinner where we met is Tiffany Bova

Chris Schembra: And what a. What an honor to be here today with you. We were introduced by john HALL AND JOHN. JOHN Rampton and john Rulon and Chris Yeah, and near I all and oh my god so many wonderful people that now circle, both of us. So this is going to be a great chat.

Joel Goldberg: Well, I just what you do.

Joel Goldberg: And the impact you have on people's lives, whether they be within your network and I consider myself in that network now or whether they be someone that's never met you. You bring so much joy to people's lives. And I know you feed off that it's like

Joel Goldberg: You know if its energy for you. I know that I just know it and

Joel Goldberg: Gratitude. Well, I mean, to me, now when I think about the word gratitude, I think of you because I watched the way you bring people together and have everyone leave with a feeling of feeling important. So we'll get to how you do that. Why

Joel Goldberg: All on stop.

Chris Schembra: No luck and

Chris Schembra: CRYING

Joel Goldberg: You know, but the last time I saw you, you were crying, much more than that.

Joel Goldberg: Right.

Chris Schembra: Man.

Joel Goldberg: We'll get to that. Look, there's not a person in the world that would disagree with me on that. If they know you. So one that's that's a compliment. But I think that the beauty of it.

Joel Goldberg: Is the journey that you have had because it didn't. You didn't just wake up and say, let me help people you needed help yourself.

Joel Goldberg: Before we get to that journey. Can you at least explain your company and what you do. We'll talk about the background of the first dinner and all that and what 747 means in a moment. But how would you describe what you do in this world.

Chris Schembra: Oh, man. So don't do founding stories skip straight to the what, oh man, Joe, putting me on the spot.

Chris Schembra: Yes, I'm like, if you're listening to this, odds are your world has just been completely turned upside down. You don't know what next month will be. You don't know what next year will be, you know, the future is a great uncertainty.

Chris Schembra: Now we're here on this planet to help you find the antidote to that future uncertainty fear what's to come. And the great antidote to being fearful of the future.

Chris Schembra: Is to go to a safe space, it's already happened that you're very comfortable with the past, and a tool to get us there is gratitude.

Chris Schembra: So we are obsessed with that great virtue that is now scientifically backed to improve well being and develop better relationships and we go into the biggest companies on the planet.

Chris Schembra: To help them show greater gratitude more love to their VIP clients partners teams etc because gratitude is not only good for well being. But it's great.

Chris Schembra: For business. Our clients have made 10s of millions and net new revenue around the dinner table using the principles of gratitude and we go on and do that for them with them, alongside them.

Joel Goldberg: And I've been a part of two of those dinners. A special events. One was an anniversary. One was bringing virtual speakers together. So I have lived it and and I have observed the

Joel Goldberg: Master facilitator in Chris chamber, because you have this way of putting people at ease.

Joel Goldberg: And at the same time, maybe getting out of their comfort zone but feeling good doing so and that is truly a gift because I didn't come into those calls thinking I was going to bare my soul or

Joel Goldberg: Or sit there and and connect with people that I've never met with before, but you know, you know how to do that. So now we'll get into a little bit of the the lie because

Joel Goldberg: If someone looks at your resume and makes it certainly read about the articles that have been written about you and Forbes and

Joel Goldberg: Other places like that and they, I would encourage them to get your book and and you've been talked about on different networks, but

Joel Goldberg: But here's a guy that was in theater that had been involved in Tony Awards and Emmys and Grammys and all that stuff. I mean, you know, everything must be perfect.

Joel Goldberg: But yet, I know that that you were going through your own personal troubles that I know you very much now have used to help others.

Joel Goldberg: So give me a give me a little bit of a background of how you got to here and the ability to impact and influence so many companies and just people individually.

Chris Schembra: Yeah. Joe, thanks for tea and up like that. 

Chris Schembra: it's our shared discomfort, our shared pain or uniqueness or dark spots that make make us not only human, but make us

Chris Schembra: Able to connect and my story.

Chris Schembra: For this podcast starts about five years ago. Yeah, like Joe said if you looked at my life, then everything looked great on paper will do

Chris Schembra: Great awards accolades of our peers building, you know, multi million person social campaigns. Cool.

Chris Schembra: Smiley Face and Body New York City. Yay. No, no, no, no, no, no, as so many of y'all that are listening here today know just because something looks good on paper.

Chris Schembra: Does not mean it feels good in the heart. And I realized that in July of 2015 I just come back from Italy. After producing a Broadway play over there about this short fat dude named theory yellow LaGuardia Guardia Airport. And when I got back to New York City, I realized

Chris Schembra: Italy changed my life. This is not how I should be living, I felt lonely unfulfilled disconnected insecure, like so many of us feel on a daily basis. And I realized

Chris Schembra: That the last time I had felt those four things at once led me down a deep dark winding road of suicide depression jail in rehab and I didn't want to go back

Chris Schembra: So I thought back. What did I love most about my time in Italy is the food. So I started playing around with

Chris Schembra: You know, food in my kitchen. When I got back to New York and accidentally created a pasta sauce recipe and I figured I should probably, you know, feed people, to see if it's even good or not. And I started hosting dinners.

Chris Schembra: And

Chris Schembra: With those dinners a ritual began now people showed up at 6:30pm we serve dinner at 8pm but at 7:47pm now the name of our company now the entire you know the three numbers of our brand we put the pasta in the pot, because it takes 13 minutes to cook out that day and we

Chris Schembra: got everybody to work together to create the meal. So we created this experience, and experience where people could serve each other and remove their ego and put their hands and pasta sauce.

Chris Schembra: And set a table together kind of go back to that childhood, you know, experimental adventure of like going you know being a guney or something.

Chris Schembra: And those dinner tables that dinner, you know, people were really affected positively they shared great stories. THEY CONNECTED THEY WENT ON TO LIKE quit their jobs to pursue a life of passion.

Chris Schembra: And it really saved our lives. I mean if less than six people cried, we considered it a failed night and I'm crying right now but

Chris Schembra: The more I looked at the dinner table months into doing these dinners. The more I looked at the dinner table, I realized it wasn't the pasta sauce at all. It was creating this transformation.

Chris Schembra: Is the gratitude. She had that very first dinner we asked a simple question.

Chris Schembra: If you could give creditor thanks to one person in your life that you don't give enough credit or thanks to who would that be

Chris Schembra: So we gave people the opportunity to pause reflect and take a look. Way back in their past to realize who have they never think

Chris Schembra: Something they've known their entire life. Someone they've never met before and we heard people telling stories of their

Chris Schembra: Mothers their fathers grandparents that people that beat them, the people that love them. The people who pluck them out of the Save the frigid North Atlantic and everything in between. And we realized that

Chris Schembra: We all have different stories we all go through different things, but as long as we can tell the wisdom of what we've learned from those experiences, positive or negative will find connection.

Chris Schembra: And we got lucky.

Joel Goldberg: Yeah, Lux involved in everything but you also

Joel Goldberg: You had a passion. I mean, I know you didn't know when you hosted that first dinner, it would turn into this

Joel Goldberg: But you were onto something with the human spirit. I mean, you did. Okay. You just wanted people to taste your pasta sauce.

Joel Goldberg: And you also created a friendly environment of bringing people over and

Joel Goldberg: Okay. It was the start of something, life changing for not just you.

Joel Goldberg: by so many people

Chris Schembra: We, we have been so

Chris Schembra: We have been so lucky. And so fortunate to be so fucked up so many times in our life that we were able to learn things at a young age.

Chris Schembra: And we could use that wisdom as a tool for connection, we could use that darkness at that original at that first dinner table I pretty much took our history in AA.

Chris Schembra: Our history and rehab our history in theater or history, growing up on an island where I was a tour guide our history of being Italian of being southern

Chris Schembra: And kind of, you know, found a good little way to package it

Chris Schembra: And so, you know, all those dark life experiences. The getting kicked out of places the running away from places the failing at places the being told to shut up and sit in a corner type of places.

Chris Schembra: All that gave us fuel. Every time someone said you couldn't do something that gave us fuel and fire.

Chris Schembra: And made us want to be there for others because that's the key to life. Right. Don't be the hero be the guide, be a good listener.

Chris Schembra: Be a good question asked her, be a great creator of safe spaces for others and facilitate their transformation. Remove your own ego and be a servant. That's what's that

Joel Goldberg: I just wrote that down. Don't be the hero be the guide and all we all will benefit from that advice and it's one that I'll

Joel Goldberg: I'll try to carry that quote with me because it's an easy one to remember. And it's a great reminder for all of us. So you host this first dinner. By the way did. Did everybody love this off.

Chris Schembra: You know, I'm the sauce is

Chris Schembra: Most people who have ever come to our dinners. It is their favorite sauce in the world.

Chris Schembra: It's actually Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick favorite sauce in the world.

Chris Schembra: But we've actually just, you know, for your listeners actually just partnered with a company in your neck of the woods out of Kansas City called spicing foods and by early October, because it has to go through the FDA and all that kind of crap. We will have a commercially

Chris Schembra: produced and distributed

Chris Schembra: Wine a pasta sauce.

Joel Goldberg: That's awesome.

Chris Schembra: If you want to pre orders just email in, and we'll get you first on the list. Yeah.

Joel Goldberg: Just mark me down.

Chris Schembra: Yeah, here's his comment.

Chris Schembra: Here's his coming. Anyways,

Joel Goldberg: Well you know that i mean for everybody else that is listening.

Joel Goldberg: What will tell them at the end of the show how to get ahold and learn

Joel Goldberg: On everything. So you had that first dinner. How many people at that dinner.

Chris Schembra: First enter was 15 people

Joel Goldberg: And then I'm guessing that that wrapped up and he said, Boy, that felt good. Let's do another one. But you weren't thinking that there be hundreds later.

Joel Goldberg: And all of this. There's no way

Joel Goldberg: But was that the feeling when it ended. Did you sit there and say, well, that was that was more than about a pasta sauce.

Chris Schembra: I am yeah i think it took a couple of dinners for us to realize that we're onto something.

Chris Schembra: You know, there's a difference between seeing impact and processing the impact and so many times in life. We don't acknowledge when we've had an impact on others, or when others have had an impact on us.

Chris Schembra: And so it took you know a few months of meditation and thinking about it in reflection and

Chris Schembra: You know, I think, I think the early dinner is now that I really think about it. I think I use the dinners as a tool to meet people.

Chris Schembra: Because I was chair. I've never, I've never realized this as part of the story. We started the dinners. In July 2015 I was running a theater company at the time it was like sick of my job.

Chris Schembra: So it was like, all right, this, this is like my ticket out but not really. But I was also chairing a, like a 500 person.

Chris Schembra: Philanthropy group in December of 2015 December six, or something. And I remember like wanting to use the dinner table as a way to like expand my network to raise money for the nonprofit.

Chris Schembra: I don't think I ever raised a single dollar from anybody that ever know. I mean, they people ended up all coming out to the gala and, you know, had a good time and everything, but

Chris Schembra: It was a way to like meet girls and it was like a way to, like, I don't know, just meet more people because we set a rule at the very first dinners. We set a rule that the first time you come, you come alone.

Chris Schembra: Second time you come, you bring a friend and after that you're eligible to nominate someone. And so if you give someone a life changing experience and they feel

Chris Schembra: Honored to be there and you say, Alright, man. Next time you come, you get to bring a friend Joe, you're gonna think of like the coolest person in your network.

Chris Schembra: So our

Chris Schembra: Network was expanding

Chris Schembra: Rapidly and we were climbing the social ladder that that quick. Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. So we were 28 year old kids.

Chris Schembra: They had no jobs, but had pasta sauce and meditation and a bunch of Kleenex boxes and we were just like, meeting the best people on the planet. It was just beautiful.

Joel Goldberg: It is beautiful. I gotta tell you, when I was invited to the virtual dinner to think was like May or June by john Hall and it was a bunch of virtual speakers and some of the names, you mentioned, I had no idea what the hell I was getting into. I'm just like, well,

Joel Goldberg: I was invited to this thing by some people. I don't know. And I know that there are a lot of accomplished speakers on here. So hey, it could be a cool networking

Joel Goldberg: Opportunity. As I'm sitting here out of work and baseball and no idea what's going on with my life and trying to, you know, be positive. And I had no idea what I was in for and you so beautifully and masterfully

Joel Goldberg: Execute this virtually at least the one that we did and it. Oh, we didn't have pasta sauce. Obviously at ours and we didn't have the food you can bring your own if you wanted

Joel Goldberg: But I love the way, there was a plan to all of this, you know, first act second act and breakout rooms and all this stuff but but it didn't feel like

Joel Goldberg: Corporate it felt like a dinner and felt like a gathering and the first thing. Want to ask though is

Joel Goldberg: The build up the anticipation you you build these dinners up with the emails like someone has a ticket to go into a Broadway theater that

Joel Goldberg: Can't be by accident, right, like

Joel Goldberg: No, you're right. This time, sharp 747 sharp. So, just tell me about that other than the obvious now.

Chris Schembra: 747 eight at to go bone deep, it's, it's a, it's, it's a, it comes more from the fetish kink underground of New York City than it does the theater space because I'm exerting control.

Chris Schembra: Now here's a meta thing to talk about is most of the people.

Chris Schembra: A lot of people live today.

Chris Schembra: Either have mommy issues.

Chris Schembra: Craving Mama's Love.

Chris Schembra: Or they just want to turn their brain off and be told what to do.

Chris Schembra: The people we serve are billionaires.

Chris Schembra: executives at the biggest companies on the planet.

Chris Schembra: These people make 1000 decisions a week.

Chris Schembra: If they can be invited into a safe space where they get to shut up and be told what to do and have

Chris Schembra: Some energy, kind of like a mama come and let them know that they're all right and they can share their story and they can have their voice be heard. That is a cathartic experience as a transformative life changing thing.

Chris Schembra: The amount of clients that we've had that have been titans of industry that have left our dinners and actually like had to sell their company to go like, buy a sailboat, and just piss off is astounding.

Chris Schembra: But it all starts with the minute they get the invite the minute they say Yes to the Dress. The minute that you're getting an invite, whether it's from me or you know being sent on behalf of, you know, one of our clients is

Chris Schembra: Hey this is what we're doing, there's a limited number of people. This is why I invited you. This is what you're going to get out of it. We expect you to show up and participate

Chris Schembra: Or else, you're cut off from our life completely. Would you like to come

Chris Schembra: Up.

Chris Schembra: Yeah, that's kind of intriguing.

Chris Schembra: And then for the weeks leading up to the dinner.

Chris Schembra: It's all right. Can't wait to see in two weeks arrivals are at 7:47pm sharp

Chris Schembra: Sharp in bold and caps lock.

Chris Schembra: Week out three days out two days out day before day up sharp, sharp, sharp. Come, come, come. If you don't come, you're done.

Chris Schembra: No people actually respect that people respect the power of no more than they respect power of yes

Chris Schembra: Especially people who have yes people in their life, all the time.

Chris Schembra: Right. So at a, at an in real life dinner. The moment they walk in with their ego and their stress and their power and their high heels, or their suits or whatever it is to exert control.

Chris Schembra: I immediately make them walk in the kitchen and the hug me

Chris Schembra: And I'm wearing my fanny pack my apron. My painted toenails. I like I'm like that scene, but I make them hug me

Chris Schembra: I make them put their BOTTLE WINE down on the kitchen counter or on the bar, whatever.

Chris Schembra: And then I tell them, don't ask them, I tell them, go get yourself a glass of wine and meet other cool people. I'll be with you in a little bit. And they're like, oh, okay. Yes, sir. Okay. I will

Chris Schembra: And then later on in the evening we delegate tasks, no free lunch. These people get to shut off their brain and be told what to do. He loved this why is the number one client for professional dominatrix a high powered CEO. Come on.

Chris Schembra: That's not lost. That's not lost on me. And so when you get to lead them with safety and structure and in from this

Chris Schembra: Then they just start melting away. Yes sir, yes sir, yes sir.

Chris Schembra: Here's my mommy issues. Thanks for the warm hug. Now, my life is changed.


Chris Schembra: So if you are a company and you want to provide that experience to your best customers.

Chris Schembra: And you help those people change their life because of that they will be loyal to you for ever and they'll pay a premium for your product or service.

Joel Goldberg: You don't need

Joel Goldberg: And you don't even need the dominatrix

Chris Schembra: Know you got some short white guy with the fanny pack.

Joel Goldberg: You're unbelievable.

Joel Goldberg: But, you know, there's just such a feeling to it and you know everything you described.

Joel Goldberg: I didn't experience because it was virtual but yet there was this connectivity. The way that that everything was, it wasn't like, let's see. What should we do now. No, it's okay. You're going off into groups of two or you're going off into groups of three and

Joel Goldberg: You have 12 minutes to talk. And this is what you're going to talk about and pay attention to each other and don't be looking down at your phones and, you know, push all that other stuff aside and connect with someone

Joel Goldberg: And you do the funny part was, you know, we had. I don't know how many people in what we were the 301st I believe dinner. The virtual one that

Chris Schembra: Oh god, that was a long time ago. Oh my gosh.

Joel Goldberg: Was a few months ago right but i mean i'm because I'm looking at my notes. By the way, I did look down on my phone and I took notes. I'm a note taker. So I really broke, broke rules.

Joel Goldberg: But I wrote down 301st dinner. And so they're all these people. And there's only one guy I've ever met on there and it was john Hall. Guess who, guess who I got paired in a room with

Chris Schembra: Tao. Yeah.

Joel Goldberg: Which I know that that pisses you off because you like people to not know each other, but it enabled me to be a little bit vulnerable and thank him for bringing me into this group and talk about some of my insecurities.

Joel Goldberg: I want to share something with you because you're I haven't told you this your reason for this and it involves gratitude.

Joel Goldberg: But I think on that call you had challenged everybody you had sent everybody into a breakout room talk about that one person what you just said. But you want to go back and think

Joel Goldberg: And and then there was the anniversary dinner recently and I think we did the same thing on that. And so I changed my answer, because I feel like it's kind of like the Family Feud. Like, you can't repeat you know your answer. You got to come up with a new one and

Joel Goldberg: I came up with this answer for the most recent call

Joel Goldberg: And then I actually reached out to that person to thank them, which I would never have done before so that that is you're doing. But here's the story I want to tell

Joel Goldberg: I during this pandemic had started this daily video podcast. I mean, I was home from baseball. I have nothing going on as a way to connect with people and

Joel Goldberg: The first weekend of the riots. The protests racial injustice in Minnesota. I had a guest scheduled for that Monday.

Joel Goldberg: And she's worked for many years for the Kansas City Royals she's younger. So I've known her since she was like an intern there and now she works at this urban youth academy they've built this beautiful facility for

Joel Goldberg: You know, boys and girls baseball softball education, you know, inner city underprivileged and it's just phenomenal. And so she was scheduled to come on to talk about that great podcast guest to have

Joel Goldberg: And she comes on and I asked her how she's doing that Monday morning. She's African American. And she says, You know what, I'm not great. I'm tired. I'm so upset by everything that's going on. I'm just tired of this.

Joel Goldberg: And I turned her and I said, do you want to do you want to talk about any of that because I'm happy.

Joel Goldberg: To discuss that during the podcast. And she said, Really, I said, yeah, and I could see the relief come over her face. It's like five minutes before we go on.

Joel Goldberg: And, you know, I've always lived in this world of being safe.

Joel Goldberg: Don't touch race discussion that's not safe just play it safe. You know, it's baseball. Stay out of all that

Joel Goldberg: And we had an hour discussion and she said to me. Look, I would have talked about this urban youth academy. I love the place, but that's not where my mind is right now that I, my mind is elsewhere. And I can see the relief come over her face and she said, thank you.

Joel Goldberg: And we had this discussion. And it was the first now of discussion after the discussion after discussion we finished it was such a good talk that it gave me the courage.

Joel Goldberg: And it gave me the confidence to have more of these discussions. Yeah, that I've never had before and bring more guests in that could give their perspective.

Joel Goldberg: Of racial injustice and white privilege and all these things that I never understood even though I I was raised to treat everybody fairly

Joel Goldberg: And it opened up this door for me and gave me a comfort level and a purpose. Wait a minute. I didn't start the podcast. Because of this, but I now understand that I have this platform.

Joel Goldberg: And so after that second dinner, like the next morning, maybe a couple mornings later I'm on my way to the stadium.

Joel Goldberg: And I called her and I should offer cell phone number or email but I saw the email that I have or something. I know her well enough to call her.

Joel Goldberg: But she didn't know the numbers and hello, it still Oh Hey Joe What's going on. I said, I, I just want to call. Thank you for something, she said, Why, and I told her, just what I told you right now. And it was like, it made her day

Joel Goldberg: And it brought me closer to her, and it gave me more confidence and understanding of gratitude. So that's what came with some of that for me was like

Joel Goldberg: Yeah, I could go back. In fact, my parents. I hope I've done that before I can go back and thank some of my mentors. I think I've done that before, but this person without even meeting to

Joel Goldberg: just opened up a whole new path for me or a new journey and a new confidence that she never intended to do anyway. It's just my long way of thinking that

Joel Goldberg: You have that impact on people. And that's a very, very long. I'm not the one supposed to be telling stories here. You're the one that's supposed to be getting the stories out of you, but it was a beautiful thing that that that I learned

Joel Goldberg: How powerful that can be to share what's in your head with someone else.

Joel Goldberg: So,

Chris Schembra: I challenged what you just said though it's not share what's in your head. It's share what's in your heart.

Chris Schembra: Because if you can bring more heart, not only into what y'all do in the community into the sport of baseball into your team into the management. Man, there's going to be a lot of lives that are impacted

Joel Goldberg: And we all have that ability. Right. So before I get to my baseball theme questions.

Joel Goldberg: I want to ask how much of this has changed your life because you've changed so many other lives but you know as well as I do that, it starts from within.

Joel Goldberg: How have you transformed over these last five years.

Chris Schembra: You know I'm, I'm an uneducated college dropout. Failed every program. They used to put me in. So, then I got to use the dinner table to get my master's degree and humanity. The dinner tables, my education.

Chris Schembra: The dinner table has become my academic outlet. We have a research division of our company now it's actually proving out the scientific benefits of what we do.

Chris Schembra: And I get to learn from them on a daily basis. Holy crap, this crap that they send me about monkeys and food sharing and social reciprocity and reciprocal altruism and all that stuff. I would have never pursued.

Chris Schembra: But now this topic gratitude. We're so passionate about and we can't read enough things about it. So we went from the least educated academically people in the room to now we're like, seen as an academic expert on a specific topic without the academic

Chris Schembra: Education. So that's the dinner table. And that's, that's it. I can tell you more about how people tick.

Chris Schembra: Then you know you can ever shake a stick at as, as, Can you and you know we're both in the people business. And so that's been what I'm most grateful for, is that I'm able to actually quantify.

Chris Schembra: That when I'm doing this. I'm firing on all cylinders. And most people take 60 years 80 years to find that. So I'm just grateful that we were able to find that at a young age, and then literally build a monster around it.

Joel Goldberg: And before this part of the journey began

Joel Goldberg: Other than I know that there was a lot messed up. How would you describe your life and what you did. I mean, you're a theater guy.

Joel Goldberg: I were like an

Chris Schembra: Awkward weird likable yet never invited kid like my greatest insecurity growing up is that I'm always the last one called to the party.


Chris Schembra: I think, you know, I think people probably looked at me and said, like I either always got mommy's help or  I was kind of weird maybe confused. Maybe I was always trying to do stuff and I was always getting stuff done.

Chris Schembra: I've gotten a lot of stuff done in my life. I was always like, awkward about it. And so now you know I'm able to actually live in my own truth.

Chris Schembra: And that's so i think i think people are finally attract I used to have to punch. I still have to punch my way through doors, life will never be easy.

Chris Schembra: I don't expect it to. Yes, we have more accolades and mortar spec for appears on a, you know, larger level, but I still have to punch above my weight on a daily basis. And I think people always realize that about me but because we're all kids.

Chris Schembra: And I started this in my mid 20s, so there there was still, you know, there is still not that many years of my life before starting the dinners, where I was just like that awkward kid trying to punch above my weight and like what no one wants to invite them anywhere.

Joel Goldberg: Now, you're the one inviting everyone

Chris Schembra: Yeah, I'm the one getting paid to invite everyone haha suckers.

Joel Goldberg: Yeah, not bad.

Joel Goldberg: No, not at all. So were you, was it always on the production. End of theater or were you on stage.

Chris Schembra: Wow. No, they don't put my mug on stage. I mean, at one point I one runner up best actor in the state of South Carolina award or something but

Chris Schembra: That that was nothing compared to what I do behind the scenes as a project manager as producer, as you know, I mean that this this dinner table, this whole thing is like my theatrical one man show

Joel Goldberg: I was gonna say

Chris Schembra: This is all it is. Yeah. I stood in the wing. I stood suppressed in the wings of the theory for five years was watching everybody else be the star. So I figured I step into the spotlight.

Chris Schembra: And now we've, you know, fortunately come into a period of growth of our company now because a coven yeah we're going to the best thing that's ever happened. Our company by far. I hate to say it,

Chris Schembra: But now we're at such a large scale of the amount of dinners. We do and knowledge shit that's going on that now I get to step behind the scenes again and just pull the curtain. I'm really excited to find those stars and and put them on the stage where they belong.

Joel Goldberg: It's your life. That's a passion. And again, I've been. I've been through. I've seen the magic of

Joel Goldberg: I think I said at the time after the first one that I went to that I didn't want it to end. 

me and it was, it was so much fun. It was it was a joy.

Joel Goldberg: Here are my baseball themed questions. Professionally speaking. What's the biggest home on you've hit

Chris Schembra: Taking the road less traveled and stepping into my own truth. And I know that sounds, whoo, whoo, but I'm the kid. Who was placed in the rubber rooms with the one way mirror every day as a kid that was my youth. They put me on cow tranquilizers. At the age of five.

Chris Schembra: It put me on the highest dosages of, you know, the Adderall or Ritalin Concetta that kind of stuff to shut me up to put the blinders on my creativity. And being able to step into that and use that darkness as a story of connection and not hide it away in the city store houses.

Chris Schembra: You know I hate to say it, but my own mom and dad LOVING THE DEATH, BUT FOR THE FIRST COUPLE YEARS OF THIS WHOLE DINNER thing.

Chris Schembra: They kept begging me not to tell my story of suicide depression jello rehab from stage. I said, Fuck that. I don't mean a curse, Joel.

Chris Schembra: But I said, No, I'm wearing it were right here every day. I'm going to tell that story. And that's going to be the opportunity for connection that's the greatest home run. I ever had.

Joel Goldberg: You're putting two words on your forearm tattoo.

Joel Goldberg: Tell them tell us what it says.


Chris Schembra: Is the Serenity Prayer.

Chris Schembra: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. So we, we need to make smarter or more wise more forgiving accepting people in this world.

Joel Goldberg: Beautiful okay swing and miss. What's the biggest swing and miss you have taken, what did you learn from it.

Chris Schembra: I've been trying for the last five years.

Chris Schembra: To get my former boss in theater, who I learned how to walk. I learned how to talk. I learned New York from this guy, he's a he's a gangster handsome celebrity.

Chris Schembra: Great energy giving

Chris Schembra: Pasta sauce. I learned a lot of stuff from him.

Chris Schembra: AND I'VE BEEN SWINGING for the fences for five years to get them to a dinner.

Chris Schembra: He is not come to one.

Chris Schembra: But as we know in life just because you swing and you miss

Chris Schembra: Doesn't mean you didn't learn something.

Chris Schembra: And his rejection on a consistent basis gives me the fuel and the passion to succeed because I don't think passion comes without hard work. I think hard work comes from fuel and hard work.

Chris Schembra: Creates passion over time. My buddy next like away team captain from the 2007

Chris Schembra: Boise State football team against the University of Oklahoma with

Chris Schembra: Remember liberty.

Joel Goldberg: Liberty boy.

Chris Schembra: Right. That was Nick slack away and he argues that it's from hard work that you derive passion and opportunity and connection and that rejection is what's fueled this entire movement.

Chris Schembra: But I use his rejection as

Chris Schembra: The need to go out it. I think it's healthy to have a chip on your shoulder. We've interviewed hundreds

Chris Schembra: Of the world's best founders and CEOs Inc 500 venture backed raised hundreds of millions of dollars that kind of stuff.

Chris Schembra: Pretty much all of them have some sort of moment in their life where they have a chip on their shoulder where they swung for the fences and missed in that got them the fuel to succeed.

Joel Goldberg: Last baseball team question small ball. I know you gratitude is

Joel Goldberg: Every part of your life now.

Joel Goldberg: And you help somebody other people with that.

Joel Goldberg: What are the little things that add up to the big things.

Chris Schembra: I'll start with a quote, and then I'll answer it personally. Chad Pennington great jets quarterback once said that gratitude is one of the greatest forms of servant leadership.

Chris Schembra: Where the only way to achieve big goals and big wins is to achieve the small goals and small wins and celebrate them.

Chris Schembra: Celebrate them as a team peer to peer gratitude. Bam. So big believer in those kind of small things, but this this small things for me are meditate every day.

Chris Schembra: Twice a day Transcendental Meditation every day, twice a day 20 minutes twice a day.

Chris Schembra: Small things are

Chris Schembra: As my friend MLS says don't skip your sweat cutie sweetie, something that she says, So exercise every day, meditate every day. I probably don't eat right every day because my whole diet consists of like pasta.

Chris Schembra: Pasta but

Chris Schembra: I say the small things is to know, is to understand that just because you pursue a life of passion.

Chris Schembra: Doesn't mean that it fulfills you every day. And that's all right. Your off days are still beautiful Your imperfections are beautiful.

Chris Schembra: And when you get to honor those small little imperfections in yourself and use them as a tool for connection. You really get to create some consistent growth. And I think the small things like investing in massages and Reiki and going in a boat and like being with people.

Chris Schembra: That's like something that no amount of success, you can ever forget about

Joel Goldberg: Great stuff. Now for final quick questions as we round the basis. The first one you did drop Sarah Jessica Parker Matthew Broderick before. What's the who's the biggest name that has attended a dinner.

Chris Schembra: You know, I'll tell a funny story for business contacts for the it's probably not the biggest name but

Chris Schembra: I mean that the, the guy who has the number eight song in the world right now on the bill. It was number three. Three weeks ago on the Billboard Hot 100 ST. JOHN who has 38 million followers, a month on Spotify. He's been to a dinner.

Chris Schembra: But the funny story is there's a guy named Chris Voss who wrote the book never split the difference how to negotiate as if your life depends on it. He's a cold business author legend right now probably top five best selling business book of the last five years. By far.

Chris Schembra: And he came to a dinner one time in Hollywood for a client and I watched him walk in and I was like holy shit it's Chris Voss and everybody else was like a celebrity there. So it was like, whatever, whatever.

Chris Schembra: But when it came time to sharing to doing our gratitude chairs. The guy next to me, who's a really famous DJ. He said, I'd like to give credit and thanks to my favorite author

Chris Schembra: Who I read His Book Two weeks ago, our entire team has changed, and he changed my entire outlook on life. Chris Voss

Chris Schembra: And I looked at him, I was like,

Chris Schembra: Are you, do you realize he's sitting right across from you.

Chris Schembra: And like our, our dinner tables are 12 feet by two feet. It's a very intimate thing. And I was like, he's literally right there. The whole table lean forward big celebrities lean forward and I looked down and I said, Who else here has read Chris Voss his book. Every hand went up. Every hand went up.

Chris Schembra: That was awesome. But look, we've done this with Bill Gates. We've done this with four year old kids on Skid Row. It's all yeah they're all big people to me. And, you know, if you take the time to show up and to answer the gratitude question your big person. My book that's for darn sure

Joel Goldberg: So I've done something that Bill Gates's done

Chris Schembra: Yeah, literally. He it is was at a wedding is wasn't at the dinner table. His was at a wedding and me and and Bill and Melinda and my girlfriend Molly. We got deep into gratitude and it was

Chris Schembra: Really, yeah.

Joel Goldberg: Okay, second question is, we were on the basis on your LinkedIn. It says that you are a under licenses and certifications, you only list 150 ton master.

Joel Goldberg: Captain US Coast Guard.

Joel Goldberg: Please explain.

Chris Schembra: I grew up on an island and I after high school I went off to college. And then I got kids off this

Joel Goldberg: Is this is Hilton Head right

Chris Schembra: Yeah, so I grew up on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and went off to college got kicked off got kicked out shipped off to rehab.

Chris Schembra: did that for a long time, moved back to the island became a Kayak Tour Guide telling stories about our island and meeting tourists on kind of stuff. They shipped down the living an iceberg and Patagonia for a long time, then it came back to Hilton Head and I said,

Chris Schembra: I want to run boats. So then I ended up getting my 50 ton masters, which is a massive, massive, massive book and and I ran boats shrimp boats fishing boats tour boats on those kind of boats for. A year and a half, until I moved to New York City 

Joel Goldberg: Okay, to finals, as we wrap up and round the bases finish out of the bases will go the

Joel Goldberg: Heavy question in the light question to wrap it up the heavy question is you are proof that just because there are struggles in life.

Joel Goldberg: Just because you get in trouble. As a kid, just because you're being labeled as you can't do this.

Joel Goldberg: And you're getting sent off to rehab and you're getting kicked out of here and getting kicked out of there. And now look at you.

Joel Goldberg: you're rubbing elbows with Bill Gates and that's fine. We can put all the name dropping aside, you're helping make an impact in their lives to you have unbelievable responsibility.

Joel Goldberg: To go with what I think my listeners are hearing are a truly unique and fun personality. Your yourself, which is awesome.

Joel Goldberg: What's the, what's the message to the young Christians out there. The young Christian brothers.

Chris Schembra: You weird, socially awkward. introverted.

Chris Schembra: gizmos and who has out there. You're not alone.

Chris Schembra: Whether you know your sexuality, whether you know your place in this world, whatever that insecurity is

Chris Schembra: Talk about it, let it out, you will find a community of people out there who believe in the same things. You believe in. 

Chris Schembra: And don't shy away from that don't fit in. Be original be unique. Yeah, might suck. Yeah, you might, I don't know, be shunned away from people that you love.

Chris Schembra: But fuck it, find a tribe, find your people find people believe in the same things. You believe in and step into that weirdness. That's it. You know, and so young, Chris, I'd say, I'd say five year old, Chris, I'd say.

Chris Schembra: It's going to be all right. This too shall pass for 15 years of my life from the age of five to 20 they put blinders on me.

Chris Schembra: Right. They shoved medicine down my throat. They put me in padded rooms with the one way mirrors, where I couldn't hang out with my friends. I don't remember. Most of my childhood because of that trauma I rely on my friends to be my memory.

Chris Schembra: But that's all right, believe that it will all come around and be all right in the end may take a while but stick to your truth. Stick to your stuff. Don't hide your pain. Do not try to lie about it. I lied so much as a kid.

Chris Schembra: So don't surround yourself with yes people surround yourself with people who will call you out on your shit but be empathetic that you've got shit that needs to be worked out.

Joel Goldberg: All right, we'll go on the lighter note to end it because you always want to end on on that. Well, you could ended on heavy too but

Joel Goldberg: I've always heard this question in sports or some form of it. If you could

Joel Goldberg: Have a dinner or if you could go on the golf course and invite your ideal for some or whatever. So

Joel Goldberg: Who would be the ideal guest for you at a dinner that you've never had.

Chris Schembra: Probably Alexander Hamilton. He was at was a line in his play Hamilton, you know, why do you write like you're running out of time writing at night, like you're running out of time.

Chris Schembra: The man is non stop. I want to hear about a sleepless nights. I want to hear about the anxiety. I want to hear about the feeling of being so abandoned or not listen to or not enough time in the day that he turned to philandering

Chris Schembra: That he turned to infidelity. And he turned to fucking over his friends that he turned to giving the advice that made his son die. I want to listen to that pain. I want to listen to how he got through that. I would love to do that and be there for him be there.

Joel Goldberg: Hello. Have you had Lin Lin Manuel Miranda or no.

Chris Schembra: Not yet, and We're, we're it's two degrees of separation. I'll get him one day.

Joel Goldberg: I have no doubt.

Joel Goldberg: I just as your this

Chris Schembra: Even if I need City Bank to pay for it.

Joel Goldberg: As you were describing Alexander Hamilton and I'm, I'm hearing the song in my head. Now, I was thinking is that you

Chris Schembra: Yep, yep, I listened to that soundtrack on repeat two times a day, every day for the first year of our business.

Chris Schembra: I kid you not, and my girlfriend will tell you first every song we listened to was either Paul Simon Pearl Jam or the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat. I mean, talk about the wine. I'm young, scrappy, and just like my country I'm young, scrappy, and hungry, and I'm not throwing away my shot.

Chris Schembra: I mean I got chills right now, Joe, I'm so hungry to have an impact and I will not sleep until I've had the impact

Chris Schembra: That we deserve to have on this world. I want to touch millions Joe and we have before. But it wasn't my brand right I've run social campaigns that have impacted 30 million people.

Chris Schembra: I'm not satisfied. I'll never be satisfied. That's both the worst and best part about me. I'm so hungry. And now I'm crying again for the third time.

Joel Goldberg: You're allowed and I've seen it before. It's beautiful. By the way, I saw, I saw much more letting loose than this.

Chris Schembra: Now, oh my god, that was that was that anniversary cry was a great cry.

Joel Goldberg: Ooh, that was not a few seconds.

Joel Goldberg: Right.

Joel Goldberg: The book is gratitude imposter the secret sauce for human connection, you can find that I think probably anywhere that you buy a book which is very easy to do nowadays.

Joel Goldberg: If there are companies executives, whoever might be that are listening that want to say how do we bring this guy in to help us how they do it.

Chris Schembra: Now, and fall out at 747 club.org or find me on LinkedIn, our team monitors our LinkedIn messages. If you're a company. I mean, our sweet spot is if you're a founder and you've got a couple thousand employees.

Chris Schembra: A couple hundred million dollars a year. You got all the cash in the bank and wife and kids at home. Yes, I'm, I'm, I'm talking to men, because I think men are a lot

Chris Schembra: lonelier than the world knows and that happens to be our sweet spot love women love serving women, but these men, we need they need help they need help. And if you're sitting there saying my life looks great on paper company's growing 60% a year. But you know what Joel I am miserable.

Chris Schembra: Especially in times of coven you miss connecting with your customers with your peers, your season ticket holders, whatever it may be.

Chris Schembra: Call us give us your hungry. Give us your lonely will take care of them.

Joel Goldberg: Chris Schembra is

Joel Goldberg: The author again of gratitude and pasta, the secret sauce for human connection and his company.

Joel Goldberg: Is making an impact or just Google his name and read some of the articles, it's, it's amazing, it's unique. I've never seen or experienced anything like it.

Joel Goldberg: There's only one Christian we're out there which is well we can use more Christian brothers in the world, but will stick to this one, and that is good enough bring hope along for the ride.

Joel Goldberg: Everything is better there to

Joel Goldberg: Thank you, my friend for spending all the time today and

Joel Goldberg: Just keep doing what you're doing. You don't need to hear that, for me, but you're making an impact in the world. One person or sometimes many people at a time, whether they be, whether they be the no names like me or the big names like the Bill Gates.

Chris Schembra: Thank you for having me. Joe, it's been a true pleasure. Great question asked her.

Joel Goldberg: Appreciate it. Thanks, Chris. Stay well. Be safe that's going to do it for another edition of rounding the bases. Again, you can reach me at Joel Goldberg media.com you can send that email info at Joel Goldberg media.com thank you hope to catch you next time on rounding the bases

Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg Podcast was created to share the stories of men and women in business and entrepreneurship that are both well knowing and or hidden gems. Joel believes that everyone has a story and their story matters which is why Joel is eager to connect with individuals that are bringing value to their community through innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial journeys, and developing company culture. If you would like to be a guest on Joel's podcast please email us at joel@joelgoldbergmedia.com.