In the Land of Plenty

Last night, I had a chance to catch up with Tammi Runzler, CASE, senior vice president of convention sales and services at Visit Orlando.

We wrote about Tammi’s incredible volunteer work in Haiti in our October issue. But since we last spoke to her, she’s added to her impressive list of aid efforts in that Third-World country — spearheading, funding, and seeing through the construction of a school in an incredibly poor town. Tammi told me she hired four qualified teachers to teach 125 children, ages 6–11, all of whom have never before set foot inside a school. She’s arranged to provide them not only with lessons, but uniforms and a daily meal — for most, it’s the only nutritious meal they will have that day.

Here we were, sitting at a table in the midst of a beautiful resort, surrounded by an assortment of artfully arranged, tempting food and drink, and the glare between the two worlds made me squirm a bit on my stool. Is it difficult for her, I asked Tammi, to work in such a world of plenty while regularly visiting a place where the most basic of needs often go unmet? “I believe there’s plenty of everything in this world to go around,” she told me. “It’s really a problem of distribution.”

Tammi is just doing her part to try to spread the wealth.


Michelle Russell

Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.