Steve Sansweet is a Star Wars Memorabilia Jedi Master

His Collection is Certified by Guinness Records as the World’s Largest

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Star Wars fans and collectors are legion, but among them “The Force” is undoubtedly strongest with Steve Sansweet, who spent more than 27 years as a reporter and bureau chief with The Wall Street Journal.

Steve is, as certified by Guinness World Records, the owner of the world’s largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia, and President and CEO of Rancho Obi-Wan, an independent non-profit museum in Petaluma, California that houses part of his cache. (He loans his collection to the museum but continues to own it privately.)

As Steve explains to host and award-winning journalist Dean Rotbart, he began collecting in 1976 as a passion, and in November 2011 “retired” to open and operate the museum. Although Steve doesn’t say so directly, Dean estimates his Star Wars collectibles are worth many millions of dollars, far more than if he had invested his available funds on Wall Street.

Dean’s interview with Steve is an edited excerpt from his extended conversation with the Star Wars memorabilia Jedi Master that will be available later this year as part of Dean’s “News Luminaries” project, honoring journalists who have had – or are having – exemplary careers. Beginning on Thursday, March 12th, and each week thereafter, Dean will post an oral history with a prominent 21st century journalist.

Stay tuned to Monday Morning Radio for more details on the journalism honors program.

You may also enjoy these past editions of Monday Morning Radio, featuring other successful entrepreneurs and professionals who’ve launched their own amazing non-profit projects:

Photo: Steve Sansweet, Rancho Obi-Wan
Posted: February 10, 2020
Monday Morning Run Time: 43:38

 

Successful and Charitable Small Business Owners

All Kids Bike® Aims to Teach Every Kindergartener in America to Ride

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In the spirit of the 7th Annual GivingTuesday, this week’s podcast examines the growing number of small business owners who are creating 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundations to buttress their philanthropic efforts.

In the spotlight is Ryan McFarland, a sterling example of CEOs who are giving back in gratitude for their own success.

Ryan is the founder of Strider Sports International and its nonprofit sibling, the Strider Education Foundation, or SEF.

Ryan worked closely with Monday Morning Radio host Dean Rotbart, who is a National Ambassador for the All Kids Bike® movement, to set an audacious goal: teach every child in America how to bike before they reach the first grade.

Through SEF, the All Kids Bike® movement has already donated free bikes, helmets, and training programs to 136 schools in 26 states. And the campaign is just getting pedaling.

Ryan is Dean’s guest on this week’s Monday Morning Radio, sharing the ups-and-downs of simultaneously running a for-profit and not-for-profit organization.

To learn more about All Kids Bike® and support its efforts on GivingTuesday, visit www.allkidsbike.org. To donate now, click here.

Discover the science behind the All Kids Bike® movement by viewing the inaugural All Kids Bike® Health and Education Symposium – five panels featuring global experts on the physical, psychological, and academic benefits of early childhood biking.

Photo: Ryan McFarland (l) All Kids Bike® and Dean Rotbart, Host
Posted: December 2, 2019
Monday Morning Run Time: 48:05

The UnBusiness Story Behind Chapel Dulcinea

A Special Episode Featuring Pennie and Roy H. Williams

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Sometimes the best business stories are UnBusiness stories.

The tale of Chapel Dulcinea is one of those, the world’s first and most popular free wedding chapel – launched in 2005 by Wizard Academy co-founders Pennie and Roy H. Williams – and playing host to more than 1,000 new unions each and every year.

Pennie and Roy, who were married with hardly a dime to their name in 1976, envisioned Chapel Dulcinea as a sanctuary to help cash-strapped couples take their vows and first steps forward as a married couple.

This week, host and reputation coach Dean Rotbart joins Pennie and Roy on a special edition of Monday Morning Radio, to share the wonder and magic of a dream wedding chapel come true. What’s your UnBusiness dream?

[To contribute as little as $5 a month to help defray the cost of keeping Chapel Dulcinea free, click here.]

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Posted: October 2, 2017
Monday Morning Run Time: 36 minutes 43 seconds 

From Multi-Millionaire Entrepreneur to Comatose Stroke Victim and Back

Businessman Mark Moore on Overcoming Life’s Most Debilitating Challenges

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This week is exactly ten years since Mark Moore, a 46-year-old multi-millionaire tech entrepreneur, had back-to-back strokes that nearly killed him.

His recovery was arduous and life-changing. When he could walk again, Mark walked away from the business world and now dedicates all his talents and energies to helping other people rebound from some of life’s most debilitating challenges.

Mark is the author of a just-off-the-presses book titled, A Stroke of Faith: A Stroke Survivor’s Story of a Second Chance at Living a Life of Significance.

The book retells the uplifting story of Mark’s recovery and rebirth, and is an inspiration for anyone – not just stroke survivors – who are faced with what may seem like insurmountable obstacles.

Mark is interviewed on this week’s program by host and reputation coach Dean Rotbart.

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Posted: May 8, 2017
Monday Morning Run Time: 33 minutes 55 seconds 

The Inside Scoop on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and What Other Charities and Businesses Can Learn From It

Featuring Tanner Hockensmith – Executive Director, ALS Association Texas

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This week on Monday Morning Radio, The Wizard Academy’s Buzz Snatching maestro, Dean Rotbart, takes listeners behind the scenes of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – a global viral marketing campaign that raised more than $110 million for charity in about one month.

Tanner Hockensmith, Monday Morning Radio

Offering advice to charities and business owners based upon the huge success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Dean’s guest is Tanner Hockensmith, Executive Director of the ALS Association Texas Chapter and a national spokesperson for the organization.  Tanner dissects the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge and offers advice on how charities and business owners can generate their own buzz snatching campaigns.

You can also read Dean’s article about his interview with Tanner on Examiner.com.

ALS Ice Bucket Participants

Participants includes (clockwise): George and Laura Bush, Justin Timberlake, Bill Gates, and Jimmy Fallon

Donate now to the ALS Association.

Dean teaches the popular Buzz Snatching course at The Wizard Academy. Those interested in attending his next class (in early 2015) should email him at: dean@mondaymorningradio.com.

Dean and wealth management expert David Biondo are co-hosts of Business Unconventional. The one-hour radio newsmagazine debuted in October 2011 on News/Talk 710 KNUS AM in Denver.

Be sure to follow B. Unconventional on Twitter: @BUnRadio and subscribe to Roy H. Williams’s Monday Morning Memo.  The best things in life really are free!

Posted: September 29, 2014
Monday Morning Run Time:  28 minutes  44 seconds
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