It is also the story of how I discovered I was living his legacy. In 2003, I co-founded the largest global giving circle movement dedicated to advancing gender equality and well-being for women and girls around the world—Dining for Women—based on a simple model that nurtures community, democratizes philanthropy, and multiplies the power of an individual. And it all began with Norm.

At heart, Norm Fintel was a farmer and people were his crop. He dedicated his life to peace and equality for humankind. This book of his life lessons is for anyone searching for ways to spread the seeds of goodwill. Now, more than ever, we are in need of leaders who have moral integrity and embody selfless service—qualities that transcend time, age, gender, and race. True leadership begins with a code of personal values and a commitment to living to serve another. Then another, and another…

Barbara Fintel Collins

Barbara Fintel Collins



As a fellow Minnesotan, I was touched by Norm’s profound yet practical advice on how to live a meaningful life and make a tangible difference. It’s not surprising that someone raised on a farm would understand so precisely the process for peace. Both require you to roll up your sleeves, get down in the dirt, and plant seeds that require daily care to flourish. This is a moving and timeless book about the nature of resilience, the call for courage, and the promise of peace—a message for a world that badly needs it.
Nancy Lindborg, President, United States Institute of Peace

Dr. Fintel’s life and words of encouragement released something within me that has allowed me to excel and succeed beyond my expectations. I know that his life examples will continue to inspire others as much as they have inspired me. Kenny Belton, President, Your Church Partner, Inc.; Member, Roanoke College Board of Trustees; Roanoke College Class of ’81

Dining for Women’s simple model reaches across boundaries of all kinds, nurturing community and democratizing philanthropy, creating a network of global citizens and champions of change that criss-crosses the globe. It is balm for our fractured world. Carrie Hessler-Radelet, President and CEO, Project Concern International; Member, Dining for Women Board of Directors; former Director, Peace Corps

Norm paid it forward throughout his life. His Christian faith, his family devotion, his crystal-clear leadership of people and institutions, his love of humanity and its goodness, shone throughout his life and it shines in this volume.” Michael C. Maxey, President, Roanoke College

Dr. Fintel understood the grace of Jesus Christ as that love that gives itself away for the life of others. His whole life was one of service done in the love of Christ. I look forward to reading his book again and again as I remember his legacy of selfless love and his passion for serving others. For me he was a gentle mentor, friend, and example of the faith. Jim Mauney, Bishop Emeritus, Virginia Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Norm and Barbara’s book is a blue print—a pathway—to the happiness and fulfillment we all crave for ourselves and those who follow. Doris Turvey Hansel, Writer, Virginia Senior Magazine