Most people keep a personal picture on their desks. Usually it's a family member. Sometimes it's a pet. Charles Binder has a picture of The Lone Ranger on his desk. "He didn't have any magical super hero powers, but he always did the right thing," is how Charles explains why he likes that picture. Charles is in charge of seeing to it that Binder & Binder® "does the right thing" for our clients.
Doing "the right thing" follows a Binder family tradition that says, "Do what you do better and nicer." Charles and his brother Harry expect everyone in our company to remember and respect that tradition in dealing with our clients. Charles says, "At the end of the day I know what we do has made a difference in the lives of some people who need help. In my world I get hugs and kisses."
Charles never takes the easy way out. His favorite client, and a case in point, is an orphaned woman who was born with no ears. By the time she was 6, she'd had dozens of operations to try to correct the problem, but they were only partially successful. Her high pitched voice and unusual appearance made it easy for the kids at school to make fun of her. That took an awful emotional toll on her. It made her try to hide from life. Kids can be cruel. So can adults.
As an adult, she applied for Social Security Disability benefits and was denied. So she hired Binder & Binder®, and Charles took a personal interest in her case. "I had to. She was really defenseless and just about out of hope" he says.
Since she had never worked, Charles had to prove her disability started before age 21, which was 9 years before she became a client. If that wasn't hard enough, she was reclusive and scared to see a doctor so she hadn't seen one in years.
She had never worked so he had to win monthly financial benefits and Medicare coverage for her based on her late parent's incomes. It took five years and a lot of work... but she won. The Masked Man in the picture on that desk would have been proud.
The Lone Ranger isn't the only Ranger in Charles' life. He's also a huge fan of the N.H.L. New York Rangers. Charles and Harry have season tickets to all home games, and on occasion they sneak out of town to cheer the team on in places like Montreal and Toronto. Charles is also a big time Yankee fan. One of his major memories of fun at the house that Ruth built was catching what he first describes as "a screaming line drive off third baseman Robin Ventura's bat."
When you look him right in the eye, and say..."really... a screaming line drive?" he will sometimes reluctantly admit... "It actually bounced off the belly of the guy behind me, and I caught it on the re-bound." Good baseball stories and good fishing stories have some things in common.
Charles is much in demand as a public speaker, and for years, he hosted his own program on the Air America radio network. But he says, "I'm not nearly as famous as my hat." That's because he's so often recognized from our TV commercials. He'll tell you, "People say 'you're the guy in the hat. They don't know my name, but they know my hat."
Charles is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School, and a member of the New York Bar. But that's kind of a disguise. In reality, most of the people who know him will tell you he's a 21st century version of the guy who rode the range in the Old West... doing the right thing... the Man in the famous mask whose picture is on Charles' desk. Of course New York guys don't run around wearing a famous mask. But sometimes, they do go around wearing a famous hat.