Chief Executives' Roundtable Welcomes CHRIS GARDNER April 26, 2007
Chris Gardner is the owner and CEO of Christopher Gardner International Holdings with offices in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Surmounting acute obstacles on his road to success, Gardner is an avid motivational speaker, addressing the keys to self-empowerment, beating odds, and bcycles.
The amazing story of Gardner's life was published as an autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, (Amistad/Harper Collins) on May 23, 2006, and is the inspiration for a movie of the same title to be released by Columbia Pictures on December 15, 2006. Will Smith stars as Gardner, and Gardner is an associate producer.
Always hard working and tenacious, a series of circumstances in the early 1980's left Gardner homeless in San Francisco and the sole guardian of his toddler son. Unwilling to give up Chris Jr. or his dream of financial independence, Gardner started at the bottom. Without connections or a college degree, he earned a spot in the Dean Witter Reynolds training program. Often spending his nights in a church shelter or the bathroom at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in Oakland, Gardner was the sole trainee offered a job at Dean Witter Reynolds in 1981. He spent 1983-1987 at Bear Stearns & Co., where he became a top earner, and then in 1987, he founded the brokerage firm Gardner Rich & Co in Chicago.
Chris Gardner's remarkable story of struggle, faith, entrepreneurialism, and fatherly devotion has catapulted him beyond the notoriety he has found on Wall Street. He has been featured on many tv programs including "20/20," "Oprah," "The View," as well as being the subject of profiles in numerous newspapers and magazines. He is also a highly sought after speaker.
For more information about Chris Gardner, check out his website at www.chrisgardnermedia.com