Chris Gardner is an entrepreneur, international best-selling author and an award- winning film producer. Gardner’s autobiography, The Pursuit of HappYness became a New York Times #1 best seller and has been translated into over forty languages, including six (6) dialects of Chinese and recently into Arabic. Gardner’s book, The Pursuit of HappYness was the inspiration for the critically acclaimed film in which Will Smith received the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations for his performance. His second book, “Start Where You Are” also a best seller was published in 2009. Gardner’s new book “Permission to Dream” was selected as “Book Of The Month” by the Wall Street Journal upon its publication.
After ‘retiring’ from thirty-seven years in the financial services industry, Gardner has described himself as a 67 year old ‘start up’ with significant interest in fin tech. Gardner currently serves on the boards of Verify Me (VRME, NASDAQ), The Change Company (CDFI established by the U.S. Treasury Department) and Smart Easy Pay. Two years ago, Gardner became the oldest “recruit” in the history of the United States Navy and has spoken on behalf of the United States Navy on the issues of recruiting and retention of talent at Career Development Symposiums (CDS) at naval bases and air stations globally.
Gardner’s major priority is the work of his foundation, The Christopher P. Gardner Foundation which is working to change the trajectory of young people’s lives. Gardner has described this effort as “making an alternative investment in human capital.” Gardner is currently doing a “tour” that will have him speak at 1,000 public schools all across America.