Christopher Gardner is the owner and chief executive officer of brokerage firm Gardner Rich LLC. He climbed the financial industry ladder from the bottom. Although a series of adverse circumstances left Gardner homeless in San Francisco while the sole guardian of his toddler son, Gardner remained tenacious and learned how to be a successful broker. His best-selling life story, The Pursuit of Happyness, was translated into more than 30 languages. It also inspired a blockbuster film starring Will Smith.
Gardner’s second best-selling book, Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, was published in 2009. He is AARP’s Ambassador of Pursuit and Happyness and a philanthropist focused on combating financial illiteracy, homelessness and violence against women.