Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Gardner has spent most of his professional career in the brokerage and investment field. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, his initial position in the securities industry was with Dean Witter Reynolds. Later, he became a top producer at Bear, Stearns & Company, first in San Francisco and later in New York.
Mr. Gardner has brought an unconventional perspective to the investment business: prior to his positions at Bear, Stearns and Dean Witter, he was a research biologist at the University of California Medical Center where he co-authored and published eight articles on the preservation of myocardial high energy phosphates. Prior to that, he was enlisted in the U.S. Navy Hospital Corp.
In October 1987, Mr. Gardner established Gardner Rich as an institutional brokerage firm specializing in the execution of debt, equity and derivative products transactions. Through Mr. Gardner’s brokerage expertise, Gardner Rich has grown by focusing on its commitment to provide quality service and excellent trade executions for clients. Under Mr. Gardner, the Firm has been a benefactor to many thousands of students, teachers and other school employees around the nation. Mr. Gardner has directed his firm to contribute 10 percent of all profits to communities where the company does business. Gardner Rich has donated more than $1 million to public education institutions in the communities it serves. “Our motto is simple,” says Mr. Gardner, “equal opportunity also means equal responsibility.”
Mr. Gardner currently holds series 3, 7, 27 and 24 FINRA licenses.
Information on Chris Gardner's books and public speaking is available at
Chief Compliance Officer
Colleen Carlson joined Gardner Rich in May of 1994. Mrs. Carlson is responsible for directing Gardner Rich’s business operations. As Chief Compliance Officer, she develops, initiates, maintains, and revises policies and procedures for the general operation of the Compliance Program and its related activities to prevent illegal, unethical, or improper conduct.
Ms. Carlson currently holds series 7, 63 and 24 FINRA licenses.