After graduate school a love of politics and a desire to live in DC landed Gardner inside the beltway. His first stop was Shandwick Public Affairs. Wide-eyed and wondering if three suits would be enough, he worked on Native American issues, telecom, airlines (really loved that client), heavy industry and glass. The glass was bomb resistant and led to the bomb range at Quantico to see the clients' products survive 50 pounds of TNT at close range.
The second stop was the American Chemistry Council (ACC). While there Gardner created, sold to the Board of Directors and implemented a $20 million annual communications campaign. He led the name change for the 175 year old organization from the Chemical Manufacturers Association to ACC.
He moved on to the Aluminum Association, leading both communications and sustainability. He attended Can School, learning more about aluminum cans than he ever imagined possible. He restructured the team, grew the communications function and dramatically grew the organization's visibility.
The US Pharmacopeia was the next stop. A $200 million global non-profit dedicated to pharmaceutical safety, Gardner created a global communications function, integrated marketing communications and created the organizations very first social media, SEO, and SEM programs. He increased earned media by a factor of 10. He killed a quarterly newsletter (who gets their news by the quarter?). While at USP, Gardner also managed the media relations surrounding the Premier of China's visit to USP facilities.
Gardner Public Affairs is the culmination of his career, allowing a life-long dream to be a small business owner.
Current clients include:
- The American Academy of PAs
- the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association
- Nature's Packaging