The Change Company Welcomes Chris Gardner to its Board

Mr. Gardner, author of The Pursuit of Happyness, brings his passion for inspiring systemic change and expanding access to the American dream

Originally published on [BUSINESS WIRE]

February 24, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

IRVINE, Calif.--The Change Company, America’s Community Development Financial Institution (“CDFI”), is proud to announce that Chris Gardner has joined its Board of Directors.

“I am excited to help The Change Company work to eliminate systemic economic inequalities standing in the way of all Americans finding their own Happyness.”

Mr. Gardner is an entrepreneur, single parent, and best-selling author of The Pursuit of Happyness and Start Where You Are. The Pursuit of Happyness became a New York Times and Washington Post #1 Bestseller as well as an iconic film starring Will Smith. Mr. Gardner is currently completing his newest book, Permission 2 Dream, which will be released in April 2021.

Mr. Gardner stated, “The Pursuit of Happyness is the story of my life, but I’ve always thought of it as a book about the strength of America, where so many have every opportunity to quit, but don’t. Where even a homeless veteran with a toddler son could succeed in finding Happyness. I am excited to help The Change Company work to eliminate systemic economic inequalities standing in the way of all Americans finding their own Happyness.”

Antonio Villaraigosa, 41st Mayor of Los Angeles and Chair of The Change Company, said, “I am thrilled to welcome Chris to our Board. Together we will continue to address the structural economic inequalities facing Black, Latino, and low-income borrowers across America. Chris and I share a passion for helping those – once like us – who are without a voice and in danger of being left behind.”

Steven Sugarman, Founder of The Change Company, added, “The Change Company is focused on expanding access to capital for Black and Latino homeownership and small businesses. We are thrilled that Chris has agreed to join our Board and help accelerate our ability to safely and responsibly expand access to banking and lending to those the system is currently failing.”

BC Silver, President of Change Finance, said, “I look forward to working with Chris to bring opportunity to those pursuing their American dreams. Together, we will bring Change to America’s underserved communities that have been neglected by banks and traditional lenders for far too long.”

Mr. Gardner has over three decades of experience in financial services, including at Dean Whitter Reynolds, Bear Stearns, and as the Founder of Gardner, Rich & Co. Currently, he is a financier, author, and America’s favorite “substitute teacher” - completing a tour of 100 middle schools and high schools in Los Angeles with a goal of speaking at 1,000 schools all across America in 2021. Mr. Gardner’s innovative Back2HighSchool program helps students learn important life and financial lessons so they can set and reach their goals.


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