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National Agents Alliance Meets “Pursuit of Happyness” Chris Gardner

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – National Agents Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Albright flew to the “Windy City” to meet with Chris Gardner, CEO of Gardner Rich & Company, New York Times best-selling author and the subject of the acclaimed movie “The Pursuit of Happyness,” on Tuesday.

Gardner, who will be the keynote speaker at National Agents Alliance’s 2011 “Be Your Own Rock Star” Leadership Conference on July 23 in Raleigh, N.C., wanted to meet with Albright and several key members of the NAA team to discuss the importance of association and making a difference in the world.

“How many chances do you get to sit and spend good, quality time with a person like Chris Gardner, who has this amazing story that winds up with a happy ending,” Albright said. “Chris was gracious enough to invite us into his building and he talked to our team about a number of great topics that they will never forget.”

During the meeting, Gardner explained how his ground floor building is seen by more than 500,000 people on a daily basis because of its location near Chicago’s financial district near the Chicago Stock Exchange. It also doesn’t hurt that Will Smith played Gardner in the movie.
“When the biggest movie star in the world plays you, that’s a whole other level of visibility,” Gardner said.

After meeting with Albright for 30 minutes in a private setting, Gardner invited the National Agents Alliance team that traveled with Albright to Chicago to sit down for a boardroom-style meeting. Two hours later, Gardner was still laughing and telling stories about his journey.
Gardner reminded the National Agents Alliance team that there was more to doing well than just making money.

“When you are trying to be about something more than just money, you’ve got to think about other things – a lot of times – when you sit in a certain chair, it ain’t just about what’s good for you,” Gardner said.

“I know (Andy Albright) has had to make those decisions. When you own something and you are trying to build something and create value, a lot of times it’s about the future. Value is in the future, value is in building and I always talk to people about my vision, my idea, my feelings. People will say you’ve got the success, you got this and that and they say it’s easy for me to say these things. No it’s not, no it’s not. This is the American wet dream. What do I mean by that? It’s about all the blood, sweat and tears it takes to build something. You gonna cry, you gonna bleed and you gonna sweat to build something. Right? Everybody ain’t going to dig it. The truth of the matter is my momma used to talk about seeing ghosts, and her position was you are seeing yourself do things that nobody else think you can do. As long as you are seeing them with the eyes of your soul, you don’t nobody else to cosign. You don’t need nobody else to validate it. The second you need somebody else to say it’s real, you can do that, it’s probably a mirage. It’s about seeing stuff that nobody else sees you doing.” 


Chris Gardner is the owner and CEO of Gardner Rich, LLC with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Conquering grave challenges to become a successful entrepreneur, Gardner is an avid motivational and inspirational speaker, addressing the keys to overcoming obstacles and breaking cycles. Gardner is also a passionate philanthropist whose work has been recognized by many esteemed organizations. He is the author of two books, The Pursuit of Happyness and Start Where You Are, both New York Times best-sellers.


National Agents Alliance is an innovative lead generation and marketing organization that sells life insurance, annuities, and other financial services products through more than 7,000 active independent sales representatives in 50 states. Focused on serving middle-income families, National Agents Alliance is the No. 1 United States provider of mortgage protection insurance and offers a broad array of other affordable products from highly regarded companies such as Mutual of Omaha, Foresters, and ING. Since its inception in 2002, National Agents Alliance has helped more than 670,000 families successfully apply for more than $78 billion in life insurance coverage.
For more information about National Agents Alliance, visit or call 1-866-752-1163.

For additional information on this topic, please call Mac Heffner at 336.227.3319 x1189 or email Mac at

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