A&W Convention


2024 National Convention Keynote Speaker: Chris Gardner

We are so excited to announce our keynote speaker for our National Convention in April: best-selling author, film-producer and entrepreneur Chris Gardner. Many of you will be familiar with his autobiography, The Pursuit of HappYness, a New York Times #1 Best Seller and the inspiration for the critically acclaimed film of the same name. He has now published two additional books: Start Where You Are and Permission to Dream.

Gardner’s youth was an extremely difficult one, and he faced serious barriers, including poverty, abuse and violence. Despite personal adversity, and finding himself homeless as a single parent in his twenties, he persevered in his training and career to become a top earner at Bear Stearns & Co., eventually founding his own successful brokerage firm. Gardner’s resilience and his ability to pursue his own dream in the face of overwhelming odds have been key to his financial achievement and personal wellbeing. He now works with several philanthropic organizations, including his own Christopher P. Gardner Foundation, an organization supporting young people with resources to help them start their career journeys with purpose.

We have faced many challenges in our work together since our last Convention in 2020, and while the disruptions of the pandemic have begun to recede, we are still facing economic adversity. This is the crucial time to redefine what is important to us, and set a course for achieving these goals. Gardner is an accomplished speaker whose story of determination has inspired many audiences. His ability to overcome daunting obstacles through passion and planning demonstrates the importance of a clear vision to personal and professional success. This session will leave you feeling both inspired and empowered to face any challenge; we hope you will join us.


Monday, April 22
Golf Tournament:
7:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Tuesday, April 23
Supplier Show:
9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Welcome Reception:
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Wednesday, April 24
Business Program:
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Thursday, April 25
Business Program:
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Champagne Reception:
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
President’s Awards Gala:
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

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