The Gardner Companies, one of the Intermountain West’s leading community builders focused on real estate development, renewable energy and the creation of innovative companies, has announced a shift in leadership.
While roles will change, the names of those continuing to lead Gardner’s vision of building community will ring familiar. Founder Kem C. Gardner will transition into a new position as Chairman Emeritus, shifting leadership responsibilities to Christian Gardner in his new role as Chairman of the Board.
“I’m humbled and excited to move into this new role with the Gardner Companies and to build on the incredible legacy that my father has built,” Christian said. “While I am poised to focus on the strategic direction and growth of our companies, my father will remain a key voice as Chairman Emeritus as we continue to create space and invest in ideas for the greater good of our communities.”
As President and CEO of the Gardner Companies, a position he has held since 2004, Christian has overseen the rapid growth of the business’ full-service real estate arm, which specializes in the development and management of office, retail, industrial, medical, and residential properties. Completed projects under Christian’s leadership include many notable corporate campuses such as Adobe, Vivint, Overstock, CHG, Zions, Mountain America Credit Union, and Pluralsight among many others.
With Luigi Resta, Christian started a diversified renewable energy company, rPlus Energies, that is focused on delivering utility scale, clean power generation and storage. rPlus is currently working on 31 projects across 15 states, representing approximately 12 GW of new generation and storage capacity.
In addition to his professional resume, Christian is involved in many community and charitable causes. He chairs the Board of Trustees for the University of Utah and sits on the Board of Directors for The Children’s Center Utah, Utah Sports Commission, and Economic Development Corporation of Utah. Christian received a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah.
Brady Southwick, who most recently served as Executive Vice President responsible for all of operation at Vivint, will replace and report directly to Christian as President of the Gardner Companies, running day-to-day operations. Prior to Vivint, Brady led multiple organizations for Cummins Inc., a large Fortune 500 company. Notably, he led all of the continent of Africa, North East and South East Asia, and the Rocky Mountain region. He also was responsible for strategy and business development in China. Brady currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Salt Lake Community College and on the Board of Directors for Melaleuca.
Brady is “thrilled” to be in his new role. His first job out of college was with The Boyer Company, where he worked closely with the Gardner family, prior to receiving master’s degrees from Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
“It feels incredible to be coming full circle in my career,” Brady said. “Like many others, I have long admired the work that Gardner does, and I am grateful and elated to take a position where I can help continue to build on an incredible reputation of creating community.”
Brad Margetts, the Gardner Companies’ current CFO, will continue in his role in addition to his involvement on the Executive Leadership Team. A 30-year veteran of the real estate development industry, Margetts has been an instrumental piece of Gardner’s growth. Margetts received his MBA and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Utah.