Successful Manger, Author Returns to TTU

Summer Tennessee Tech University graduates will hear from a College of Business Administration alumnus who has put his education to work in his community, his church and his career.

Robert Gardenhire, manager of distribution operations for Bridgestone/Firestone, will speak to the 390 students expected to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees at the ceremony beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 4, in the university's Hooper-Eblen Center.

Gardenhire, a 1974 Tennessee Tech graduate, has held a 27-year career in management with the Nashville-based Bridgestone/Firestone with a focus on managing budgets and organizing capital projects.

His recently released book, "Essentials for Project Funding: A Guide for Managing the Process," (Twenty-First Century Christian, 2001) reflects his experience in fundraising in the business world as well as in other areas. It was written as a guide for churches, civic organizations and non-profit organizations as they establish and execute strategies for funding various projects.

Gardenhire, an assistant minister at Nashville's 1400-member Schrader Lane Church of Christ, has gained substantial experience in the area of fundraising. He is responsible for the financial planning for special tasks commissioned by the congregation and serves as a consultant in the field of funding for other churches.

He also uses his expertise in support of Tennessee Tech and Nashville community projects by serving on the College of Business Administration Foundation board and as president of Shared Equity of Nashville, LLC.

He is married to Vanessa (Thompson) Gardenhire; they have three children.

Students graduating this summer hail from 12 states including Tennessee, 55 Tennessee counties and five foreign countries. They represent 27 undergraduate fields of study and 15 graduate fields. Following summer commencement, Tennessee Tech will have granted more than 46,000 degrees.