Robert L. Gardner, Founder, President & CEO
Bob's business philosophy is simple - embrace change and success will follow.
over 50 years of experience, from the deck to the boardroom, Gardner knows that success stems from the ability to innovate, adapt and expand.
Born in Smithland, Kentucky, Robert Gardner attended Vanderbilt University, later graduating from Western Kentucky University with multiple degrees in Industrial Technology and Mathematics, before
joining Cargo Carriers in Louisiana.
worked in every facet of operations, including, dispatching, maintenance, supervision and fuel operations.
He went on to serve as Vice President of Alter Barge Lines and Flowers Transportation.
Gardner later moved into the role of President of Conti Carriers and Terminals, Inc., a subsidiary of Continental Grain, and Dakota Barge Service.
After orchestrating the sale of Conti to ACBL, Robert
joined them as Vice President of Special Projects and Business Development, focusing on international affairs.
In addition to his
diverse work history, Gardner
ninth USCG issue of a Master of towing Vessels and First Class Pilot of Steam or Motor Vessels of any gross tons and is in the process of renewing for his
In addition, Robert served as a private consultant, industry advocate and as a member of several boards of directors.
In 1998 Gardner formed Barge America and launched a novel barge-leasing concept that expanded into an assorted portfolio of businesses.
In Gardner's long and diverse career, he
has practiced most all of the processes that exist between Carriers, Shippers and Federal Agencies
He was a member of The American Waterways Operators for 45 contiguous years, registered US lobbyist for three years and led an aggressive media campaign as an advocate of the barge and towing industry for two years.
says: "I can't believe it, but; I likely possess more end to end experience in the inland barge industry than any other living person."