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Eagles in the Wild: Chris Gardner, VP Original Mattress Factory

30 May 2024 9:35 AM | Edward Strauser (Administrator)

This is a short anecdote about how Chris Gardner came to join the Pittsburgh Chapter of NESA, having recently made an introduction and spoke to our members during the May membership social. 

About 4 years ago, Bill Kofmehl and his son went to an Original Mattress Factory location to purchase a mattress. It was later in the day, and the staff was starting to pack things up. Bill and his son picked out a mattress and began the checkout process. Bill pulled around to load the mattress. A gentleman came out and began securing the mattress to Bill's vehicle. What was odd was that the staff member wasn't dressed in the typical employee garb, a polo shirt and jeans, but rather a collared dress shirt and dress slacks. The gentleman began tying up the mattress, utilizing many knots that Bill knew, too well. The gentleman's demeanor was uplifting, cheerful, and exhibited a genuine commitment to service. 

Bill commented, "you must've been an Eagle". 

Chris Gardner was indeed an Eagle, and still is today. These not so random acts of kindness, cheerfulness, service - these are the telltale signs of an Eagle in the wild. This is a cornerstone of NESA Pittsburgh's mission - to seek other Eagles and bring them into our fold. Chris recently joined us at our May Membership Social, Beers and Brats, and told us a bit about himself - eager to join our association and contribute to the legacy of Eagles in the Pittsburgh area. 

In 96’ Chris started at the Original Mattress Factory, working his way up the career ladder.  Chris was instrumental in leading the company's pivot during Covid to producing masks, and saving the company. Chris is an avid writer, maintaining a personal blog and, just having his first book published: “The Other Side of the Sun”, an Amazon best-seller. This post-apocalyptic novel taps into Chris' roots from wilderness survival and Scouting. Chris has a lot to offer NESA Pittsburgh, and we welcome him into our group.

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