Windstream CEO Jeff Gardner to Speak at Darlington School Commencement

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Darlington School trustee Jeff Gardner, president and CEO of Windstream Corp., will give the school's commencement address on Saturday, May 19 at 9:30 a.m. His son, Brody, is a member of the Darlington School Class of 2012.

Jeff Gardner

Darlington School trustee Jeff Gardner, president and CEO of Windstream Corp., will give the school's commencement address on Saturday, May 19 at 9:30 a.m. His son, Brody, is a member of the Darlington School Class of 2012.

Gardner has worked in the telecommunications industry for more than 25 years and is executing a focused strategy to transform Windstream and create value for shareholders. Windstream has completed nine acquisitions since its 2006 spinoff from Alltel Corp., adding more than $4 billion in revenue and creating approximately $300 million in operating and capital synergies. The company completed four acquisitions in 2010 totaling $2.2 billion. In 2011, Windstream acquired PAETEC, a leading communications firm for $2.3 billion.

Gardner was appointed to his current position in December 2005. He previously served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Alltel Corp. He joined Alltel in 1998 when the company merged with 360° Communications.

Gardner is a member of the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies. He also is chairman of the United States Telecom Association.

Gardner earned a degree in finance from Purdue University and an MBA from William and Mary. He is a certified public accountant. He serves on the board of directors of RF Micro Devices Inc., Arkansas Children's Hospital, Darlington School and Loras College. He is chairman of the Arkansas Research Alliance and the advisory board for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Center for Distance Health. He also serves on the foundation board at UAMS.

Gardner was named a national finalist for the Ernst & Young LLP Entrepreneur of the Year 2010® Award in telecommunications.

He and his wife, Chris, live in Little Rock, Ark. They are also the parents of Darlington alumnus Blake Gardner ('10) and a younger son, Brock.

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