Founded in 1915, CGR has been delivering expert support to the public, nonprofit and private sectors for a century. Originally, we were incorporated as the Rochester (NY) Bureau of Municipal Research, and were established by founder George Eastman with a mandate to “get things done for the community” we call home. Although our passion for delivering promising solutions has never changed, both the geographic area and clients we serve have broadened dramatically. Today we have a national reach and can be found working with a diverse range of agencies, organizations and communities.
In an arena served almost exclusively by for-profit consultancies, CGR stands apart. Since our founding, we have operated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, a status that insulates us from political bias and holds us accountable to our clients’ true shareholders – the communities they serve – positioning them as more desirable places to live and work.
Just like our clients, we’re in the business of making a difference.
Dr. Kent Gardner’s public policy expertise ranges from public finance and public administration to health care and education reform. With 25 years of experience, he supports CGR’s public service mission across the spectrum of clients. Media frequently seek his comments on economic issues.
Dr. Gardner joined CGR in 1991 as Director of Economic Analysis and served as President from 2005 to 2012. While President he led the expansion of our geographic footprint to areas of the Midwest; directed the development of our special data and analysis tools (Govistics, informANALYTICS) and expanded our offerings to web-based community profiles. Supporting solutions for critical community challenges, the profiles provide credible and accessible access to key decision metrics (see ACTRochester and East Tennessee’s ET Index).
A significant share of Dr. Gardner’s work involves connecting policy action and program expenditures to their social, fiscal and economic impacts. He leads all of CGR's economic impact assessments and is a major contributor to our many program evaluations. As both an economist and a statistician, he brings a nuanced understanding of causation and a deep appreciation both for the potential value and the limitations of established datasets and survey data.
His expertise also extends to cost control and management of government services, and consolidation planning for municipalities and school districts.
Prior to joining CGR, Dr. Gardner was an Associate Professor of Economics in the State University of New York (Potsdam College), where he founded the North Country Economic Research Center. He spent a sabbatical at a Saratoga Springs, NY consulting group before leaving the college to join CGR.
Dr. Gardner holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Dr. Gardner is often asked to speak and write on economics, health policy, including the Affordable Care Act, and education reform. Dr. Gardner also teaches Health Policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a regular columnist for the Rochester (NY) Business Journal and writes for other publications on occasion. Columns located on CGR's Blog.