Gardner honored as top innovator


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kenneth Gardner worked as a computer programmer for First National Bank right after earning his University of Louisville finance degree in 1972. Now he’s executive chairman for SOASTA Inc., a Silicon Valley-based software company he founded.

    Today Gardner became the seventh inductee in the UofL College of Business Entrepreneurship Circle of Fame. The college’s Board of Advisors created the elite group last year to recognize its top entrepreneurial graduates.

    Gardner was inducted in an 11:30 a.m. ceremony in Jane Goldstein Plaza outside Harry Frazier Hall.

    SOASTA, a company that helps businesses test their mobile and web applications, is one of five successful tech firms Gardner has started. He holds 12 patents and has been on the boards of each business he has founded, as well as boards at Commerce One, Kabira, DataSage, Everdream and The Application Group. In 2000, he was named a UofL College of Business Alumni Fellow.

    His ability to envision and develop new technologies and successfully move them to the marketplace landed him in the Circle of Fame, said officials at the college.

    “We’re proud of the way Ken has embraced business innovation,” said Carolyn Callahan, dean of UofL’s College of Business. “He’s an excellent role model for our students on the importance of continuing to innovate in our current economic climate.”

    Gardner’s name will appear on a granite slab in Goldstein Plaza beside the names of the six other Circle of Fame inductees, Stewart Cobb, Tom Davidson, Terry Forcht, David Jones, James Patterson and Dan Ulmer.