Former Attorney General John Ashcroft and Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner to Keynote ABIs 25th Annual Spring Meeting

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft and Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner to Keynote ABIs 25th Annual Spring Meeting

Contact: John Hartgen
             (703) 739-0800
             [email protected]



January 30, 2007, Alexandria, Va. – Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and Chris Gardner, the inspiration for the acclaimed motion picture The Pursuit of Happyness, will be the keynote speakers for the American Bankruptcy Institute's (ABI) 25th Anniversary Annual Spring Meeting, to be held April 12-15 in Washington, D.C. ABI’s largest conference, the Annual Spring Meeting will take place at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C., featuring a number of educational programs to address a wide array of timely insolvency issues.

Gardner, whose rags-to-riches tale from homelessness to Wall Street success is inspiring millions in the current hit movie The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith. Gardner is the owner and CEO of Christopher Gardner International Holdings with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Drawing on his life’s journey from homelessness to Wall Street executive, Gardner is an avid motivational speaker and a passionate philanthropist committed to many charitable organizations. Gardner will speak at the luncheon keynote on Friday, April 13, sponsored by Foley & Lardner LLP and Jefferies & Company, Inc.

Ashcroft is the author of Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice, about his time as Attorney General during the 9/11 attacks. He will be featured as the keynote speaker at the Saturday, April 14, luncheon at the Annual Spring Meeting. Aschcrot is the second former U.S. Attorney General to address an ABI Annual Spring Meeting. Griffin Bell spoke at the 2000 meeting. Ashcroft’s distinguished career includes serving as governor of Missouri from 1985-93, U.S. Senator for Missouri from 1994-2001 and U.S. Attorney General from 2001-05. In May 2005, Ashcroft started his own lobbying firm, The Ashcroft Group, LLC, based in Washington, D.C., which provides strategic consulting services to a wide variety of clients. The luncheon is sponsored by the American College of Bankruptcy.

The Annual Spring Meeting has consistently been ABI's biggest conference with nearly 1,100 attendees expected to attend. The conference offers approximately 15.5 hours credit, including 3.0 hours of ethics.The conference also provides attendees with numerous opportunities to network with their colleagues. 

To find out more information about ABI’s 25th Annual Spring Meeting, please visit  Journalists interested in attending the conference programs, including the keynotes, should contact John Hartgen, ABI Public Affairs Manager, at 703-739-0800 or [email protected]


ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 11,500 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit For additional conference information, visit