Holly Gardner

Partner—Strategist

What do you do?
I use a design thinking approach to incorporate a go-to-market perspective in our work. I write and edit copy.

What is your inspiration?
To think of marketing as a philosophy for improving people’s lives—because this outlook opens a door to the world.

How do you work?
By joining forces with smart people.  I look for the <purple cow> solution, but my thinking is structured: I rely on the fundamentals of marketing, decision science, and behavioral economics.

How did you come to OpenForm?
I have an MBA from Wharton and a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Virginia. I’m in the midst of a master’s of English from Middlebury College. I’ve worked as a management consultant, been a marketing director in the private sector, and led a number of non-profit events and organizations as a volunteer.

What are you reading?
My book stack grows faster than I read:
Villette by Charlotte Bronte, James Wood’s The Nearest Thing to Life, Mary Oliver’s Felicity, and Stigler’s The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom. Next up are Sally Mann’s Hold Still and Julian Barnes’ Levels of Life. Also in the stack are The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and McSweeney’s, and other literary journals.

Who do you admire?
My friends, who are entrepreneurs and writers with creative energy and emotional intelligence. My children, who work hard and challenge me. George Eliot for forging her own path through a judgmental society. A 4
th-generation beekeeper I know for reviving a family business despite its lack of worldly rewards. Chip Kidd for his book covers. And Dan Ariely for deciphering wonky theories in economics.


What are you working on?

We enjoy exploring new ways to impact our communities. Do you have an interesting challenge?

Tell us more