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Two Minutes with Amy Gardner

Amy Gardner knows the value of communications. After graduating with a mathematic degree from Lambuth University, she spent a little more than 20 years working in the telecommunications sector. From network planning to traffic engineering to serving as a vice president for two large firms, Gardner touched almost every sector of the industry. She also learned over that time that education was at the heart of the communications industry. That is why she took the plunge into entrepreneurship by buying the Sylvan Learning Center franchise for the Greenville area. Sylvan provides personalized instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills, homework support, and test preparation for college entrance and state exam. She has expanded her Sylvan team to include two sites in the Columbia area, one across the state line in Asheville, and three other Upstate sites – Spartanburg, Anderson, and this month, a new site in the Taylors area.

Get to know Gardner with this quick read.

What are your favorite things to do on your days off?

I really don’t ever have days off, especially in this year of the pandemic and owning six local franchises of Sylvan. It’s been a tough year as a small business, but we’ve managed to shift what we needed to do online and still offer in-center. When I’m not running the centers or managing the books, I do enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends when I’m able.

What is one movie you’ve watched more than five times?

Can’t say that I’ve ever watched a movie more than two times. I’m just not a movie buff, but I would watch Steel Magnolias again if I had time.

What are three books you would bring with you to a deserted island?

An inspirational book to ensure I was reminded through reading to make the best with what you have. Something lighthearted that would make me laugh. The Bible

If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what album would it be?

LeAnn Rimes album entitled Blue.

In your opinion, what’s the most rewarding part of working in your job?

Seeing that we make a difference in not only the students we help but also, quite often, the families that we serve

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A Medical Doctor, then an Architect, then an Actuary…settled with a math degree and starting out as a Traffic Engineer in Telecom initially, then moved up the executive ladder and finally purchased and have grown a business that makes a difference in the lives of so many

If you could be part of any sitcom family or friend-group, which would you choose?

The Waltons

Tell us a funny story about you that most people don’t know?

When I lived in Alaska I got stuck at the top of the mountain at Alyeska (the main ski resort in the state), eating at the only 5-star restaurant in the state (Seven Glaciers) in the middle of winter. The Gondola broke down. The only way to get down the mountain was to take the outdoor ski lift that had not been used in a while. The only problem was that I was in high heels, and I was dressed very nicely with no coat that was able to handle the terrible storm that was underway. There were about 100 of us stuck up there and it took us about two hours to get evacuated. The snow was blinding and the wind was probably too high to safely ride on the ski lift. I had to take my shoes off and hold on for dear life with no seat belt on the open air ski lift in pitch black dark and in temps below zero. Looking back on it, it’s funny now; however, I must tell you that I’m afraid of heights and it was not funny at all then. It was one of the times in my life I’ve been the most scared, except for the time I was nearly face-to-face with a big Alaskan brown bear.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Trek

What are some of your favorite things to do in Greenville?

Sometimes just walking downtown, either along main street or the Reedy River banks. Eating at some of the AWESOME local restaurants available, whether it’s one of the meat & threes or one of the nice restaurants like Soby’s or Larkins. Going to a Café and Then Some dinner shows


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