By Michael Gardner Animal therapy has become increasingly popular in the U.S. in recent years, in part because of the surge of soldiers returning from combat who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Once researchers discovered that equine therapy can help veterans overcome their PTSD symptoms and reintegrate into their civilian lives, equine therapy venues began to spring up around the country. Veterans often have a special bond with horses because they are both primed to notice the smallest threats in their environment—horses because they are prey animals and soldiers because they have been in combat situations. Recognizing that they need to be calm to calm their horses, veterans can develop the capacity to eliminate their negative and stressful emotions through horse therapy. The power of horses to help people grow emotionally, though, is not limited to the realm of the military veterans. For years, horses have been used as therapy animals for children with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and emotional limitations. Because horses are naturally inclined to seek a leader to direct their behavior, people who work with horses have found that these creatures are able to develop a bond quickly. For children, the ability to direct and lead an animal boosts their self-confidence and helps them broaden their capacity to develop deep relationships. About Michael Gardner A New York City resident, Michael Gardner recently purchased Clove Hill Farm in Beekman, New York. The farm came with four horses, including an Arabian and a 34-year-old Morgan. Gardner loves animals and hopes to bring more to live on his farm in coming months.
By Michael Gardner The Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) provides services to those living with mental illness, educates the community, and engages in advocacy to benefit its constituency. The MHA-NYC believes that “mental illnesses are treatable, recovery is possible, and that shame and stigma impede healing.” An innovator in its field, the MHA-NYC develops programs that inspire others around the country to replicate them. They also impress members of the local community who financially support its excellent work. A major project of the MHA-NYC is LifeNet, a toll-free, multilingual, multicultural, confidential crisis and referral service. LifeNet is staffed by trained professionals and available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Since 1996, it has responded to over one million callers. Last year, 130,000 individuals called LifeNet, an increase of 10,000 calls over the previous year. MHA-NYC operates other exemplary programs. The agency’s residential services assist adults with mental illness in making the transition to independence, in conjunction with education, employment, and other supportive services. The Family Resource Centers teach hundreds of families the skills required to care for children with emotional challenges. The Adolescent Skills Centers help young people obtain their academic and vocational goals. Another groundbreaking program, Staying in Balance, promotes mental wellness for New Yorkers experiencing the turbulence of an uncertain economy. Furthermore, MHA-NYC stays connected to the community by incorporating texting, messaging, web chat, and other technologies in its services. For more information and ways to contribute, visit MHAofNYC.org. About the author: Michael Gardner has been an honoree at the Mental Health Association of New York’s Giving Hope, Saving Lives gala for his work on behalf of those diagnosed with mental illnesses. An experienced investment banker and asset manager, Michael Gardner presently holds the position of Managing Member of Baytree Capital Associates, LLC.
By Michael GardnerAs a merchant bank operating primarily in the micro and mid-cap markets, Baytree Capital Associates puts its own money or its partners’ money into every investment it recommends. The company’s current investments include a stake in Flux Power, Inc., a manufacturer of lithium smart batteries. Flux Power’s batteries can extend the life cycle of a battery system by 500 percent, and can cost half as much as its competitors’ solutions. The combination allows its systems to compete effectively with lead-acid batteries in markets including hybrid and electric vehicles, utility grid storage systems, and off-grid photovoltaic installations. Flux Power has shipped more than 14 Mwh of storage solutions already, and Baytree Capital expects its addressable market to reach $44 billion over the next three years.About the Author: In 1990, Michael Gardner founded Baytree Capital Associates, and he has served as its Managing Member ever since. Mr. Gardner’s primary interests at Baytree Capital include investing in micro- and mid-capitalized companies, providing investment banking services, and advising companies looking to go public in the United States.
By Michael Gardner of Baytree Capital Associates, LLCBaytree Capital is a lead in financing and managing an alternative public offering for an exciting new company in the home video and entertainment space. Kiosk Solutions, Inc., explores new opportunities in the DVD kiosk space that employs state-of-the-art technology not currently employed by other similar rental companies such as Redbox, a company owned by Coinstar, and which currently dominates the industry space.Kiosk Solutions seeks to compete with Redbox through the deployment of more than 30,000 units through 2016, and looks to fill a void left over by the storefront reduction of large DVD and video rental retail giants Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. Kiosk Solutions plans an initial roll-out that will target customers at a heavily trafficked Burger King franchise in Puerto Rico, followed by an ambitious expansion to other markets that will help the company raise more investment capital.As Managing Member of Baytree Capital, Michael Gardner brings a vast amount of experience in investing and asset management to his clients.
The founder of investment banking firm Baytree Capital Associates, LLC, Michael Gardner has built his business funding companies with small to midsized capitalizations and managing assets for high-net-worth individuals. Baytree Capital regularly contributes its own funds to investments, building on Gardner’s conviction that the firm should share the risks as well as the rewards of its recommendations. Believing that companies should be regarded for their potential, Michael Gardner regularly provides a number of investment banking services to smaller and newer enterprises, including raising capital, restructuring, and advising on mergers and acquisitions. Under Michael Gardner’s leadership, Baytree Capital has represented a number of high-profile clients over the years. Perhaps the best known of these has been Archduke Dominic Hapsburg, heir to the former royal family of Romania, who in 2007 retained the firm to create a strategic plan for management and potential sale of the famous Bran Castle in Transylvania. The castle is associated with Prince Vlad the Impaler, who served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel, Dracula. The archduke chose Baytree Capital based on its reputation for respect and sensitivity to its clients’ values. In addition to his work in the financial sector, Michael Gardner plays an active role in the New York theater scene. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA), where his efforts have been hailed as instrumental in the school’s revitalization. He also extends his financial and investment expertise to live theater, financing and producing numerous shows over the years, including several Broadway productions.