Before publishing each issue of the magazine, friends and business associates often ask, "Who's on the cover of your next edition?" This time around was no different. When queried, I informed the curious that this quarter we were featuring Huntington businessman Marshall Reynolds.
"Didn't you just do a story on Mr. Reynolds?" they all asked. The answer is yes --- eight years ago.
While it may not seem that long, time does not stand still. And neither does Reynolds, West Virginia's most active entrepreneur, who has accomplished much in that span of time. Since last being featured in the Huntington Quarterly in 1990, Reynolds has sold his stake in KeyCenturion Bancshares (pocketing $25 million on the sale), taken his printing company public, acquired manufacturing companies in North America and abroad and gained controlling interest in banks in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Louisiana, Florida and California. And those are just the business interests that are public record. As for his other ventures, no one really knows.
Despite his phenomenal success and notoriety, Marshall Reynolds remains an enigma. Those who first meet the savvy businessman find him intimidating. They don't appreciate his irreverent (and calculated) sense of humor --- he's always testing people. Businessmen and women describe him as a shrewd and even ruthless negotiator.
But others who spend more time with the 61 year old power broker ultimately find him generous, loyal and endearing.
"How can you fault a man who cares so much about children?" notes a prominent Huntingtonian. "This is a man who has worked tirelessly with the United Way, The Boys and Girls Clubs, Junior Achievement and countless other charitable organizations. There are few in this community who love kids more than Marshall Reynolds."
These days Reynolds isn't too concerned with his public image. Whether people accept him or not matters little to the enigmatic businessman. Besides, he's too busy writing the next chapter of his remarkable story.
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