Spotlight on... Rick Reynolds
Growing up, music was a big part of the Reynolds’ family life. Rick’s parents were CSO subscribers, so the concert hall was familiar territory. Both native Cincinnatians, Rick and his wife, Vicky, both went to college in Washington, D.C. (they now have three children and one grandchild). After Rick finished service in the Army, he came back to Cincinnati where a younger generation was running Bartlett & Co., then chaired by his father. Bartlett had a job opening in accounting, and although it wasn’t Rick’s preferred department, he took the job (that was 1967). After a couple of years, he was offered a job in the client end of the business, where he’s remained since.
“The business has totally changed since I started, and I think it’s changed for the bett er,” said Rick. Bartlett was one of the first independent investment advisors in the city, and while competition was thin for the first 10–15 years, it’s now a competitive industry. Bartlett remains one of the major players,managing over $4 billion and employing around 50 people. Rick became an owner in the 1970s, and continued to be an owner up until a few years ago when the next generation took on ownership. “The industry is much more sophisticated now than when I began my career, and I think Bartlett has stayed ahead of the curve in all ways.”
Rick and Vicky (an English professor at the University of Cincinnati) enjoyed attending CSO concerts and began subscribing in 1976. One day then-CSO Board President Frank Stewart called Rick (who had already been active with the Men’s Committee) and offered him a seat on the Board. “As a Board member most of my interest was in development and the business function of the Orchestra,” he said.
The Reynolds’ contributions to the Orchestra over the years are innumerable. From service on the Board of Directors (Rick served as chair from 2004 to 2007 and was part of the committee that tapped Trey Devey as president nearly ten years ago) to the generous endowment of the Clarinet Chair currently held by Ixi Chen, and The Fund for Diverse Artists, their presence is felt throughout the organization.
Community involvement and charitable work is second nature to Rick and Vicky. “Charity begins at home—your parents teach you that. And also my partners at Bartlett have been extremely generous,” said Rick, citing the Friedlander family (who are also generous supporters of the CSO) in particular for helping incorporate a charitable attitude into the company’s DNA. “These were our everyday friends and that was very influential. And I think that culture has been maintained in the company.” They’ve also served on the Boards of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, May Festival, DePaul Cristo Rey, Marianist Urban Student Program and St. Xavier High School. Both Rick and Vicky feel a responsibility to do their part to keep the community thriving. “It can be in the arts, it could be volunteering at a soup kitchen. They’re all necessary,” he said. “A city needs cultural vitality just as much as it needs the soup kitchen and everything in between. And this city is very fortunate to have the art assets that we have. Art is all around and it really has helped this city be a vibrant place to live.”
Rick plans to retire from Bartlett in 2018, and he cites the success of the company as his proudest achievement during his tenure. “The company has much more than survived, it’s thrived. The culture is first class, and our people are great. I’m proud of our generation of millennials working there. And it’s a fun place to come to work.” In the spirit of the CSO’s mission statement, “to seek and share inspiration,” Rick says he finds inspiration everywhere, but mostly in people, “seeing how they endure and do well under difficult circumstances. I think people are so interesting, and I hope my children find the same sort of interest in people.”