About the Speaker

Ambassador Mercer Reynolds III is the co-chairman of Cincinnati-based investment firm Reynolds, DeWitt & Co., and Chairman and CEO of Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia.  He currently serves on the boards of directors of Restaurant Management, Inc., Sena Weller Rohs Williams, and Hillstreet Capital Partners, Ltd.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ambassador Reynolds received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967 and his M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1968.  He began his career in the U.S. Army, and in 1969 joined the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Thomas, Inc. in Chattanooga.  In 1974 he joined Gradison & Company (Cincinnati) as an account executive and then in 1975 he became a vice president for Thomson, McKinnon Securities, an investment banking company.  In 1979, together with his friend and business partner, William O. DeWitt, Jr., he founded Reynolds, DeWitt & Co., an investment firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He served as co-chairman of the company from 1979 to 2001.  He also served as chairman and CEO of Reynolds Plantation, a 12,000-acre lake and golf community on Lake Oconee, east of Atlanta, Georgia from 1985-2001.  In August 2001, as required by the Department of State, he resigned his management and board positions from more than 30 companies to assume the post of U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

During the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, Ambassador Reynolds served as a member of the National Executive Committee and as chairman of the campaign’s Ohio Finance Committee.  After the 2000 election, President George W. Bush named him as co-chairman of the 2000 Presidential Inauguration Committee.

When Ambassador Reynolds returned to the United States in April 2003, he served as National Finance Chairman of the Bush/Cheney ‘04 campaign to re-elect the President and later as Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee Victory Program.  After the election he was asked to co-chair the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Active in the community, Ambassador Reynolds is a member of the Commonwealth Club and was involved as a mentor in the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative.  He has also been active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, the Reynolds Plantation Foundation, the Summit Country Day School, the University of Cincinnati Foundation, the University of North Carolina Educational Foundation, and the University of North Carolina Carolina Campaign.

Ambassador Reynolds and his wife, Gabrielle, have five children and one grandchild.