06-30-07 | Printable Version

Reynolds is Huntington's Champion

For Marshall T. Reynolds, patience has often paid off.

When Reynolds tried to borrow $2,800 to buy new equipment for his young printing company, area bankers turned him down. He was angry and vowed to someday own the bank that first denied him the loan. Within 15 years, he did.

Some 25 years ago, as he tells the story, Reynolds introduced himself to Al Neuharth, then president of Gannett, who was speaking at a function in Huntington.

Reynolds asked him if Gannett would sell the newspaper to him. Neuharth gave him no encouragement. After 25 years of waiting, Reynolds got his chance to own the Herald-Dispatch and jumped at it.

At the end of June, Reynolds’ Champion Industries agreed to buy the 28,000-circulation daily from GateHouse Media, which had acquired the newspaper earlier as part of a larger transaction with Gannett.

Champion Industries is a major commercial printer, business form manufacturer, and supplier of office supplies and office furniture, headquartered in Huntington, West Virginia. The company is publicly owned and traded on the NASDAQ.

It had $145 million in annual revenue prior to the acquisition of the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, which is the first newspaper the company has owned. In addition to the Herald-Dispatch, the company has 23 separate operations in nine states.

Reynolds is CEO and chairman of the board and a native of Huntington, West Virginia.

In a profile written in 2000, Nita Jones recounted the legendary success story of Marshall Reynolds who went to work as a “clean-up boy” for Chapman Printing Co., in Huntington and later went on the buy the company.

In 1996 he was elected into the Huntington Hall of Fame for the dynamic role he has played as an entrepreneur and philanthropist in the community.

In 2006 he was inducted into the West Virginia University Business Hall of Fame. Previously he was inducted into Marshall University’s Business Hall of Fame. In addition to being Chairman of Champion Industries, he is chairman of the Radisson Hotel in Huntington, owns numerous banks and other business throughout the region.

He served as the chairman of West Virginia’s largest bank holding company prior to selling it to Banc One.

Reynolds, along with many of his longtime friends from Huntington, is credited to giving generously back to the community.