Reed & Reed: Roots on the Hill



Jack Parker ’76, the husband of Susan Reed Parker ’76, came into Reed & Reed in 1981 after a relatively brief stay in Chicago. A decade later Tom Reed ’87, Susan’s brother, joined the firm, and the two men are now partners and owners—the fourth generation in the 80-year-old company. Tom and Susan Reed are the children of Carlton “Bud” Reed ’53, who built up the company through the 1950s and ’60s and was fervent in his enthusiasm for Colby. Since he graduated, each branch of the family has sent some or all of its members to Mayflower Hill.

Tom Reed, married to Kathleen Pinard Reed ’86, said his company is a tight-knit organization that generally promotes from within. His experience with the family firm, which now employs 250 people and has $100 million in revenue, reminds him of the bonding he experienced as a Colby student. “We don’t talk about relationships in a business that much, but they’re all-important,” he said.

That bond to the family firm extends to the fifth generation as well. Abigail Parker ’01, Jack and Susan’s daughter, served her own apprenticeship—a Jan Plan project to write a family history that, five years later, was published privately as a book, Reed & Reed: Building on a Legacy. Spending many summer mornings with her grandfather, Bud Reed, provided Abigail with valuable insights into how things work, she said.
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