DAYTON, Ohio, June 6, 2001 -- R. H. (Dick) Grant Jr., former chairman of the board of The Reynolds and Reynolds Company (NYSE:REY), died Tuesday in Palm Beach, Fla. where he maintained his permanent residence. Mr. Grant, who also had homes in Dayton, Ohio and Essex, Conn., died following a brief illness. He was 88.
Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 12, at Normandy United Methodist Church, 450 West Alexandersville-Bellbrook Road in Dayton, Ohio. The family will receive friends immediately following the services at Moraine Country Club, 4075 Southern Boulevard, Dayton. A private burial, for family members only, will be conducted at Centerville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 7, Dayton, Ohio, 45402. Condolences may be sent to the attending funeral home’s Web site via the guest book at www.routsong.com.
Mr. Grant's family purchased Reynolds and Reynolds in 1939, and maintained controlling interest until 1992. In June of 1992, Mr. Grant converted his Class B shares of Reynolds stock to Class A shares, reducing the Grant family's voting power from 44.5 percent to 24.5 percent. "That act was his vote of confidence in the management of the company and his continued pledge to do what is best for Reynolds and Reynolds," said Reynolds Chairman David R. Holmes.
Grant's father, R. H. Grant Sr., after success as a top sales manager at NCR and Delco Products, was hired by General Motors in 1923 to make its Chevrolet division competitive with Ford. He later directed the entire GM sales force with spectacular results. It was during his sales tenure from 1929-1944 that General Motors' sales soared to dominate the automotive market. General Motors' volume ballooned to $26 billion and net profit to $2.461 billion during that 16-year period.
In the late 1930's, Grant Sr. saw an opportunity to market a uniform accounting system with Reynolds and Reynolds, which had been producing business forms and paper-based accounting systems for automobile dealers. Purchasing the company in 1939, he invited his son, R. H. Grant Jr., to join the firm.
R. H. Grant Jr. became president of Reynolds in 1941. He served in that position until 1957 when he became chairman. Mr. Grant resigned from the Reynolds and Reynolds chairmanship in February of 1982 and remained a board member until February 2000 when he became director emeritus.
Under his leadership, the company grew from sales of $1.9 million in 1940 to $1 billion today. During the advent of computerization in the 1960’s, he led Reynolds’ transition from solely producing business forms to becoming an information management company.
“Mr. Grant really endeared himself to the Reynolds employees,” Holmes said. “He personified all of our core values, particularly, ‘People are the essence of our company.’ He was a very warm person with a great sense of humor. He fostered a family atmosphere and our associates loved him. We’re all saddened by his passing. We will miss him and will keep his family in our prayers.”
President and CEO Lloyd “Buzz” Waterhouse said, “In my short time with the company I’ve been very impressed with how Mr. Grant has maintained a high level of interest in the company, its progress and bright outlook for the future. I’ve also been inspired by his unwavering love of the associates and his deep commitment to providing the highest levels of customer satisfaction.”
A native of Dayton, Mr. Grant had been active with other business interests, civic groups and the local Republican Party.
Until the early 1960's, for more than 20 years, Mr. Grant was a partner in Grant, Brownell & Co., a former Dayton investment firm. He was a major investor in the construction of Dayton’s Grant-Deneau building on Fourth and Ludlow streets when it was built in the late 1960's. He later sold his interest in the high-rise structure now known as the Miami Valley Tower.
He was a director emeritus of Dayton’s former State Fidelity Federal Savings & Loan Assoc., past chairman and board member of Dayton's Salvation Army, former board member of Miami Valley Hospital, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Dayton Junior Achievement. Mr. Grant was chairman of the Montgomery County GOP Finance Committee from 1949 to 1959 and from 1967 to 1969.
He was an avid sailor and an active member in several prominent yachting and angling clubs along the Eastern Seaboard and Caribbean Islands.
Survivors include his wife, Helen King Grant; son, R. H. (Rick) Grant III of Dayton, Reynolds board member and former senior vice president of Reynolds International; daughter, Gail Grant Slingluff of Rumson, N.J., four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
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