THOMAS KENYON REED, JR. Long term Santa Fe resident and successful businessman, Thomas K. Reed, Jr., passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, with his devoted wife of 34 years, Katherine Arnold Reed by his side. Tom was 80 years old. Born November 1, 1931 in Massillon, Ohio, to Dr. Thomas Kenyon Reed and Zana Marguerite Lange Reed, he attended the University of New Mexico, where Tom pledged Sigma Chi fraternity. He then enlisted in the US Army from 1953-1955 as a Top Security cryptographer for the commander-in-chief for the Caribbean, stationed in Panama. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1956 with a Liberal Arts Degree. Reed's first job was with the corporate giant, IBM. This was the beginning of Tom's developing his visionary, highly innovative business style. There he worked alongside prominent businessmen, Ross Perot and Aubrey Wilson. Following this venture, for the next three years, Reed joined Goodbody and Company, an investment management firm in Albuquerque, as a stockbroker. Always envisioning a higher, more innovative business strategy, Tom finally established his own investment business in 1964, specializing in start-up ventures. He honed his entrepreneurial mind during these influential years, and in 1975, moved to Hawaii, where he owned and operated two radio stations, which he later sold to the Coca-Cola Company of Los Angeles. A decisive and fearless investor, Tom founded the Reed Investment Company in 1978, simultaneously becoming a member of Lloyd's of London. Tom and Kathie moved to Santa Fe, where Reed continued to use his venture capital for other businesses: twenty-one in his lifetime. In the 80's, he founded and became President and CEO of Vivigen, Inc., devoting all of his energies to establishing it as the premier genetic testing laboratory in the world. Vivigen gained national prominence when Business Week magazine named the business one of the "The Best Small Growth Companies in America" in 1988 and 1989. His was the first corporation in New Mexico to offer childcare for its employees, and free tuition for anyone in the company wishing to further their education, in the medical/genetic field. In 1989, Reed was chosen as one of the Ten Who Made a Difference, honored for making a significant contribution to Santa Fe and the community. Following the merger of Vivigen and Genzyme Genetics in October 1992, Reed devoted his time to management of his myriad business affairs. In 1993, he was appointed as one of the six members of the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Committee. He loved his work and thrived on the challenges it brought him. Ever the generous philanthropist, Tom contributed to the Church of the Holy Faith, of which he was a long-time member, along with many arts and community organizations, including The Lensic Performing Arts Center, The United Way and Santa Fe Pro Musica. Tom suffered a stroke in 2006 while on holiday with friends, and unfortunately, this was followed by a series of other health issues and hospitalizations over the last six years. Tom is remembered by those who knew him as charming and funny, with a huge presence. He also possessed a gift for recognizing talent and ability, and was passionate about mentoring those who were deserving. His business style also shaped a man prone to impatience, as his brilliance often engendered ideas way ahead of their time. Reed is survived by his wife Kathie, and his two children: his daughter Lee, of Santa Fe, and his son Richard, of Albuquerque, both from his first marriage to Lynn Walton. He will be deeply missed by Kathie and his children, his grandson Austin, as well as many friends and business associates. Special thanks from the family to Eric Chambers, his caretaker, who was a devoted friend and companion to Tom until his death, to Mary Feidt, his hospice nurse, and to the staff of Ambercare. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Tom may be made to the Lensic Performing Arts Center. A memorial service will be held at a later date at the Church of Holy Faith in Santa Fe.
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Feb. 25, 2012.