Sharon W. Reynolds
President & Chief Executive Officer | DevMar
Products, LLC | DevMar Global Healthcare Solutions, LLC
A fifth generation Nashvillian, Sharon Reynolds is proud of her hometown and the role her family has played in making it better for all. Her maternal grandfather and great grandfather were sought-after stone masons who worked on several of the city's beautiful churches. Her father was one of the first African American firefighters in the city. And she has carved out a space in a typically male-dominated field to create safer, healthier environments across hospitality, corrections, industrial, educational and healthcare spaces.
Reynolds laughingly notes her career path is a bit eclectic as she pursued different interests, including stints in mortgage banking and real estate. Along the way, she also gained more than two decades of experience in the chemical disinfecting industry through her husband DeMarco's facility management company. "I have always been fascinated by how certain chemistries eradicate pathogens, keeping surfaces and spaces free from harming people," she explained.
"At the height of the 2007 downturn, I launched DevMar Products, named after our two sons - DeMarco II and Devin," Reynolds continued. While DevMar began as a sanitary supply distribution company, she wanted to differentiate her young company.
"I engaged the Morehouse School of Medicine's research team and a partner to develop unique and innovative products with environmentally sustainable components that stood out from the typical 'me too' products. From that effort, we developed new technologies to include a five-patented biohazard absorbent called Clean Up, currently undergoing the EPA's Emergency Exemption Authorization process," she explained.
Always curious, Reynolds returned to school as an adult to earn an undergraduate degree in business with a focus on green and sustainable enterprise before going on to earn an executive MBA at Tennessee State University. She uses both her education and background to make DevMar products highly effective but kinder to the earth. She noted the company's biohazard and antimicrobial products are created with sustainability in mind but with the power to eradicate more than 80 pathogens, including norovirus and C. difficile.
"I am energized each day to think of new ways to become a part of the solution for our customers. When we bring ideas that cure pain points in supply chains and product development, it keeps us relevant, and we become value-added partners," she said. "One of the most challenging aspects is identifying the science behind technologies a lot sooner that will quickly impact situations such as the current pandemic."
With a growing focus on the medical field, Reynolds founded DevMar Global Healthcare Solutions. The company has teamed up with Oregon-based NI-Q in the development and distribution of safe, shelf-stable human donor breast milk for at-risk infants in NICUs across the country. "It's Mom's milk that is commercially sterilized but doesn't degrade nutrients," explained Reynolds. "While the two companies are opposites, both outcomes are geared toward health, wellness and safety of our population."
Involved with NI-Q three years before the birth of her granddaughter, the business affiliation would become incredibly personal. "My daughter-in-law had preeclampsia and my granddaughter was born prematurely. We almost lost them both," she recalled of that frightening time. Bryla J, now three-and-a-half, used NI-Q for the first six months of her life and is thriving.
In celebration, Reynolds, who loves fashion, launched Bryla J Couture Clothing featuring elegant designs for professional women. A portion of every sale is donated to March of Dimes and St. Jude's. Although the clothing line has been on the back burner while Reynolds has been focused on helping clients address heightened disinfecting concerns in the midst of the pandemic, she hopes to relaunch with a new line for 2022.
Just as her work is solutions-based and community-minded, many of her 'off the clock' hours are spent volunteering for organizations with the same mindset. Reynolds has served on boards for Habitat for Humanity, Second Harvest Food Bank, Nashville State Community Foundation and The Table Advisory Council. "I enjoy making a difference in the lives of the underserved in our community and solving pressing issues impacting the Nashville business landscape," she said.
Although her interests are diverse, Reynolds said the common denominator is providing support for the environment and individuals. Counting hospital-acquired infections as her chief nemesis, she is tireless in her efforts to make hospitals safer. "It's very rewarding to provide innovative product technologies that are cutting-edge, forward-thinking and lifesaving," she concluded.