Brooks Reynolds
Brooks Reynolds
Age 35  |  Producer and account executive, Reynolds and Reynolds Inc.

If you haven’t heard of Brooks Reynolds, chances are you have heard of the area festival he helped start, judging by the 1,800 or so tickets that were sold for this year’s Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival within about four minutes of going on sale.

Reynolds and a few friends used to travel to Spirit Lake to have a “weekend dedicated to bacon.” As they grew up and members of the group started having children, those weekend retreats were harder to come by. So they came up with the idea to have a real bacon festival in Des Moines, starting in 2008. Attendance has nearly doubled each year.

“We never envisioned when we started this four years ago that it would be this fun, crazy event that people kind of love,” Reynolds said. “We are trying to put this on the map. We try to be the premier bacon festival in the United States.”

In addition to the festival in Des Moines, Reynolds is planning a similar event in Keystone, Colo., this summer, and said more bacon blowouts around the country could be in the works in future years.

Oh, and he has a day job, too.

Reynolds works as a producer and account executive for Reynolds and Reynolds Inc., which his father, Stanley Reynolds, founded. He said the best part of his job is getting to work with a diverse clientele.

His other passion has been his involvement with Young Variety, a part of Variety – The Children’s Charity directed at gaining young professional volunteers. Reynolds helped to revive the program in 2001 after returning to Des Moines from Pusan, South Korea, where he taught English to students.

Reynolds served as the first president of Young Variety of Central Iowa in 2001, and served again in 2008, spending the time in between as a board member.

Reynolds has also volunteered with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Parrothead Golf Outing and the group’s Aces Up Poker Challenge and Light the Night Walk. He has helped with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa and the Mid-Iowa Council of the Boy Scouts, among other organizations.

Sheri McMichael, executive director, Variety – The Children’s Charity of Iowa: “Des Moines is fortunate to have Brooks Reynolds. His boundless energy, fresh ideas and commitment are admired by all. Brooks’ enthusiasm is contagious, as he recruits other young professionals to become involved and make Des Moines a great place to live, play and work.”