Although former President and Distinguished Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ), Donald Reynolds, has earned a National Award for stellar work in the field of accounting and significant contribution to public and private sector development in Jamaica, it is his passion for working with the youth that brings him the greatest joy.
The accomplished retired accountant has assisted in molding countless youth through his work with the Scouts Association of Jamaica, the Rotary Club of Kingston which he served as President, and his church, North Street United in downtown Kingston.
“I don’t think that there is anything else that interests me more than working with young people and seeing them [emerge from] situations where they [are] able to [among other things] lead their own organizations. That, to me, is most rewarding,” he says.
Another way in which Mr. Reynolds has helped to impact the lives of the youth, especially those deemed marginalized, is through his membership in the North Street United Education Development Foundation, which offers university and high school scholarships to children in West Kingston.
“Some of these children are coming from families [where] no one ever went to university before; and so they are getting the opportunity to do that,” he says.
Mr. Reynolds informs that he has been working with the youth since he was a teenager, and while a scoutmaster.
“I’ve worked extensively in communities. When I became an adult, I joined the Sunday School department and youth fellowship as a leader; and so out of that came my love for community,” he tells JIS News.
Mr. Reynolds has done tremendous work with the Rotary Club youth arm, the Rotoracts, which brings together young people, aged 12-18, for leadership skills development while offering mentorship and helping them to positively contribute to society.
“I did a lot of work in schools. I was President of the Parents Teachers Association for both St. Andrew High School for Girls and Liguanea Preparatory School. Currently, I serve as Chairman of Liguanea Preparatory School Trust and North Street Primary School,” he adds.
Mr. Reynolds, who was born in Montego Bay, St. James, relocated to Kingston as a child, and lived on North Street and in Trench Town and Greenwich Town.
After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics at the University of the West Indies, with a Major in Accounting, Mr. Reynolds moved to England to pursue further studies, leading to his certification as a chartered accountant.
The 2010 ICAJ Distinguished Member Award recipient subsequently worked at KPMG, Thomas H. How & Company, and Peat Marwick Mitchell & Company in London, England.
On returning to Jamaica, he joined Deloitte & Touché in 1971 as a supervisor and retired as a Managing Partner and Chairman of the firm after serving for 35 years.
Mr. Reynolds has also undertaken major audits for clients including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and provided audit services for Government, statutory corporations and other financial institutions.
He has served on the Boards of the National Housing Trust, International University of the Caribbean as well as committees at the Office of Utilities Regulations.
The Distinguished Service Member of the Scottish Freemasonry in Jamaica has also received several awards and citations including Boss of the Year for the Kingston Chapter of the Jamaica Association of Professional Secretaries and Administrators, the University of the West Indies 50th Anniversary Award for the Accountancy Profession, and the International University of the Caribbean Spirit of Hope Award.
Mr. Reynolds credits his passion for giving back to the youth to the mentorship that he received during his formative years from persons at his church, among them his Sunday School teachers.
“I would never be where I am today, [if it were not] for my mentors; and so, I am giving back [as] they gave [to me],” he says.
Mr. Reynolds, a Fellow in Retirement of ICAJ and the English and Welsh Institutes of Chartered Accountants, is among 126 persons, excluding uniformed groups, who will be presented with National Honours and Awards on National Heroes Day on Monday (October 19).
He will receive the Order of Distinction (OD) in the rank of Commander for his outstanding contribution, and is gratified with the acknowledgement.
“I didn’t work for an award; I work because I want to give back. But it’s good that [my contributions have] been recognised in [this) way,” he states.