2014 Forty Under 40: Reynold 'Ren' Berry

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
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berry_reynold_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Early interest in law: Berry studied political science and history at Indiana University. “The kind of a degree,” he quipped, “that will make you a fine bartender.” After college, he actually did tend bar—at the downtown Champps Americana—while trying to do some real estate rehab and redevelopment. (He still rents out one of the houses he bought for investment.)

Bar to bar: He gave up mixing drinks to attend IU's Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. “Not a lot of people go to law school to become a debt collector,” Berry said. But he was happy to connect with Rubin & Levin in 2003 as a law clerk. “Ten years later, they haven’t gotten rid of me.”

Credit where due: “We typically represent the creditor,” Berry said. “It’s easy to say, ‘I’m broke.’ A lot of our job is establishing what is true. Whatever real estate fell through or widgets that were sold and not paid for, well, that ship has sailed. Our job is to get as much as we can back to port.”

AGE 34
Hometown: Indianapolis

Family: wife, Shelley Fraser-Berry; children Ezra, 4, and Estelle, 3

Support your local lawyer: Berry is chairman of the Young Lawyers Section Council for the Indiana State Bar Association. “Rubin & Levin always made it possible to do as much of that sort of thing as my heart desires as long as I got my work done at the office and that has only helped me want to do a better job for the firm.”

Clubbing: Berry also served as president of Sertoma Club of North Downtown, although he’s saddened by the lack of recent support for service organizations. “So many young professionals and employers don’t realize the importance of these groups. I blame my generation, the video game generation, that’s used to everything being done virtually with not enough reality. But giving back is part of what keeps Indy great. I hope that spirit isn’t something we lose.”•


  • Congratulations, REN!
    What a great honor, well deserved. Very proud to be in your shade. Uncle Dan

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.