Paul Reed Smith

Paul Reed Smith is a guitar maker, musician, founder, and Managing General Partner of Paul Reed Smith Guitars and has held that position for over 35 years. PRS Guitars is the third largest US manufacturer of electric guitars. Paul was born in Bethesda, Maryland and made his first playable guitar for extra credit at St. Mary’s College. For decades, Paul has built instruments for internationally famous musicians including Carlos Santana and John Mayer utilizing his fundamental grasp of how to incorporate guitar design, physics, woodworking, practical engineering, graphic mathematics and art into world-renowned products. Paul also enjoys songwriting, performing and recording music with his band, Eightlock. Proudly, PRS has instruments on display in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

Additionally, Paul is a founder and manager of two new start-ups, Digital Harmonic and CytoAcoustics. The fundamental technology of Digital Harmonic was developed by Paul and his father, Jack W. Smith who was an Applied Mathematician. What started as an experiment for measuring waveforms from a guitar string to create a new guitar synthesizer, ended up producing a technology that could revolutionize the practice of signal and imaging processing. these new companies combined hold nearly three dozen patents that he developed and/or directed.

Paul has received many awards including the 2002 Maryland Small Business Person of the Year and an honorary doctorate from Washington College. Paul presides over research and development of new PRS products and actively travels to promote the PRS brand through dealer events, tradeshows, and clinics. Paul also gives back to the community in a number of ways including delivering motivational seminars to Maryland high school students, supporting various charities and being involved with several Johns Hopkins fundraisers that are dear to his heart. Personally, Paul cherishes his role as husband, parent and mentor and when time allows can be found fishing for barracudas.