The mission of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership is to create opportunities for education, research, and dialogue about significant ethical ideas and issues.


To be a catalyst in a flourishing community of servant leaders dedicated to the common good.


The D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership began in 1999 when area business and corporate leaders established an endowment to be used to provide public programming in memory of D.B. Reinhart, an exemplary business leader and mentor as well as a good friend and advisor to Viterbo University. “Rhiny,” as he was known to his friends, accomplished much during his life. As an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and highly regarded leader, he was inducted into the prestigious Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. As founder and owner of Gateway Foods, he turned his La Crosse-based food company into the largest privately owned food wholesaler in the country. Despite his success, Reinhart considered his greatest assets to be his family, his faith, and his community. He was a quiet leader whose presence assured the success of many initiatives and organizations, and he cared deeply about people.

D.B. Reinhart was the recipient of two of Viterbo’s most prestigious honors, the 1980 Pope John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service and a 1990 Doctor of Laws honorary degree. Mr. Reinhart, who died in 1996, is survived by his children, Nancy, Patricia, John and Rob.

 Since 1999, the Reinhart Institute has sponsored over 250 public lectures, hosted dozens of national conferences and regional workshops, and sponsored faculty and student research in the areas of ethics and leadership.