A little more about Randy...
I am a small-business owner with proven leadership experience. I own four UPS Stores in the Twin Cities and thoroughly enjoy the day-to-day work life of serving customers, coaching and investing in a team of employees and contributing to our local economy. I also have the opportunity and responsibility to train new UPS Store owners and managers. Before my decision to focus on campaign efforts, I additionally served for several years as the elected chair of the franchisee advisory council that represents all 4,400 UPS Store owners nationwide.
My education includes an MBA from the University of Minnesota in addition to my engineering bachelor’s degrees from the University of Minnesota and Bethel University. I have 14 years of experience as a corporate executive developing winning business strategies for Pillsbury, Quaker Oats, and Ecolab. I recognize and understand the importance of reliable customer care, vibrant teamwork, perceptive strategic planning, and vigilant budget management. My working career began as a chemical engineer and includes three patents as well as many new at-the-time food products, like Quaker Instant Oatmeal Cups.
My wife Jan and I are Bethel University graduates and have been married 33 years. We’ve lived in Shoreview for 18 years and raised our family among the good neighbors, teachers, schools, parks, and businesses in this community. We have two sons, a daughter, and a daughter-in-law, and we are privileged to serve as U.S. parents for an exchange student. We are avid fans of the great outdoors and enjoy camping, hiking, and canoeing. For the past 30+ years, I’ve invested time and leadership in a local Boy Scout troop (my sons and I earned our Eagle Scout rank from the same troop and under the same scoutmaster). I serve as chair on the governing board of my church. In my spare time, I enjoy running (26 marathons) and am a heavy user of our local trails and parks and the Shoreview Community Center (member).
What is your educational background?
I am immersed in a family of educators: my mom, my dad, three of my grandparents, and both of my sisters. I graduated from Kellogg High School in Roseville. I earned a BA in pre-engineering from Bethel University, a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from the University of Minnesota.
What is your work background?
I began my career as a research and development engineer for Pillsbury, where I advanced new products and established three patents for the company. I decided that I wanted to work more directly with clients and customers, so I earned an MBA and transitioned to marketing management, first at Pillsbury, and later at Quaker Oats and Ecolab.
After the economic downturn following 9/11, I was laid off and unemployed for six months. It was a period of angst and reassessment, but also, in hindsight, one of opportunity. I empathize with those who have gone through a similar gut-wrenching experience.
For the past 14 years, I have been a small-business owner. I began with one UPS Store and one part-time employee. Today I own four UPS Stores with a combined staff of approximately 20 associates. The stores are located in Roseville (by Rosedale), St. Paul (Highland Park neighborhood), and Minneapolis (in the Minneapolis City Center and in the Minneapolis Convention Center). At the request of the Minnesota State Fair, I also operate a UPS Store on the fairgrounds during the fair.
What qualities make you a strong representative for our district?
For eight years, I served on an advisory board that represents the 4,400 UPS Store owners across the country to our franchisor; I chaired this board for four years but stepped down to focus on campaign efforts. My recommendations as well as my ability to collaborate with others and plan for the future were appreciated by store owners and UPS executives alike. I understand the importance of valance and gaining consensus for common sense solutions.
In the spring of 2014, I successfully worked with both Republicans and Democrats at the state capital to get notary-public reform legislation passed. The process of initiating, establishing, and promoting a legislative bill requires an investment of time as well as good communication, honest collaboration, and the willingness to work tenaciously toward a goal. The experience taught me a great deal about the practicalities of legislative change. I am confident I can contribute much more as a state representative for you and your neighbors.
My work as a scientist and as a small-business owner has sharpened my strengths as a problem-solver, communicator, forward thinker, and collaborator. Just as important are the fundamental values of trust and integrity that guide me daily as I work alongside outstanding employees and serve terrific customers.
What’s unique about you?
As I mentioned earlier, I was unemployed for six months. The experience was difficult for the whole family, and I’ll always remember the financial anxiety and stress. In hindsight, I gained an unshakeable empathy for individuals and families who have also experienced—or are experiencing—the impact of unemployment or underemployment. Each of us is well acquainted with challenges of various forms, and my personal experience remains a vivid reminder of the importance of compassion and decency toward others.
I have been fascinated with the Boundary Waters Canoe Area ever since my first visit as a 12-year-old. Some 30+ trips later, including two portages across the Grand Portage, I still count this area as one of our state’s treasures. I value Minnesota’s lakes as well as its many other natural resources, and I understand the importance of conservation and preservation efforts.
Each year I run a marathon, and this year it was Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth. During the spring, summer, and fall, I regularly run on our district’s trails, sidewalks, and roads. During the winter, I often run on the track at the Shoreview Community Center, where I’m a member. I’ve finished 26 marathons. I can’t say I’m getting faster, but I hope I’m running smarter!