Randy was born in South Knoxville and graduated from Doyle High School. To pay his way through college he worked nights running injection molding machines at his dad’s business. At age 19, he was the first in his family to graduate from college. He is a proud UT alum and a Vol for Life.
Randy started his first business at 23, which he quickly sold and then a second business, Saco Distributing, the following year. With Saco, he sold electric fencing out of the back of his Dodge van to small farm stores throughout the southeast, staying in the best motel room he could find for under $18 dollars a night. At the age of 31 with his wife Jenny working as a court reporter and a two year old at home, he sunk his entire life savings of $26,000 into the design of a new product, the Invisible Fence. That bet paid off. Twenty-five years later his company, Radio Systems Corporation, is known worldwide by the brand names Invisible Fence, PetSafe and SportDOG, producing over 4,000 pet related products. Today RSC is ranked as a top workplace by Forbes magazine, employing more than 700.
Randy married Jenny Houbler Boyd more than 30 years ago at Erin Presbyterian Church, where they still worship today. The couple have two adult sons and are active in the Knoxville community. Randy has been active in the boy scouts and served as a scoutmaster for many years of Troop 757, which he founded. For his efforts, he was honored with the Great Smoky Mountain Council’s Highest Award: the Distinguished Citizen Award.
In 2012 Randy served in the administration of Governor Bill Haslam as an unpaid advisor on education. His work resulted in creating the Drive to 55 and the Tennessee Promise. Because of the Tennessee Promise, student debt for families in Tennessee has dropped by almost 25% and more first generation students, like Randy, are enrolled in community colleges and technical schools than ever before. This was accomplished at no additional cost to taxpayers.
Recently Randy served as Commissioner of Economic and Community Development. As Commissioner he prioritized ensuring that prosperity reached all of Tennessee’s 95 counties and that the right jobs were attracted to the right places – to provide better futures for Tennessee families. Under his leadership the private sector committed to creating 50,000 new jobs and investing $11 billion.
Randy is a lifelong Republican. In 2002 he served as U.S. Senate Candidate Ed Bryant’s Knox County Finance Chair and in 2012 as the State Co-Chairman for Romney for President. He believes that working together, the GOP can become known as the Great Opportunity Party. Randy will continue to support conservative candidates from the state house to the white house committed to creating better opportunities for a great education, better opportunities for great jobs and better opportunities for all.