Heroes don’t have to wear capes and have extraordinary super powers. They can be people who work hard, do the right thing, and look out for those around them. That’s what I Build America’s Heroes of Construction is all about – recognizing the men and women in construction who dedicate their lives to making this industry so great.
Randall English, a 50-year employee-owner at Austin Industries in Texas, has been recognized by his colleagues as a Hero of Construction for his dedication to the company and the industry.
Randall English recently celebrated his 50th anniversary at Austin Industries. Randall started his career with Austin on June 6, 1966, and is a second-generation Austin employee-owner. His father, who also worked at Austin for 50 years, left a strong legacy that Randall has taken to the next level. Mention the name Randall English to any Austin employee-owner or many in the industry and this is what you will hear: highly respected, likable, honest, funny, easygoing, energetic, never quits. His willingness to help any employee-owner has always been the same, and that means a lot to the company. He helps in teaching all of Austin’s employee-owners about the Stock Ownership and 401k plans we offer. In the 50 years he has been here, he has helped streamline procedures and upgrade the equipment fleet by negotiating competitive rental rates and terms with vendors, which has helped the bottom line.
“Randall is a great employee-owner. His commitment, hard work ,and passion for the business is what makes Austin a great company. We thank him for his leadership and the value he brings to Austin. Congratulations on half a century!”
– David Walls, Austin Industries CEO
Randall not only talks about safety, he sets an example and teaches employee-owners based on his experience. He’s very attentive to safety, with 50 years of experience/knowledge in the bridge-building industry. Randall keeps a positive attitude and helps mentor new employee-owners to be safe and to think about safety throughout the work day. Recently, he has been involved in fine-tuning the job hazard analysis (JHA) program and in helping implement a new plan within the Equipment Division. Toolbox meetings are something he’s very involved in, and he encourages employee-owners to speak up about issues or potential hazards. His tenure at Austin Bridge & Road has taught him many things regarding safety, and he loves to tell stories about the projects he has worked on and the many experiences he’s had in order to help us be the safest company possible.
We often joke with Randall about how he continues coming into work every day with a great attitude, and his response is very simple: He loves what he does. He says work makes him have that “normal” feeling. The passion that he has for his work and for the Equipment Division is what helps him maintain the positive, can-do attitude.
“He is always willing to help and does so with a smile. His attitude and dedication are a great example of what servant leadership and employee ownership are all about.”
– Mike Landen, Director of Estimating
Another of Randall’s strengths is knowing how to talk to employee-owners and making them feel like they are part of a team. He never has a problem talking to anyone about anything. Whether it is about our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), 401k retirement goals, or anything else, he’s there to help with any questions new employees may have. When teaching employees about equipment, he takes pride in giving them the history of the piece and how things have changed throughout his career.
“Randall’s passion for Austin and his selflessness is not only inspiring, it sets an example for all to follow.”
– Ed Robertson, Equipment Director
You don’t become one of the most respected employee-owners in the company overnight. Randall has demonstrated to others how well he works as part of a team and as a leader by recognizing areas that need improvement and creating ways to make those improvements. Employee ownership shines through his work ethic and achievements every day. Randall’s wealth of knowledge about the Austin organization and the heavy highway construction industry has made him a very valuable resource to everyone around him. When it comes to decision making, he is honest and fair, giving him the ability to make sound judgements in a timely manner. He listens well and makes sure he understands all the facts before coming to any conclusions. Overall, he leads by example.
“Randall’s sincerity in proclaiming and demonstrating the gift of employee ownership and his selfless service to Austin Bridge & Road provide a great example for all of us to follow.”
– Ben Hewett, President of Austin Bridge & Road
Austin Industries has been an employee-owned company for 30 years and a member of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Randall won the Employee Owner of the Year Award for the Southwest Chapter of the ESOP association and was automatically nominated for the national award. In 2012 Randall won the Employee Owner of the Year Award for the entire country at a reception held in Washington, D.C. Randall was very humble, as always, and accepted the award with graciousness and a speech that had the entire room on their feet. Austin Industries has an employee-owner recognition program called the Advantage Builder Award, which is given to employee-owners who go above and beyond the normal or expected. Randall has won this award on numerous occasions. In May 2016 Randall was nominated for a lifetime achievement award from the Hispanic Contractors Association. He attended the awards ceremony, where he accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of construction. While he has received more awards, the trust and confidence his fellow employee-owners place in him is the truest form of recognition and worth more to the company than any award or plaque.
“This is a great occasion, worthy of celebration! Seldom does anyone work 50 years with one organization. And in Randall’s case, throughout these years he has personified uniquely the values which make Austin what it is.”
– Bill Solomon, Former CEO