Randy Boyd was sworn in on January 17, 2015 by Governor Bill Haslam to serve as the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development. The department is responsible for recruiting business and industry to the state as well as Tennessee’s overall economic growth.
Prior to joining TNECD, Mr. Boyd founded Radio Systems Corporation from which he is currently taking a leave of absence. Radio Systems is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee and has over 630 associates worldwide with offices in seven countries. The company produces over 4,600 pet products under brand names such as Invisible Fence, PetSafe, and SportDOG. It is a privately held with sales over $350 million.
Mr. Boyd serves on numerous boards. Corporate Boards: Chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, Chairman of Zingy, a shared economy model dog walking service based in Santa Monica; and EDP BioTech, a bio-science company doing cancer and DNA research, and Boyd Sports LLC, owner of the Tennessee Smokies Baseball team, the AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.
He is also on the Board of several non-profit organizations. Community non-profit boards: Great Smoky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts and outgoing President, National Parks Conservation Association, and outgoing Campaign Chair of the United Way of Greater Knoxville. Education related boards: Outgoing Chairman of The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (resigned with current ECD appointment), Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, Boys and Girls Clubs of East Tennessee Board of Trustees, Pond Gap University Assisted Community Schools, University of Tennessee College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, and Vice-Chairman of Knox County's Great School Partnership, and Chairman of tnAchieves, a mentor-assisted scholarship program that has sent over 10,000 first generation community college students across the state of Tennessee and in 2015 will provide operational support for students participating in the Tennessee Promise in 85 counties across the state.
In addition, Mr. Boyd and Radio Systems have contributed significantly to improving animal welfare. The company has provided the funds to create seven public dog parks in the Knoxville area and has spear headed a collaborative effort to make Knoxville the most pet friendly community in America. As a part of this effort, Mr. Boyd has supported the development of a new Animal Adoption Center in Knoxville that will more than double the number of spay and neuter procedures that can be performed annually in Knoxville. In early 2010, the company provided funding for the Blount County Animal Center as well as funded the PetSafe Chair of companion animal behavior within the Small Animal Clinical Sciences department of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee. Invisible Fence Brand has donated over 10,000 dog oxygen masks to Fire Departments around the United States as part of its “Project Breathe”.
Mr. Boyd has received several awards including 2014 University of Tennessee Alumni of the Year, 2014 Tennessee Business Round Table Gordon Fee Achievement Award, 2014 Pinnacle James Haslam Leadership Award, Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the year for the Southeast in 2008, Tennessee Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year in 2009, UT’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009, and was inducted into Junior Achievement’s East Tennessee Hall of Fame in 2008.
In 2013, he took a year leave of absence from his company to serve Governor Bill Haslam in a volunteer role as his Special Advisor on Higher Education assisting in the development of the Drive to 55 initiatives and the Tennessee Promise. The Tennessee Promise will provide free tuition and fees to community college to approximately 25,000 Tennesseans per year, all matched with a trained, volunteer mentor.
He received a degree from The University of Tennessee in Industrial Management in 1979 and a Masters in Liberal Studies from Oklahoma University in 1988. He has two sons, Harrison and Thomas, two dogs, Spanky and Oscar, two cats Sebastian and Wolfgang, and one wife, Jenny, who he has been married to for 30 years.