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Randy Boyd – John W. Gardner Leadership Award Nomination Letter
January 29, 2015
United Way of Greater Knoxville is proud to nominate Mr. Randy Boyd for the John W.
Gardner Leadership Award.
Mr. Boyd holds the prestigious, yet daunting responsibility of United Way of Greater
Knoxville’s 2014 Campaign Chair. In this volunteer role, he was responsible for
assembling and mobilizing more than one-hundred local volunteers, and leading them
as they work collectively to raise donations, which benefit the Greater Knoxville
community.
As our 2014 Chair, Mr. Boyd set a historic campaign goal of $13M on August 28, 2014,
an amount that has not been reached in the organizations 93 year history. Under his
guidance and leadership, the historic fundraising goal was met in a mere five months.
Further proving that he is a true innovator, he implemented two original efforts, never
before implemented in United Way of Greater Knoxville’s history. First, he added an
additional goal to the campaign, a transformational project that would support a selected
capital project for a partner agency. Mr. Boyd set a $200,000 goal to assist Helen Ross
McNabb’s Homeless Veteran’s Project. Under his leadership, the goal was achieved
within months and the Homeless Veteran’s Project was able to be completed in
December, allowing 23 homeless veterans to have a permanent domicile by Christmas.
The second unique project Mr. Boyd implemented ensured one-hundred percent
coverage of Unite Way’s campaign costs. This allows one-hundred percent of
donations raised to directly benefit the Greater Knoxville community. This achievement
gained local and national notice, and generated renewed excitement in the community
around United Way of Greater Knoxville’s community betterment efforts. Not only are
campaign costs covered for the 2014 season, the small group of generous donors who
unified for this effort at Mr. Boyd’s request, have agreed to continue this effort
indefinitely. This victory has greatly benefitted United Way’s fundraising effort.
Randy Boyd’s dedication to improving education, not only in Knoxville, but in Tennesse
has been unrelenting. In 2009, Mr. Boyd helped start tnAchieves, a non-profit
organization that has sent over 3,200 high school graduates to community college free
of charge with mentors. Of those students, 68 percent are the first in their families to
attend college, and more than 65 percent have family incomes below $50,000. The
organization serves 26 counties providing universal college access to those high school
graduates.
Continuing with his education efforts, he played a critical role in establishing Knoxville’s
first community school, a wrap-around effort to support not only the students, but the
family’s needs in their entirety. Pond Gap Elementary has operated as a community
school since 2010. Pont Gap Community School provides an afterschool program open
to students five days a week throughout the entire year. The school was also outfitted a
new washer and dryers for students’ families and provides ELL and GED classes for
parents. Pond Gap also features a creative array of extra-curricular courses including
circus arts, art and music enrichment, a running and fitness program, and partnerships
with the Ijams Nature Center and Knoxville Opera. Officials are seeing gains in reading
and a decrease in tardiness and behavioral issues.
Due to the success of tnAchieves, in 2013, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed
Mr. Boyd to his administration as special advisor to the governor for Higher Education to
focus on affordability, access and quality of state programs. Recently, President
Obama adopted a national effort based on Tennessee’s community college affordability
program, a program directly impacted by the work of Mr. Boyd.
In this role, Mr. Boyd consulted with a formal working group appointed by the Governor
made up of the Governor, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education
Commission (THEC), chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), and
president of the University of Tennessee. It is important to note that although Mr.
Boyd’s position will was full-time, he will be working for the state on a voluntary, unpaid
basis.
Because of his leadership and track record of success in the for-profit and non-profit
arenas, in 2015, Randy Boyd was appointed by Tennessee Governor Haslam to the
position of Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community
Development. In this role, he will work to ensure that the business community and
educators are working hand in hand to meet our workforce needs.
Mr. Boyd also serves on numerous boards. Corporate Boards: Clayton Bank Corp., a
Knoxville based community bank; EDP BioTech, a bio-science company doing cancer
and DNA research, and Radio Systems Corp. He is also on the Board of several non-
profit organizations. Community non-profit boards: Innovation Valley, Knoxville Zoo,
Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, United Way of Greater Knoxville and National
Parks Conservation Association. Education related boards: Chairman of The
Tennessee Higher Education Commission, 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 Knox County's Great School Partnership. He is
also serving as President of the Boy Scout’s Great Smoky Mountain Council, as the
United Way 2014 Campaign Chair for Knox County, and as Chairman of tnAchieves, a
mentor-assisted scholarship program that covers the tuition for over 5,000 first
generation community college students across the state of Tennessee.
Mr. Boyd has received several awards including 2014 University of Tennessee Alumni
of the Year, 2014 Tennessee Business Round table Gorden 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
Beyond his volunteer and philanthropic endeavors and responsibilities, Mr. Boyd is the
founder and owner of Radio Systems Corporation, which encompasses the PetSafe
brand. PetSafe offers invisible dog fences, as well as a myriad of supplies designed to
keep domestic pets safe and healthy.
Under Mr. Boyd’s leadership, the PetSafe company also has implemented a wide
outreach program and practices many philanthropic efforts. They provide volunteer
support, grants, and product donations to qualifying organizations working to improve
animal welfare.
PetSafe supports many animal welfare programs through a myriad of efforts, including
support of the PetSafe Shelter Enrichment Program which provides behavioral
enrichment toys to local shelter, sponsoring Morris Animal Foundation’s Fight Against
Canine Cancer, and funding the Small Animal Behavior Research at the University of
Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
Due to Randy Boyd’s relentless commitment and dedication to the community through a
myriad of volunteer efforts, and for the significant contributions he has made to the
nonprofit and philanthropic community, we believe he embodies the vision of the John
W. Gardner Leadership Award. United Way of Greater Knoxville is honored to
nominate Randy Boyd for the John W. Gardner Award.

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John W. Gardner Leadership Award Nomination Letter

  • 1. Randy Boyd – John W. Gardner Leadership Award Nomination Letter January 29, 2015 United Way of Greater Knoxville is proud to nominate Mr. Randy Boyd for the John W. Gardner Leadership Award. Mr. Boyd holds the prestigious, yet daunting responsibility of United Way of Greater Knoxville’s 2014 Campaign Chair. In this volunteer role, he was responsible for assembling and mobilizing more than one-hundred local volunteers, and leading them as they work collectively to raise donations, which benefit the Greater Knoxville community. As our 2014 Chair, Mr. Boyd set a historic campaign goal of $13M on August 28, 2014, an amount that has not been reached in the organizations 93 year history. Under his guidance and leadership, the historic fundraising goal was met in a mere five months. Further proving that he is a true innovator, he implemented two original efforts, never before implemented in United Way of Greater Knoxville’s history. First, he added an additional goal to the campaign, a transformational project that would support a selected capital project for a partner agency. Mr. Boyd set a $200,000 goal to assist Helen Ross McNabb’s Homeless Veteran’s Project. Under his leadership, the goal was achieved within months and the Homeless Veteran’s Project was able to be completed in December, allowing 23 homeless veterans to have a permanent domicile by Christmas. The second unique project Mr. Boyd implemented ensured one-hundred percent coverage of Unite Way’s campaign costs. This allows one-hundred percent of donations raised to directly benefit the Greater Knoxville community. This achievement gained local and national notice, and generated renewed excitement in the community around United Way of Greater Knoxville’s community betterment efforts. Not only are campaign costs covered for the 2014 season, the small group of generous donors who unified for this effort at Mr. Boyd’s request, have agreed to continue this effort indefinitely. This victory has greatly benefitted United Way’s fundraising effort. Randy Boyd’s dedication to improving education, not only in Knoxville, but in Tennesse has been unrelenting. In 2009, Mr. Boyd helped start tnAchieves, a non-profit organization that has sent over 3,200 high school graduates to community college free of charge with mentors. Of those students, 68 percent are the first in their families to attend college, and more than 65 percent have family incomes below $50,000. The organization serves 26 counties providing universal college access to those high school graduates.
  • 2. Continuing with his education efforts, he played a critical role in establishing Knoxville’s first community school, a wrap-around effort to support not only the students, but the family’s needs in their entirety. Pond Gap Elementary has operated as a community school since 2010. Pont Gap Community School provides an afterschool program open to students five days a week throughout the entire year. The school was also outfitted a new washer and dryers for students’ families and provides ELL and GED classes for parents. Pond Gap also features a creative array of extra-curricular courses including circus arts, art and music enrichment, a running and fitness program, and partnerships with the Ijams Nature Center and Knoxville Opera. Officials are seeing gains in reading and a decrease in tardiness and behavioral issues. Due to the success of tnAchieves, in 2013, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed Mr. Boyd to his administration as special advisor to the governor for Higher Education to focus on affordability, access and quality of state programs. Recently, President Obama adopted a national effort based on Tennessee’s community college affordability program, a program directly impacted by the work of Mr. Boyd. In this role, Mr. Boyd consulted with a formal working group appointed by the Governor made up of the Governor, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), and president of the University of Tennessee. It is important to note that although Mr. Boyd’s position will was full-time, he will be working for the state on a voluntary, unpaid basis. Because of his leadership and track record of success in the for-profit and non-profit arenas, in 2015, Randy Boyd was appointed by Tennessee Governor Haslam to the position of Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. In this role, he will work to ensure that the business community and educators are working hand in hand to meet our workforce needs. Mr. Boyd also serves on numerous boards. Corporate Boards: Clayton Bank Corp., a Knoxville based community bank; EDP BioTech, a bio-science company doing cancer and DNA research, and Radio Systems Corp. He is also on the Board of several non- profit organizations. Community non-profit boards: Innovation Valley, Knoxville Zoo, Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, United Way of Greater Knoxville and National Parks Conservation Association. Education related boards: Chairman of The Tennessee Higher Education Commission, 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 Knox County's Great School Partnership. He is also serving as President of the Boy Scout’s Great Smoky Mountain Council, as the United Way 2014 Campaign Chair for Knox County, and as Chairman of tnAchieves, a mentor-assisted scholarship program that covers the tuition for over 5,000 first generation community college students across the state of Tennessee.
  • 3. Mr. Boyd has received several awards including 2014 University of Tennessee Alumni of the Year, 2014 Tennessee Business Round table Gorden 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 Beyond his volunteer and philanthropic endeavors and responsibilities, Mr. Boyd is the founder and owner of Radio Systems Corporation, which encompasses the PetSafe brand. PetSafe offers invisible dog fences, as well as a myriad of supplies designed to keep domestic pets safe and healthy. Under Mr. Boyd’s leadership, the PetSafe company also has implemented a wide outreach program and practices many philanthropic efforts. They provide volunteer support, grants, and product donations to qualifying organizations working to improve animal welfare. PetSafe supports many animal welfare programs through a myriad of efforts, including support of the PetSafe Shelter Enrichment Program which provides behavioral enrichment toys to local shelter, sponsoring Morris Animal Foundation’s Fight Against Canine Cancer, and funding the Small Animal Behavior Research at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Due to Randy Boyd’s relentless commitment and dedication to the community through a myriad of volunteer efforts, and for the significant contributions he has made to the nonprofit and philanthropic community, we believe he embodies the vision of the John W. Gardner Leadership Award. United Way of Greater Knoxville is honored to nominate Randy Boyd for the John W. Gardner Award.