Black history is an essential part of the history of our nation, our communities and our company. Black associates have been key members of the Rudolph Libbe Group team since our earliest years. In a series of articles, we are celebrating the contributions of current associates and retirees, and expressing our gratitude to them for being a part of the Rudolph Libbe Group.
—Bill Rudolph, Chairman, Rudolph Libbe Group
Randy Fry knows how to crush a challenge. He was always interested in an engineering career, and determination is getting him there.
With the support of a loving family, he developed goals early in a world where racism can discourage young Black men. “I wasnʼt in the best environment, neighborhood-wise, but I never wanted to be a product of my environment. I wanted more out of life.”
Determination led him to Adrian College, where he studied physics, played football and became a track star – setting sprint records including the 60-meter, 200-meter, 4×200 meter (indoors), and the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 4×100 meter records (outdoors). He earned five All-American and eight Midwest All-Region honors. He was recognized as the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Conference Most Valuable Runner in 2019 and Senior Student Athlete of the Year – becoming the most decorated track and field athlete in Adrian College history. He graduated in 2019 with a bachelorʼs degree in physics and enrolled in the University of Toledo, where he is now pursuing a bachelorʼs degree in mechanical engineering technology.
At a UT career expo, he met A.J. King, VDC team leader/mechanical designer at Rudolph Libbe Group, and today, Fry is serving his third co-op assignment in the electrical division.
“I like to see things being built. I like being part of the construction process. Itʼs interesting to see the electrical side of a big project like First Solar, and how much is involved in it.”
The issue of race is always there. “Iʼve had my challenges here and other places Iʼve worked.
Thereʼs no one who looks like me. Itʼs something that is always in the back of my head but just because no one looks like me, doesnʼt mean I let it dim my confidence.” There are signs of progress in society, he says. “Things are changing now; thatʼs the good thing. Society will improve if we have more empathy for each other and consider the feelings of people who donʼt look like us. Recognize your privilege. Be the change you want to see.”
His advice to other young people entering the job market: “Make your parents proud. Make sure their sacrifices donʼt go unnoticed and donʼt go to waste. Be kind to others. Attitude determines altitude. Your character will take you places your talent canʼt reach. Life has its rough patches. But what helps me is discipline, consistency and patience. Success loves consistency. I try to get as much out of my life as I can. My biggest fear is not living up to my potential.”