Bob Randall Featured

6:19am EDT December 22, 2004
Bob Randall's office at TRACO in Cranberry is decorated with several massive pieces of wooden furniture, each carved from a giant tree trunk.

And it's exotic wood -- Randall purchased the pieces in China. No doubt it takes someone with an appreciation for the finely crafted and unusual to go to the effort and expense to acquire such distinctive furnishings.

But then again, TRACO is known for the unusual and finely crafted. It has earned a reputation for taking on challenging projects, whether for historic restoration or new construction. The company restored the windows on the Statue of Liberty, and in Pittsburgh, built a 16-ton, 45-foot diameter skylight for the Heinz 57 Center downtown. The two-year project required hoisting most of the materials for assembly to the top of the 14-story structure, formerly the Gimbels Building, at night.

Randall wrestled for years with his father, TRACO's founder, over the direction the company should take, and he has made a concerted effort to secure a succession plan that will allow the company to prosper as he turns over control to the next generation of leaders. That transition won't be automatic; Randall insists his progeny will have to earn their place at the table.

It should be noted, though, that the effort has been significant enough for the company to garner a Family Business of the Year Award from the Katz Graduate School of Business in 2003.

How to reach: TRACO Inc., www.traco.com.