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Randy Foster

Chief Technology Officer, Co-Founder
Rocket Fiber

Twitter: @FiberFoster

Without the distraction of the normal ‘corporate ladder climbing,’ I get to focus on any function that brings the most value to our organization.
— Randy Foster

As a Co-founder of Rocket Fiber, Randy Foster shapes the technological vision of Rocket Fiber. He guides the technology team ensuring that projects are deployed on time and on budget. He evaluates solutions for their adherence to the vision and client service requirements of Rocket Fiber. Randy has over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. His experience covers a range of technological concentrations including computer network design and management, software engineering, and system administration. His experience has focused on developing unique solutions that solve the needs of clients. Prior to leading technology at Rocket Fiber, Randy was employed with Quicken Loans where he provided software engineering services. Randy worked on QTrade, which is Quicken Loans’ trading platform. He focused on developing a new module that expanded the capabilities of the QTrade platform to allow automating the process of loan pricing.

Randy in one word: Determined

Favorite leadership read: The Goal

Favorite podcast: Data Skeptic

Favorite Detroit hangout: Campus Martius

In his own words:

1.  What’s your most important career accomplishment to-date?

Graduating from college was, for me, the start of all the current accomplishments. This lead me to what is now the ongoing career accomplishment of co-founding Rocket Fiber. Founding Rocket Fiber was the culmination of years of experience with many different career fields that enabled me to focus on technology but have the Swiss army knife tool set necessary to start a business.

2. How have you redefined leadership through your professional success?
Leadership is a much more fascinating topic to me now more than prior to my success. In the technology space, logic and process reign supreme. Leadership is a much more nuanced science in which every interaction is unique. As Rocket has grown, leadership has come to mean two things to me: removing team members’ obstacles and guiding the company's focus. With these two things team members have the autonomy and purpose that allows them to realize the mastery of their craft.

3. Why is civic engagement (volunteerism) important to you?
Rocket Fiber, being an infrastructure company, is physically apart of the areas we serve. Our mission integrates us into the daily lives of our clients. Civic engagement is an important extension of being part of the communities we serve.

4. How have you disrupted the idea of traditional leadership? How do you express leadership?
We, at Rocket Fiber, attempt to take an approach of trust first with our team members. This translates into things like unlimited vacation and flexible work from home rules. Are focus is on results over rules, enabling our team members to execute in the environment they find most comfortable.

5. What is a blue sky goal that you would like to accomplish in your career?  
Growing Rocket Fiber to the largest internet provider in the nation.

6. Why did you choose to pursue your passion/profession in Metro-Detroit? How do you intend to impact the region through your work?
As an infrastructure company Rocket Fiber has to physically located its assets in a given geography. At the time Rocket started it was clear to us that Detroit was on the upswing and, after years of neglect, the internet infrastructure in Detroit was not sufficient to support the coming growth. Rocket was the merging of timing and opportunity. The three founders love and integration with Detroit enabled us to see the potential that such a venture could have on the city and the turnaround. We saw the potential to build a fiber optic internet company that focused on the strengths Detroit had to offer.

7.  What do you love most about owning your own business?
WI love the ability to be singularly focused. Without the distraction of the normal "corporate ladder climbing," I get to focus on any function that brings the most value to our organization.

Meet Randy at the Vanguard Awards! Click HERE to join the celebration!