Randle Howard, president and CEO of R.D. Howard Construction, believes running his company isn’t always about the money.

“Sometimes the reward is seeing the seeds that you plant blossom into something bigger,” he said. 

The Rotary Club of Fort Worth recognized Howard’s company for its contributions and values. R.D. Howard placed first in the Rotary Club’s Minority Business Awards. The award recognizes minority-owned businesses that align with the Rotary’s values of truth, fairness to all, building goodwill and being beneficial to all concerned. 

Chris Jordan, president and co-steward at Electro Acoustics, created the contest. He said the contest doesn’t judge the size of the company, but its values. The contest plays an important role in uplifting the businesses, he said.

“The purpose of the award is to find some of those unsung heroes and to sing their song so that people can become aware that we’ve got a bunch of great minority businesses already in the community,” Jordan said. 

R.D. Howard is already a major player in Fort Worth. It is involved in the $100 million project to renovate the 18-story building that will become the new Fort Worth City Hall, along with adding two floors to a nearby parking garage. His firm also is planning to be involved in the $1.6 billion Southeast Connector project in Fort Worth. 

And he has big plans for the future. Howard wants to tear down his company’s existing office building and build a new one with office spaces and a storage facility in the back – a project he calls Howard Square. 

Adrian Galvan, managing director of Tijerina Galvan Lawrence LLC, who was a chairperson for the judging committee, sees why the judges chose Howard for first place. Howard’s response to all the questions were genuine and heartfelt, he said. Galvan said Howard talked about how he supported his competitors because it’s the right thing to do.

“That’s really unheard of,” Galvan said. “I’ve got my own business, and I’ve never heard of anybody in my industry that would prop up a competitor … so I think I was kind of blown away by that.” 

R.D. Howard Construction has been around since 1946. Howard’s father, Leroy Howard, started the company. He remembers helping out with the family business as early as 7, holding a light so his father could work at night and learning how to read blueprints that were placed on the kitchen table.

Howard’s father set an example. He said in the video that his father would hire people who were previously incarcerated and emphasized the importance of giving people a second chance to contribute to the community. Howard takes the same philosophy as his father and hires formerly incarcerated people, too. 

“People are going to make mistakes, but we can’t let that doom us for life,” he said. 

For Howard, supporting his employees is a big deal. Howard considers paying his employees a wage that supports their families as a measure of the business’ success. He described times where everybody got paid, but there wasn’t money for himself.

“I look at stuff like that and I say, ‘Well, that’s OK,’” Howard said in the video. “I don’t have to have a check today because I have positively impacted this community in a way that I can feel a sense of satisfaction.” 

Here’s how other Fort Worth companies did:

Xenia Roastery and JRS Enterprises placed second and third.

Xenia Roastery is coffee roastery that aims to make specialty coffee more accessible.

JRS Enterprises is a trucking management company.

Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at seth.bodine@fortworthreport.org and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120.

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Seth Bodine

Seth Bodine is the business reporter for the Fort Worth Report. He previously covered agriculture and rural issues in Oklahoma for the public radio station, KOSU, as a Report for America corps member....