Distinguished Alumni 2011

For his professional achievements, involvement in community activities, and service contribution to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, the NWTC Alumni Association honors Ashwaubenon resident Randy Johnson, retired, Wisconsin Public Service, and Viet Nam veteran.
With four NWTC degrees under his belt, Randy Johnson clearly values technical education.  His commitment to lifelong learning led him to become a trusted leader in business and industry.
Mr. Johnson retired in 2007 after 36 years with Wisconsin Public Service, where he advanced through the data-processing department before taking on management roles with the company. For about six years he directed the WPS information services department. Over the last 15 years of his career, he led the company’s quality initiative and transformation efforts. During this same time, he had key positions with national utility organizations, including the chair of the information management division of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI).
Throughout his WPS employment and industry leadership, Mr. Johnson called on the knowledge he gained from his NWTC education, which included not only his four degrees, but several seminars as well. “NWTC gave me a very well-rounded foundation for my technical work and for managing all aspects of a budget and other financial decisions, such as buying and selling computer equipment, leading and supporting employees, and marketing a department in a rapidly-changing technology arena,” he said. “Attending NWTC helped grow my passion for lifetime learning.”
Mr. Johnson has equal enthusiasm for serving the community. He is currently president of the Encompass Early Education and Care Board of Directors and the Ashwaubenon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Ashwaubenon Education Foundation Board and the American Foundation of Counseling Services Board. He has facilitated strategic planning efforts for non-profits in the community. In addition, he has been personally involved with the United Way, Ashwaubenon School Board, and Ashwaubenon Optimist Club.
Using his skills and talents to help others was instilled in Mr. Johnson at a young age and cultivated through all phases of his life. “It was part of the culture of my family,” he said. “As a youngster and teenager, I spent many hours with my dad, helping individuals and groups in the community... Our world today has many challenges, and I see volunteerism as an important piece of the solution, with a focus on the 70 million baby boomers.”
He has also been an active advocate of NWTC. A long-time supporter of the Alumni Association, he helped get the organization off the ground in the 1980s. Most recently, Mr. Johnson assisted the NWTC Early Childhood Education program, sharing his knowledge and experience as an Encompass board member with students who were working on a project to identify the role of a board in an organization.
While NWTC has certainly impacted Mr. Johnson’s professional life, the College has played a pretty important role in his personal life as well. In fact, it was as a student in NWTC’s Accounting program that he met his wife of 41 years, Julie. The Johnsons have two daughters – both are NWTC graduates.