1998 Trailblazer Award Recipient: Randall Onstead, Jr.

1998: Houston native and grocer R. Randall Onstead, Jr. is Chairman and CEO of Randalls Food Markets, Inc. He has over twenty years’ experience in the retail food industry, a second generation grocer who continues the family philosophy, "Treat your customers the way you treat your family."

The first Randalls store opened in 1966 in Pasadena, TX. By the end of the decade the company owned 15 stores and had established itself in the market. Onstead began his career with Randalls in 1978 and held various management positions. In 1980 Randalls had eight percent the Houston area grocery market, making it the fourth largest grocer there. Onstead became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1986. In 1991 Randalls earned over a billion dollars in revenue with 42 stores, making it the fastest growing company in Houston. In 1998 Onstead was named Chairman and CEO.  

Over the years Randalls has donated to a range of local causes, donating millions of dollars to thousands of local non-profit organizations. To help area communities, Randalls kept its doors open despite serious flooding during 1983’s Hurricane Alicia.

The Junior Chamber of Commerce named Onstead one of five Outstanding Young Houstonians. He has served as a director of the Food Marketing Institute, the Greater Houston Community Foundation, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Onstead Foundation.

A graduate of Texas Tech University, Onstead earned his Bachelor degree in marketing and completed Harvard University’s Program for Management Development. He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from York Christian College in 1994.