Born and raised in Howell, Mich., Randy dreamed of becoming a chef and architect since he was 10 years old. An entrepreneurial spirit from an early age, he spent his free time building hot dog stands in the front yard selling to passersby. Starting as a bus boy and prep cook at local restaurants, he enjoyed learning the ins and outs of life in a restaurant kitchen and applied his learning at home where he often cooked dinner for his family. After graduating from high school, Randy moved down to Savannah, Ga., where he worked in a hotel restaurant and actually carved his first pieces of ice there after diligently observing and assisting the on-site sculptor. He moved back to Michigan in 1985 and graduated with honors from Oakland Community College with an associate degree in applied science in Culinary Arts. In his ice sculpting classes, he realized his natural fortitude as a sculptor and practiced endlessly. After graduation in 1989, he worked at Michigan’s well-known Amway Grand Plaza Hotel for master chef Dan Hugelier where he met Derek Maxfield, a fellow apprentice. After several years, Randy took a job at the Peter Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands where he served as a personal chef to Jay Van Andel, the co-founder of Amway Corporation. He returned to the Amway Grand Plaza in Michigan and continued to work as a chef while he further honed his ice sculpting skills. Randy and Derek decided to take their craft to the next level by creating and selling sculptures locally, working out of their trunk. Eventually, they made it official when they opened Ice Sculptures Ltd in 1994. Randy has traveled to the Swiss Alps to see sculpted ice caves made from glaciers and to Connecticut to interview the grandchildren of one of ice sculpting’s earliest artists. He has taught ice sculpture classes at several local colleges. Randy also became an avid culinary competitor winning many prestigious industry awards (in both food and ice) and is world-renowned for his outstanding work. Randy is engaged and lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., just a few miles from the office.
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