Employee Spotlight: Randy Fricke

Written by Molly Schmitt

With more than eight years of experience working for Kemps in St. Paul, Minn., Randy Fricke finds gratification in working for dairy farmers who inspire him to turn their hard work into delicious products they can be proud of.

“If you take a step back or if you’re not involved in the dairy industry, and know little about it, I think you have no idea as to how hard these individuals must work to get the product created, done and off their farm,” says Randy, who serves as Kemps’ marketing services manager. “It takes a lot of care, love and dedication to make sure that they’re able to do that on an ongoing basis.”

In his current role, Randy is the liaison for promotional activities with Kemps’ retailer customers. He also works with the Kemps’ sales teams and coordinates promotions, graphics and signage materials for grocery stores and restaurants that sell Kemps products. With a branded marketing team of only four people, Randy is also responsible for all the events, promotions and sponsorship agreements.

“He is passionate about what he does and loves to see how our products impact consumers’ lives,” says Laura Campbell, Kemps brand marketing manager and one of Randy’s colleagues. “Randy has a strong sense of integrity and is seen as a leader by the quality of his work, his track record of success and for the development that he provides others.”

Kemps, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dairy Farmers of America, has been successful in creating innovative products and promoting dairy through creative and engaging marketing campaigns. From partnerships with professional baseball players to Team USA Olympic athletes, Kemps has tied the success and health of athletes to milk’s benefits.

One of Randy’s favorite projects was a partnership with Joe Mauer, a professional baseball player for the Minnesota Twins. The project included a promotion featuring Joe, his mother and the importance of milk at their family table.

“It was all about family,” Randy says. “That partnership had ups and downs depending on how things were going, but at the heart of the matter, it boils down to just being another family. The superstar athlete and his mom, and growing up drinking milk was a great thing.”

Another project Randy is proud of and that his coworkers praise him for is the Kemps booth and the brand’s exposure at the Minnesota State Fair. The booth is a popular attraction for fairgoers and its location next to Little Hands on the Farm, a hands-on exhibit for children to learn more about farming, has built a strong recognition and sense of anticipation for those visiting the booth year after year.

Randy says people associate the Little Hands on the Farm area with the Kemps booth, which has given them more opportunity to reach people.

“We’ve been able to create an environment for people to come and learn about Kemps, local dairy farmers and dairy farming in general,” Randy says. “It’s been a nice opportunity for us to be able to communicate with families and young children about the dairy industry and what we’re all about.”

Randy explained a popular, but silly, part of their booth is temporary tattoos. On the back of random tattoos is a colored dot, which allows people to win inflatable cows. People stop by the booth every year for the tattoos and a chance to win one of the cows that have become iconic at the fair.

“There are people who came to our booth the first year and come back every year just to try to win one of those cows,” Randy says. “There are kids who have tattoos all the way up their arms and legs because they’re trying to win one of those things so badly. I love it because people carry these cows around the entire fair and people always ask where to get them.”

His coworker, Laura, uses the success and growth of the Minnesota State Fair booth as a prime example of how Randy goes above and beyond in his work.

“He works to improve the experience each year and refresh it for fans,” Laura says. “He is proud of the work that we do as a company and it shows in the pride of the execution. Randy gives above and beyond in this event to reach as many of our consumers as possible with a delightful experience.”

Last fall, Randy received a Be More Award, which honors DFA employees who exceed DFA’s high standards, stand out from the crowd and make an impact on the Cooperative and the communities in which they live and work.

The projects Randy is so proud of are just a few examples of the quality of work he and the rest of the Kemps team have accomplished. Randy attributes his success at Kemps to his team and the collaborative nature of the Kemps’ environment. He is also praised by his team members for his passion and dedication.

“Randy Fricke walks DFA’s core values walk every day,” says Julie King, executive assistant at Kemps who also nominated Randy for the Be More Award. “He acts with integrity and serves both internal and external customers in a highly productive and positive way.”