Phone: 800.521.7158

Randy Svalina- 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee

March 14, 2024

Randy is a local ranch kid who went to a one-room school in the mountains until attending high school in the town of Wheatland, WY, an hour away.

He hated school and swore he’d never return to a classroom after graduating in 1984. He climbed on the back of a horse, ranched, guided hunters & wildland fire crews. Somewhere in there he got the race car bug and a handful of people encouraged him to pursue his love of cars.

He found himself at WyoTech in January 1989 to learn how to put his passion for art and cars together! Collision/Refinishing/Custom Paint was the best way to do this. He graduated in June of ’89 with high grades and perfect attendance, which was a surprise to his family, especially his wife Stacy!

His dream at that time was to build street cars, show cars, and see his work in magazines, a goal he was blessed to see come to fruition before his priorities shifted.

After 8 years of working with a close friend, January 1997 he returned to WyoTech as an instructor, largely for the purpose of building his own custom shop while keeping paychecks rolling in! 10 months later the shop was completed, but his new-found love & passion for teaching was just beginning.

He discovered that his own skills could impact the specialty automotive industry regionally with one car at a time, but by teaching others, he could impact the industry on a much broader scale.

More importantly, Randy says teachers can affect the lives of students, which in turn impacts their future families and communities. He calls it ‘discipleship on tires!’

If the only thing you learn from a teacher is the curriculum, they have failed you.

What he once did with his own hands was cool, self-gratifying, paid well enough to live a good life, and seemed great until he learned of something far deeper: As Randy puts it, “As a part of WyoTech, we help others reach their goals, their dreams, raise their families, and succeed in their journey.”

As a student he had 2 instructors who profoundly impacted him. One showed him just how much could be extracted from a student when they were pushed to their potential. From the other, he learned what it looked like when he genuinely cared about his students and their wellbeing. Randy prays that he never forgets either of those lessons.

Years later, he was able to teach alongside both of those teachers and share in their passion for the industry.

His journey includes a terminal cancer diagnosis in ’02 along with many other interesting detours. His family loves motorsports and has a multitude of cool projects ongoing. His oldest daughter Kaycie is a WyoTech graduate succeeding in the industry. His younger daughter Ashley is off to a trade school for Culinary Arts. They enjoy hunting, ranching, and all things outdoors.

They enjoy serving others however they can and feel blessed to be a part of an on-campus Bible study and ministry team. He loves WyoTech, and the students and staff that make it up!

When we asked Randy what advice he would give to people entering the trades, here is what he had to say:

Show up, Work Hard, Have Faith. Do these things, and the rest will fall into place.

1 Thessalonians reminds us to “…aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands…..”.

If we’ve learned anything in recent years, it’s that those who simply show up on time & are willing to get dirty will always have a job. It doesn’t matter HOW smart we think we are, we still need people who can DO things!

Remember that everything you do has your fingerprint on it, and is worthy of your effort, your skill, and your heart.

Leave your mark on the world one task at a time, one life at a time.

Live your life with integrity and always try to put a smile on those you encounter.

Be who you needed when you were young.

Enter the workplace daily living out Philippians 2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interest of others.” In other words, have the heart of a servant towards those around you. God Bless!!