#DRIVEN
Randolph Seating and Mobility

April 9, 2019

Written by Beth Conway | Photography by Emily Baumann & submitted by Randolph Seating and Mobility

CHARACTER TRAIT: #DRIVEN

DEFINITION: Determined to succeed; highly energetic and motivated; propelled by motion

Sometimes a character trait cannot be defined by only one meaning. In the case of Kenton Randolph of Randolph Seating and Mobility, he relates to every description of the word “driven,” and it has been the backbone of his personal and professional success in the field of full-service mobility.

For 20 years, Randolph Seating and Mobility has been locally owned and operated in St. Joseph, serving the four-state area with one of the largest mobility selections in the Missouri and Kansas regions. What makes Randolph different from other mobility companies is that they are a regional independent provider, offering personalized service, unique design and unparalleled quality, all 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.

That isn’t just a blanket statement either. Kenton is personally involved in the process from the moment of the first phone call or referral.

“I take the call, go to the patient’s house, talk to them, take their measurements and get to know their personalized needs. I love connecting to the people. I want them to know I’m not just delivering a wheelchair, or other assistive devices,” he says. “We’re involved in everything…from driving, living, moving, to freedom. Everything is made to order and customized. I build equipment for everyone as if it were my own.”

Randolph’s roots run deep in St. Joseph. All his relatives are from this area. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were attorneys in St. Joseph, and his mother’s side of the family were mostly laborers–skilled factory workers. His mother was a full-time home-keeper raising him and his two older brothers, and she still comes to the company to help with some light cleaning. His grandfather and great-grandfather were machinists for the once famous Goetz-Pearl Brewery Company in St. Joseph until its closing in 1976.

Kenton was born here and graduated from Central High School. College education and work in the medical field took him to Kansas City, but the call of his hometown brought him back. As did his driven attitude, which motivated him to open his company.

“I had a vision and desire to help people, and the freedom gained from independent mobility is one of life’s simplest rewards. I’ve always had a talent in working with my hands to build things, and the ability to easily communicate with people. Owning this company gives me both the ability to use my hands, and genuinely communicate to help create mobility solutions…from the most complex situations, to the very simplest. Yes, there are spikes and valleys in this type of business, but there is never a time when I am working with less than 3-4 people at a time.”

Randolph prides himself in his ability to adapt to changing technologies. He believes this to be the key reason his company has lasted. “Other businesses were doing the same thing when I started, but continuing education enabled me to take it to another level. To rise above, we learned new technology. Gaining accreditation, national certifications, and completing more training…no one else did that.”

And he means it. His company is the only locally-certified company to provide complex mobility by an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP). The ATP certification recognizes demonstrated competence in analyzing the needs of consumers with disabilities, assisting in the selection of appropriate assistive technology for the consumers’ needs, and providing training in the use of the selected devices.

Not only is he a certified ATP, but confidence in his company comes from his strong partnerships with Mosaic Life Care, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Kansas City Rehabilitation Facilities, Progressive Community Services, Missouri Department of Mental Health, and several private practice physicians, from which he receives most of his referrals for new patients, on top of the several hundred people who visit his facility yearly. And while business is thriving, Kenton always feels a need to give back to the community.

“We’ve been involved over 15 years with Regional Special Olympics. We participate in their events and youth athletic programs through donations or volunteering. In fact, my daughter was named youth volunteer of the year for Northwest Special Olympics,” Kenton smiles. Both his daughter and son volunteer every year at the celebrity softball game.

Kenton’s been an active member of Sertoma for 20 years, a local service club that focuses primarily on the needs of those with speech and hearing difficulties, but also the needs of children and disadvantaged in our community. He also supports other organizations like Helen Davis State School, United Cerebral Palsy, Building Better Bones, and the Alzheimer’s Association.

As Randolph Seating and Mobility turns 20 years old this year, Kenton continues to look towards the future.

“Approximately 23 percent of people in the state of Missouri has some sort of a mobility limitation,” he said. “ And it’s not just older people. People who have been in sudden accidents, those with mental health challenges…we work with everyone and anyone who has special needs. And kids born with disabilities…just watching them grow and adapt is absolutely amazing and fulfilling. The equipment has completely changed. Mobility chairs are now becoming smart chairs. Technology is enabling those with mobility issue to feel like everyone else.”

“It’s pretty unlimited what people CAN’T DO with the right equipment,” he added.

His goal for the future is to increase the awareness of mobility needs. There are roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day for the next 20 years and he says society must pay attention to their growing needs. His life-long ambition to help make more things accessible and do his part in seeing that everything is more accessible to everyone. Better awareness will help ease the minds of those with disabilities.

With his eyes on the horizon, he reflects on the past. From its humble beginnings, when Kenton’s wife was home with their newborns, and pretty much a one-man show at work, Randolph Seating and Mobility now employs a combined 10 full-time employees including a service technician, upholstery technician, seating technician, office manager, billing specialists, as well as pharmacists and pharmacist technicians at his Maysville location. His wife is also actively involved in the day-to-day operations in the accounting and billing department.

“I personally gain satisfaction in knowing that my company has made a difference in someone’s life. It’s very rewarding when you work with a team of healthcare professionals and find the perfect solution to better someone’s life. Every client, healthcare provider, and caregiver can depend upon knowledgeable, reliable, and dependable assistance from our team. That’s something to be very proud of.” He also knows people don’t always think of seating and mobility in their daily lives. But he adds… “We’re here for you when the time is right.”

#HUMBLE

If you ask him about his career playing and coaching tennis, he’ll tell you he just hopes that people try the sport.

#ATHLETIC

St. Joseph is about to “see red” for three action-packed weeks, and the fans and community couldn’t be happier. Or louder. Or more pumped.

#DELECTABLE

When it’s time for a coffee fix, St. Joseph’s options range from the eclectic to the trendy to the fast and familiar. The coffee culture in St. Joseph continues to expand and thrive, fueled by historic roasters, young entrepreneurs and locals who want to open the doors to a comfortable piece of the city’s relaxed vibe.

#SPORTING

America’s favorite pastime is alive in St. Joseph…every summer families, friends, and neighbors gather together to enjoy baseball, hot dogs, family fun, fireworks, and more in the heart of St. Joseph to relax and watch the Mustangs play ball at the historic Phil Welch Stadium.

#GUMPTIOUS

One of St. Joseph public schools earliest and most successful students, Huston Wyeth, built in 1918-1922 what was considered a very large country estate located northeast of central downtown. It was called Wyethwood.