On April 11, 1966, Lance Jeffery Randall was born in Macon, Georgia, a city 75 miles south of Atlanta. Lauretta and William Randall raised him and his four sisters in Macon’s Pleasant Hill District, a historic black community. The residents consisted of property owners, doctors, dentists, educators, attorneys, businessmen, grocers, and ministers. At an early age he learned the importance of education, hard work and dressing for success.
While in college, he worked as an intern for the Honorable Gloria Lawlah, a State Senator in the Maryland General Assembly, where he did policy research and analysis for the Senator. During his summer and Christmas breaks, he worked for the Georgia Power Company as a management intern. He graduated from college in 1988 with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science.
In 1992 Lance joined the staff of United States Congressman Sandford D. Bishop, Jr. as a Constituent Services Representative. After a year and a half in the position, the Congressman appointed him to be the Director of Constituent Services. He led a team of ten case workers and six interns across Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District and Washington, D.C. to respond to all constituent inquiries. Lance’s strategy to quickly respond to the 566,000 residents in the district, resulted in Bishop’s office establishing a reputation of having one of the best constituent service operations on Capitol hill.
In 2000, Lance was hired to be the Vice President of Existing Industry for the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce. He was charged with leading the Chamber’s business retention and expansion activities, developing strategies to stimulate growth for small businesses and revitalizing established commercial and industrial areas. He visited 600 businesses, and helped them keep their doors open and expand their operations. Lance was lauded for using his creativity, innovation and persistence to help large and small businesses overcome the challenges of doing business in Macon-Bibb County.
Because of his work, the Chamber was awarded the 2001 Service to Existing Industry Award by the Georgia Economic Developers Association, for Outstanding Service to The State of Georgia and its Citizens.
He attended Bibb County Public Schools. In his senior year in high school, Lance was a captain of the football team, a 1st Lieutenant in JROTC, and a State Representative in Georgia’s Boys State. Upon graduation he was awarded a football scholarship to Morgan State University, an HBCU in Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1989, Lance was hired by the Honorable Lee Robinson, Mayor of Macon. As a member of the Mayor’s staff he worked with the Macon City Council and all city departments. Over the course of his political career, Lance has worked with 7 Mayors in Seattle and Macon including Mayor Greg Nickles who hired him to do economic development for the city of Seattle in 2007. Under these Mayors Lance developed the skills needed to build relationships with City Council members, manage city departments and make municipal government work efficiently and effectively.
In 1995, Lance became a Project Manager with the Macon Economic Development Commission (MEDC). He served as the point of contact for prospects that expressed interest in locating their operations in Macon-Bibb County. While at MEDC he graduated from the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute in Norman, Oklahoma (EDI) in 2000.
In 2004 at age 38, Lance ran for the position of Chairman of the Bibb County Board of Commissioners. He was one of seven candidates seeking the post. He beat four other Democratic candidates to win the nomination , making him the youngest and first African-American chosen to be the Democratic nominee for the position in the history of Bibb County, Georgia.
Lance lost the race to the Republican nominee by a small margin, but he made a strong showing in his first race for public office.
In 2006 at age 40, Lance’s supporters encouraged him to run for Mayor of Macon, Georgia. A part of his platform which received a lot of attention was his Black Male Initiative to address the issues concerning the incarceration, crime rate, and joblessness of a large segment of Macon’s black male population. He placed third out of seven candidates in the Democratic primary behind a former City Council President and a former State Representative .
In 2007, the City of Seattle, hired Lance to be the Business Relations Manager for the Office of Economic Development (OED). He built on his experience in Georgia by recruiting businesses from around the world to Seattle and conducting retention and expansion visits to local businesses to help them expand their operations.
In 2014 Lance was promoted to the position of Business Services Manager for OED. In this role he managed an internal staff of five, partnered with eight external economic development organizations and consultants, and organized a team of over 75 individuals to do outreach visits to Seattle based businesses. He built a coalition consisting of: The Downtown Seattle Association, The Manufacturing Industrial Council, The Washington Bio-Medical and Bio-Technology Association, The Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County, Seattle Made, the Ethic Business Coalition and contract with the Russell Group, LLC. His coalition of 28 business associations and neighborhood Chambers of Commerce conducted 2500 visits to businesses across the city and successfully assisted 80% of the businesses contacted.
In 2015, the Tabor 100 awarded Lance the Crystal Eagle Award for Excellence in Economic Development for demonstrating his commitment to growing, minority businesses in Washington State.