Family, crew important to '18 Logger of Year

Running a family business can be a challenge, but it’s a rewarding one that third generation logger Randy Wilson wouldn’t have any other way.

Strong family ties make for a strong business and, in Wilson’s case, helped Randall Wilson Logging Inc. become the Outstanding Louisiana Logger for 2018.

“It’s really exciting to have both of my sons (Chase and Zachary) working with me,” Wilson said while on a job not too far from his home in Effie. “They’re completely, 100 percent in on everything.”

It seems to be a family tradition. Wilson has been logging ever since he graduated high school in 1983. He started out with his father, Winston Wilson, who logged for almost 50 years. An entrepreneurial spirit moved the younger Wilson to break out on his own in 1987.

Now, Wilson, 52, has four crews and employs 25 people, who are all important to him, he said.

“I get personal,” Wilson said.

He is the boss, but he’s also friend and

therapist, if need be, and does his best to do good by those who work for him. In doing so, several of his crew have been with him more than a decade. At least two of them have been working for Wilson for more than 25 years, almost the entire time he ventured out to run his own business.

Scott Bertrand, a forester for RoyOMartin, the company Wilson said he works for almost exclusively now, nominated Randall Wilson Logging because of Wilson’s work ethic and the quality of the job the company does.

“They run a pretty class-act job out there,” said Bertrand, who has been working with Wilson for almost two decades. “I had worked with his dad and his uncle off and on for probably 10 years or so before that.”

In addition to the impressive job for RoyOMartin, Bertrand said Wilson’s succession plan appears to be a good one.

“He has two sons intimately involved in the business,” he said. “It looks like we’ll have them for the long term.”

Randy and son, Chase, center

Wilson said that is likely. His older son Chase, 28, runs one of his four crews. His younger son Zachary, 24, is quickly learning the business.

Chase has been working for his dad about seven years. He said he likes to operate the loader because it gives him a bird’s eye view to the job site. Working a good, clean site and performing best management practices is important to him, but it’s working with his father he likes best.

“We have a way better working relationship,” Chase Wilson said, “because he’s more than just a boss.”

Randy and son Zachary

His younger brother Zachary runs the loader with a different crew. He’s studied accounting at Northwestern State University before that and is only about a semester or so away from successfully completing his degree. For him, logging is exciting.

“Every day is a n