Randy Quast is the Executive Director of Minnesota NORML.
After a successful career in the Less-than-TruckLoad (LTL) trucking industry, I sold my company in 1998. My work history consists of building a small family owned trucking company in to a profitable, multi-million dollar company focusing on quality, customer service, and employee pride.
Originally, I had planned a career in the medical field, but shortly after graduating from high school, I was presented with an opportunity to join my family's trucking company. The trucking industry deregulated with The Motor Carrier Act of 1980, thus providing many opportunities. When I joined Quast Transfer, it consisted of one service center with 10 employees. During the first 9 years of my employment, I performed most front-line and managerial positions throughout all aspects of the company. In 1988, I purchased my family's shares to become the sole shareholder, President, & C.E.O. By the time I sold the company in 1998, it had grown to approximately 700 people located in 23 service centers throughout 10 midwestern states. Annual revenues were in excess of $50,000,000. Quast Transfer was considered one of the premier, LTL carriers in the country. We were the recipients of many quality and safety awards.
After retiring, I had more time to spend with my family and pursue my love for flying. With no more business reasons to fly, I began flying volunteer flights for Angel Flight and AirLifeLine (pilots volunteering to fly people that need to fly for medical reasons, but can't afford to fly.) Because my airplane had a pressurized cabin and turbine engine, it allowed me to fly many missions when others could not. I have logged over 2,500 hours of pilot-in-command time. In 2000, I was elected to AirLifeLine's board of directors and, in 2001, the board hired me to be President & CEO, while remaining as member of the board. AirLifeLine's board eventually determined the best strategy to benefit the most patients needing to fly would be to merge AirLifeLine with Angel Flight (a nonprofit volunteer organization nearly identical to AirLifeLine in size and mission.) The board directed me to pursue and eventually oversee the successful merging of the organizations into what is now, Angel Flight. As part of the arrangement to merge, AirLifeLine wanted the name changed to Angel Flight. We always thought it had more of a compassionate feel.
I have been a chronic, daily marijuana consumer for as long as I can remember. In 2007, after purchasing four ounces of marijuana, my home was burglarized while I was away for dinner, in an attempt to steal the marijuana. The thief broke in to my locked home and dragged the locked safe, that stored the marijuana, half way out my back yard, before neighbors noticed and began yelling to confront him. The thief then ran, leaving the safe in the middle of my yard. I arrived home from dining out to see a swarm of police cars around my home. Because I had left an aluminum cigarette one-hitter on a bathroom counter, they suspected drugs in the safe, called in the dogs, and ended-up leaving that night with the safe. The next morning, a drug task force team raided my home SWAT-style. I was charged with felony possession, but eventually received a stay of adjudication with two years probation.
It was September of 2009 that I had just been released from probation and NORML was having their annual conference in Portland, OR. I attended and was so impressed and inspired that I committed to bringing NORML to Minnesota. My new passion in life is to end marijuana prohibition. Minnesota NORML was incorporated in January 2010. We started with 5 people and now, our member and contact list is close to 3,500 people. MN NORML will operate with an annual budget of approximately $100,000.