Fred Foster, ETC co-founder and CEO has passed away at the age of 61. Foster was a visionary, an innovator, and a role model. The ETC culture of family, support, and encouragement is attributed to Foster and his vision of a creating a people-focused environment. It’s difficult to put into words what it has been like to work for and with such an inspiring leader.
One of Foster’s greatest qualities was his ability to bring people together and rally them around a goal or a vision. Whether it was a new product technology, a tradeshow booth design, or an employee meeting space, he was always creating, always making, and always giving. His ideas were big, and his heart bigger.
Foster is credited with countless industry contributions ranging from product innovations to student mentorship programs. He has been recognized repeatedly for his philanthropy from a number of organisations.
Foster announced his cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2015 and went through extensive treatment to prolong his life. Foster died peacefully surrounded by family and loved ones. Both of his children, daughter Kate Foster and son James Foster, as well as his wife, Susan Foster, are employed at ETC.
LightSoundJournal’s COO Aldo Chiappini speaks fondly of Fred Foster. “I had the pleasure of visiting ETC’s headquarter in Middleton, Wisconsin, USA (Read Here) in 2015. Like most days, Mr. Foster was there, and welcomed me warmly. We spent a few hours together, and (wearing his trademark Birkenstocks) he took me to visit the inside of the company. I remember him as an extremely calm and positive person, one who knew exactly how to put those around him at ease. His office could be described as being like a neighbour’s garage – open to everyone, somewhere to share an idea or even just for to say “hello”. I learned a lot from that meeting and a few hours were enough to understand the uniqueness of his character. I knew perfectly well what Fred Foster had done for our industry – his successes, his intuitions – but on that occasion I was much more fascinated by the person, the man and by his golden attitude of calmness and quality. This is something that only great leaders can transmit”.