On behalf of everyone at ETC, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the outpouring of love and sympathy over the loss of our beloved leader Fred Foster. The Foster family is also an intimate part of ETC and they too are grateful for your support in this difficult time. Your stories of Fred are heartwarming, poignant, and funny – all at the same time. Please keep them coming!
Fred was not an ordinary CEO by any measure. His greatest concern was for the well-being of the ETC family. With that as his center, he focused on building community. He possessed a unique understanding of how space affects community and how community affects productivity. Right from the beginning of ETC he was focused on how the work environment was arranged, lighted, and designed. He cut windows and skylights where there was darkness, and designed sunshades where the light was harsh. He brought art to every surface with a keen sense of shape and his CNC router. His artistic sensitivity is present in scenic surfaces, polished floors, shining crystals, art gardens, and vast expanses of glass. His use of design and light to create community at ETC has been a stunning success.
Fred surrounded himself with the best people he could find and then allowed them to do the same. Over time, he saw how productive and special ETC had become and he took little credit, preferring to give it all to the people of ETC. After his cancer diagnosis in 2015, he convinced his co-owners to give 1/3 of the company to the employees, feeling that this action rewarded the personal equity that employees were investing in the company. Fred’s desire was to keep ETC independent so that decisions can be based on the good of the community and the customers. We are grateful to be his partners in this mission.
Our company is grounded in Fred’s principle focus of community; ETC employees and ETC customers. We pledge to continue this work in the way Fred taught us: By making ETC the best place to work, creating great new products, exceeding customer expectations, having fun, and making money.
Fred’s spirit breathes in the light at ETC and flows to you through the tools and the people of our community. Thanks for being part of his great vision.
A memorial service has been planned to celebrate the life of Fred Foster.
Monday, March 18th at 4:00 pm in Madison, WI
Please visit etcconnect.com/memorial-service for more information and to RSVP.
The event will be streamed live on YouTube for anyone not able to join us in person. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tc4hD4aB78