It’s been just a little over a week since I received the news of Fred Foster’s passing. Of course, we knew of his condition but didn’t realize how immanent the ending of his life was. He has been in my thoughts daily since. I have been reflecting on my experiences with him over the last thirty-one years or so. I first met Fred when I was working at BASH Theatrical Services when after much prodding from the industry to produce a console to compete with the Strand Light Pallet. He showed up with Ann Valentino at our shop to recruit advisors made up of experienced users. This process eventuated the Obsession line of products. Today I feel honored to have been included and that I had something to contribute. My self-esteem had been boosted and for that I am grateful. I loved my job at BASH. It was the only employment I stayed with for more than couple of years in my entire life. I had been a production electrician prior to that. I loved it because I felt that I was contributing to the betterment of that company. I would have stayed at BASH till my decrepitude had they not sold out to what is now known as PRG. I handed in my notice and endeavored to create a business of my own. After four years and two failed partnerships and 911. I was wondering what would become of me and how I would recover my life in the theatrical field. I considered opening up a specialized project management company when around the same time I receive a call from Joe DiNardo who thought I might be of some value as a manufacturer’s representative for ETC. Well I was already a huge fan of Fred’s company and all due to what I now know was its greatness. I jumped at the chance without even knowing what a rep was. That was seventeen years ago. I never looked back. Joe DiNardo, Mark Vassallo, Mike Griffith, Bill Gallinghouse and Fred all helped me to understand what it meant to be a good agent. At my first rep training in Madison I spoke with Fred and told him how honored I was to be working so closely with ETC. I don’t expect he retained the memory as I have, but here is what I have come to realize over the past several days. I owe so much to Fred Foster for creating a company that I could believe in, for keeping my interests alive, for the feeling of being included, for the warm reception whenever our paths crossed, for exposing me to the depth of our industry, for giving a reason to wake up every day with great expectations and for saving my life. Fred and ETC are the largest reason for my success and happiness. I am truly grateful.
President & CEO
Ron Fogel & Associates, LLC