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Fred Foster Passes Away

Discussion in 'News' started by starksk, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. starksk

    starksk ETC Senior Technical Support Specialist Fight Leukemia

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    ETC co-founder and CEO Fred Foster passed away on February 8, 2019 at the age of 61. Foster was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and fought a courageous battle lasting years longer than originally projected. Foster leaves behind a legacy of a company that has impacted the theatrical world in countless ways. He is survived by his wife Susan, and two children, Kate and James, who all currently work at ETC.

    More details about Fred: http://www.etcconnect.com/Fred-Foster/

    Details of the memorial service:

    March 18th, 2019 Madison WI
    Overture Center for the Arts
    4:00pm
    RSVP at http://www.etcconnect.com/memorial-service
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  2. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    That’s tough news. All my love to the ETC family.
     
  3. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    Our condolences to the entire Foster family and to the ETC family as well. Fred was an amazing man and I enjoyed many conversations with him over the years. Believe it or not, Fred was a longtime member of ControlBooth. He only posted once in 2009, but he was a frequent reader of the site. One of my favorite memories of him was at USITT 2013 when he insisted on showing off the newly announced Source 4 mini on camera to the ControlBooth community and proving the naysayers wrong.

    Truly a giant of the industry, he will be greatly missed.


    ETCFred.PNG
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  4. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    Well that gave me goosebumps.

    Best wishes to everyone in the ETC family.
     
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  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    What a huge loss. My condolences to all of our friends in the ETC family.

    I was far from a personal friend of Fred's but he knew who I was, which in itself was a bit of an honor to me.

    I have two great memories of Fred that I think say a lot about who he was:
    1) Every year ETC sponsors a half dozen amazing young lighting designers to come to LDI. There would be an awesome private party on a roof top somewhere and ETC would bring in the biggest names in the industry to honor these young designers. I was invited to attend a few times. At the beginning of the night Fred would stand up on a table or chair and get everyone's attention. He would point out that tonight is not just about being with your old friends. Tonight is about these young people. If you find yourself alone in a group talking with all pros, you are doing this party the wrong way. He would go on to say that you should start every conversation by grabbing a few friends, finding one of these young people, and bringing them into the core of the conversation. It was so cool to witness a room full of legends and leaders, follow Fred's direction and spend their evening focused on supporting these up and coming LD's. They all left with a pocket full of business cards and ETC made sure they all got a real mentor for life. I'm not sure how much of a hand Fred had in creating this program, but he certainly set the tone for the night and made sure it happened. Today there are many designers out there who had their career not just jump started, but shot out of a cannon, because of this program.

    2) USITT about 5 years ago maybe in Milwaukee... ETC had just brought out the SourceFour Mini. ETC had the usual giant booth full of stuff and Fred was there off to the side with a counter and the SourceFour mini. He was so happy and having so much fun showing people his toy. He told @dvsDave and I about how he had wanted to make these for years but others in the company kept fighting him because they were going to cost as much as a real S4 and they feared no one would buy them. Fred didn't care. It was a fun, cute, awesome, a toy and he knew everyone would love it and want it. Even if they didn't buy it, they would love ETC more because of it. He seemed so happy to just stand there and see the laughter and joy everyone had over getting to see, touch, and play with a mini-for the first time. There were rumors on CB that this was a fake or April fools day joke product at the time. Here's the video we shot of him talking about it... be sure to stick around for the CB punchline. Now I really need to buy one!


    Godspeed Fred!
     
  6. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Sherpa CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I don't think that I ever met Fred. He seemed to be a genuine person and our industry is better because of him. Condolences to his family and his extended industry family.
     
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  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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  8. rsmentele

    rsmentele Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I never had the chance to sit and talk with Fred, but I've always admired him and the way he ran his business. It is such a loss to the industry, but also the community in Madison WI. A sad day
     
  9. jfleenor

    jfleenor Active Member

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    I'm really glad Fred was well enough to walk the floor at LDI last year. He stopped by our booth and just had a genuinely nice talk with us. He's an extremely nice, approachable, thoughtful person, and my heart goes out to his family and ETC.
     
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  10. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I met Fred at CUE 2011 and again at CUE 2013. At the 2011 event I have a fond memory of sitting with Fred and Jason Lyons during a break talking about virtual lighting in animation and how it differed from the real world. Fred was the most personable CEO I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He will be missed.
     
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  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    In lieu of flowers, they have asked that memorial donations be made to Behind the Scenes. You can donate here.
     
  12. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    When Fred had the "new" factory built in the early 2000's he did 2 things that struck me as the definitive Fred. 1) His office door was a garage door. He wanted to be reminded daily of ETC's humble beginnings across town. 2) His office was located somewhat in the inner section of the building, the more senior managers were clustered around him, the people with lower levels of responsibility were given the outside of the building with windows to the outside world.

    I focused a plot today of Lustr 2's, powered on ThruPower, using my iRFR app connected to the Ion. I am daily reminded of the quality of the equipment from the best company in the business with the best people supporting those products.

    To say that our lives and art have been greatly improved by Fred Foster is a huge understatement.

    RIP Fred.

    Condolences to the family and all at ETC.
     
  13. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I met him that same year in Milwaukee and had a great conversation with him. Despite it being a brief conversation (all things considered) he left a lasting impression of being a great guy and a kind person that stuck with me.
     
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  14. starksk

    starksk ETC Senior Technical Support Specialist Fight Leukemia

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    Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and memories of Fred. I’ve updated the original post with details for the memorial service.
     
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  15. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    Service will be starting in a couple minutes.

     
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  16. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    First feed cut off: here is the 2nd feed

     
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  17. rsmentele

    rsmentele Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the ceremony yesterday. It was quite an event, as one would expect, and I thought was a worthy tribute to a man that was loved by so many.

    He will be missed by all.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.

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