Foster running for state senate

Steve Foster, of Buckhannon, has announced his decision to seek the Republican Party nomination for the West Virginia 11th State Senatorial District.

Foster has served as the executive director of the Upshur County Development Authority for the past 10 years, where he continues to serve. In that capacity, he has also served as president of the West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone, the West Virginia Economic Development Council and as chairman of the Robert C. Byrd Corridor H Authority, which has permitted him to deal with many people in the recently re-districted 11th Senatorial District.

“I am a strong proponent of the West Virginia small business man and woman, which comprise 96 percent of the companies in the state with each having 20 or less employees,” he said. “Government needs to provide support for these businesses by reducing the mountain of red tape and regulatory issues that handicap their ability to be successful and grow. That would be my objective in representing the people of this district.”

A native of Gassaway, Foster graduated from Gassaway High School in 1966 and from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1970 with a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry. In May of 1970, he began a 23-year career with Union Carbide Corporation in sales, marketing, and management assignments in the New York metropolitan area, Kansas City, Chicago, Houston and corporate headquarters in Danbury, Conn.

In 1989, he graduated from the TUCK Executive Program at Dartmouth College and became President of Amerchol Corporation, a UCC subsidiary, with global sales to the Personal Care and Pharmaceutical Industry.

In 1993, Foster joined Roquette America, Inc., a $500 million producer of food and pharmaceutical intermediates, as vice president of sales, marketing and logistics. In 2000, Steve returned to West Virginia Wesleyan College as the senior development officer and director of corporate/community relations.

In March 2004, Foster assumed the position of executive director for the Upshur County Development Authority. In that position of representing Upshur County, he has served multiple years on the West Virginia Economic Development Council Board of Directors including two years as president. He has also served in multiple positions on the board of the Hardwood Alliance Zone, including president of this multi-county marketing organization and also on the West Virginia Polymer Alliance Zone and the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, and he currently serves as the chairman of the Robert C. Byrd Corridor H Authority.

On the local community scene, Foster is an active member in the following organizations: Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in multiple capacities, St. Joseph’s Hospital as a board member, Central West Virginia Aging Services Inc. as a board member and past president, Region VI Workforce Investment Board, Buckhannon Rotary as a past president, Buckhannon Choral Society, Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce, Buckhannon-Upshur Convention and Visitor Bureau Center, Upshur County Farmland Protection Board, Create Buckhannon and Kappa Alpha Order as a regional advisor.

Foster and his wife, Kathy, also a West Virginia Wesleyan graduate, reside in Buckhannon. They have two daughters, Amy who lives in Atlanta, Ga., Lori who calls Bozeman, Mont. home, and a 2-year-old grandson, Henry, who also resides in Atlanta.