~ Biography ~ Personal Interest
Earl (Steve) Foster:
B. June 18th, 1937 ~
Stephen Earl (Steve) Foster:
Stephen Earl Foster was born in Indianapolis Indiana June 18,
1937. Married to Marina Zaydes from St Petersburg Russia in 1981
at Louisville Kentucky
Carmel High School (Indiana) in 1955, active in sports, was
Captain of both his senior year Football and Basketball teams.
He attended Franklin College and other Colleges including
specialized courses at Danville Area Community College In his
early years Foster was an active member of the J C’s, and Life
Underwriting Training Council, taught LUTC at Elmhurst College.
He was a Manager with Prudential Insurance in the 1960s. In the
1970s Foster was a Charter member of the Oriental Rug Retailers
Association, having studied Textiles and Eastern Rug weaving for
five years, He started his own business in Indianapolis and
later Louisville, Importing and Exporting Oriental Rugs, and
also dealing in fine art and furnishings. He did curative work
with Indianapolis Museum of Arts. Lectured on oriental rugs and
Eastern cultures, held scheduled classes in Eastern rug weaving
for several years in Louisville Kentucky, KY. He primarily
traded in Rugs, Fine Art, Antiques, Textiles, and furnishings.
In the 1970s he operated the largest Oriental Carpet business in
In 1983 Foster
moved to Danville Illinois managing the Skystream Aviation fixed
based operation (FBO) and in 1986 bought Skystream and founded
Foster Aviation Corporation (FAC), Indianapolis, Indiana &
Danville, Charleston-Mattoon, Shelbyville, Illinois. He provided
airport operational support at four locations, including
fueling, flight training, aircraft maintenance and sales,
(Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft Dealer). He also acted as Airport
Manager at two airport locations, responsible for all ground
maintenance and FAA regulatory compliances.
he was appointed Commissioner for the Vermilion Regional Airport
and elected Chairmen of the Commission 2016.
In 1990 he also
operated an Aircraft refurbishing-paint and interiors company
(American Aeromod).at the Coles County Airport - Charleston
Illinois. He wrote the manual for FAA Part 135 Air Charter
certificate, Certified Air Carrier 1985 offering private charter
services throughout USA operating light twins to jet
He developed the manual for FAA Part 141 Advanced Flight School.
He was Certified 1992 for Commercial, Multi-Engine, and
Instrument Flight training by the FAA. Foster Served as Chief
of Operations for FAC 1985-1994. Also appointed by FAA as FAA
Certified Safety Counselor 1985-1994. . He was active in Civil
Air Patrol 1984-1988, serving as a Captain, USAF-R-CAP. He also
served in the USN-R for eight years.
Foster served on the Board of Directors Illinois Aviation Trades
Association, Springfield - In 1988 he was elected President of
the State (IATA) association.
He aIso participated in and completed the Economic Development
Corporation’s, (now Vermilion Advantage), program in Leadership
Danville Class V summer-fall of 1991.
He retired from
aviation and sold the Aviation business in the fall of 1994. He
continued Aviation Consulting afterwards, dba (Foster Aviation
Consulting) (FAC), and added business Consulting and Brokering
in 1995 forming dba BEAMSCO (Business Evaluations- And
Marketing-Consulting Services COmpany) Originally offering
Business evaluations, marketing consulting, small community
economic development consulting, business brokerage, correlated
acquisitions and stock transfers. IL Licensed Business Broker
and Commercial Real Estate sales. Initial Business set up
services, 1996-to 2000...
IN 2000 BEAMSCO expanded to BEAMSCO dba (Business E-commerce
Applications & Marketing Services COmpany) 1996 to 2016..
to provide E-commerce marketing services to businesses in the
areas of Computer and Internet Services, providing Websites and
internet marketing applications. As Webmaster for BEAMSCO by
2013 he had created more than two-hundred-fifty commercial and
personal websites throughout the Illiana area and the US.
activities since coming to Danville also included: Member Board
of Directors, Danville Symphony Orchestra 1989, President 1992
and again in 1997. Member of National Old Time Music
Preservation Association 1989, Board of Directors 1990-1994 Boys
and Girls Club, Board of Directors, Vice President 1990.
He served on the Board of Directors DSO Foundation
1992, President DSO Foundation 1993. Foster was also one of the
early Founding Directors of the Vermilion Heritage Foundation
(to restore the Fischer Theater), Board of Directors 1984-1998.
In 1991 he was
appointed to the first City of Danville Historic Preservation
Commission and was elected the first Commission Chairman. Foster
was an active member of Danville Noon Rotary Club (185 members)
1985 -1997. Served on the Board of Directors 1993-1994. Was a
Paul Harris Fellow and was President Elect in 1995.
Foster also was a
Member of the Danville Boat Club, Board of Directors 1989-1993
Elected Commodore 1999-1992. Other involvement included Board of
Directors Danville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 1992-1998.
In 1991 He served on the Oversight Committee for the first and
second Danville City Strategic Planning Project 1991-1993, and
He was elected to
Danville City Council in 1993. Was a Candidate for Mayor of
Danville 1995. Elected-Vice Chair Public Services Committee
1993-1997. He was elected Vice Mayor in 2000 serving until 2002.
Was elected Chairman Public Works Committee in 2003. Foster
also served as Chairman of the City-County Public Safety
Building Committee in 2014 to 2016. In 2013 Stephen Foster was
appointed Commissioner for the Vermilion Regional Airport. In
2016 He was elected Chairman of VRA Commission. He has been
reelected to the City Council six elections. Last: 2016-2020.
In May of 2019 Foster was elected by
his peers to Chair the Public Service Committee, historically
becoming the only Alderman to serve as Chairman of both the
Public Works Committee, The Public Service Committee, and Vice
Mayor of Danville Illinois over his 28 years on the City
Since 1995 Foster continued to work
at his companies until June 30th of 2016 when he sold all
interests in BEAMSCO’s internet marketing services to another
internet marketing company July 1, 2016 and retired. FAC
aviation and business consulting activities continued to date.
Foster also currently serves on the
Board of Directors of the Gurdjieff-Heritage-Society New York,
NY active since 2005, and is a member of the Gurdjieff-Nyland
Chardavogne Group Warwick, NY since 1997.
religious and esoteric studies. Prior to 1975 he studied
history, with particular interest in ancient history and Eastern
cultures. By 1975 he had completed numerous books and
self-designed studies on the religions of the world, had
developed a particular interest in Eastern thought and esoteric
philosophies. Having studied, in depth, esoteric Christianity
and related areas of other major and minor religious systems and
philosophies relating to mysticism and unusual phenomena. From
1974 to 1980 he hosted a weekly religion-philosophical study
group that grew to 45 members in Louisville, Kentucky. Members
coming from many cultures and foreign countries.
In 1980, he took
a year “sabbatical” visiting libraries throughout the Midwest
searching rare book sections for ancient and recent accounts of
certain belief systems or disciplines and phenomena related to
them (from earlier Masonic Orders & Christian sects to Sufism).
He began with an extensive study of the Kane Ridge Revival in
1804-05. He collected copies and originals of scare papers and
books by a number of commentators on similar unusual events and
phenomena in the Christian Church(s), Tantric Buddhism, and
Sufis such as Rumi, and related mystical publications, from the
first century to date.
In 1981 he
traveled with his wife Marina to the Middle East in pursuit of
knowledge unavailable (as far as he could determine) in the
West. Beginning in Jerusalem and Israel, visiting ancient sites
and monastic orders, traveling also to Lebanon, Syria, and
Jordan and from Mt Herman to the Negev in Israel. He traveled to
Safed (Spa) and visited with Sephardic Rabbis at the School of
Cabala (ancient Jewish esoteric sect). He visited the Dead Sea
area around Qumran where the Essenes were active through the
AD70s, (this is the sect that Jesus Christ is believed to have
been a member, receiving his schooling). During this period he
continued to keep a journal and write related essays, which he
considered developing into a manuscript.
to the US in 1982 he continued his studies in Eastern and
Western Philosophies and collected and studied additional books
on Human Psychology and beliefs systems - studying the later
works of Tart, Trungpa, Alexandria David-Neal, Shah (the Sufis),
and early-ancient writers and philosophers including Rumi,
Homer, Justin Martyr, Lucian, and the writings of Stoics. Like
Aurelius, the Epicureans, the Platonists, and Aristotle, Plato
and Pythagoras, and books on the Gnostics, early Christians,
religious mysticism, shamanism, and unexplained phenomena from
many ancient manuscripts to early Mormon writings. In 1982 he
visited with the exiled family of the Dali Lama, (his brother is
a Buddhist Lama, and then Professor of Eastern Philosophy at
Indiana University), and this acted as a catalyst to seek more
specific schoolings and to gather knowledge of esoteric Tantric
practices and other teachings from Tibet. He confirmed that
certain basic beliefs, truths, and tenants seemed to be present
in most belief systems and ancient schools. He began to form a
fundamental concept of man's purpose and reason for being and
his relationship to the universe, and possibility of further
development. He then initiated a search for someone or some
teaching and teacher that recognized these same basic tenants,
and guide him where books cannot. He discovered a series of
(then) scarce books written (from 1913 to present) by or about
G. I. Gurdjieff an Armenian Greek that had traveled to the East
in the nineteenth century and brought back to the West
extraordinary cosmological explanations, teachings, disciplines,
and a system of physics, universal order, and personal
development. It is these teachings and this school of individual
development that he had studied and applied its concepts
personally for the past several years, both privately, in small
groups, and at various institutes such as the Institute for
Religious Development, in Warwick, NY. (W.A. Nyland Group). At
present he had written a number of essays on the subject of
these interests. He also assisted in editing a number of
articles for the Gurdjieff International Review in Los Altos,
California, where he was an Editorial Assistant. He also worked
in the editing and publishing of the Nyland Index to All and
Everything by Gurdjieff. In 2006, working with Gurdjieff's
daughter, he created the website for the Gurdjieff Heritage
Society New York. He was elected to the Board of Directors of
the GHS in 2014 acting as Chairman of the board-Pro-tem and in
2015 as Secretary. Along with his beloved wife, he intends to
continue these pursuits and other disciplines hopefully leading
to greater personal developments on Earth until his death.
Photo: Stephen E Foster 1983