~ Biography ~ Personal Interest
Earl (Steve) Foster:
Photo by Larry Weatherford
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
Council. (1993-2021) Foster decided to not run for election in 2021. On 12-1-2020 Foster announced his early resignation from the Danville City Council as of December 31, 2020, after nearly twenty-eight years as an elected official.
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 1801-1805. He collected copies and originals of scarce 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 2020 as Vice-President. In
Feb 2020 he began writing a compilation of his personal journals
[Passage Chronicles 1945~to date]; addressing ancient
writings [Primers] and
contemporary ideas and teachings for development of man's
present finite state to reach his highest being potential on earth and
beyond for infinity. [Primers of Life ~ The Striving for
Along with his beloved wife, he intends to
continue these pursuits and other disciplines hopefully leading
to greater personal development, and like support for serious others
now on Earth, until his death.
Photo: Stephen E Foster 1983
Photo: Stephen E Foster Summer 2020