If Tracy Foster can provide financial analysis and advice for a $550 billion U.S. defense budget, perhaps he can be trusted to teach Principles of Accounting 1.
The 52-year-old Lieutenant Colonel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Financial Analyst will retire from the Army this summer and join Maranatha’s Business Department faculty for the 2012-13 academic year. Foster will teach accounting and business finance courses, Business Department Chair Dr. Corey Pfaffe said.
“Actually, there are a lot of things that have excited me about making this move,” Foster said. “Working with this age group, continuing to work with the financial side, and the ministry aspect—they’re all things to look forward to.”
Foster and wife Laura will move to Watertown from Alexandria, VA, in July. His current job at the Pentagon includes providing information to General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the nation’s highest-ranking military officer. Dempsey then passes recommendations on to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other government officials. Foster previously worked overseeing a 12-man staff as a budget officer for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait.
One unique opportunity Foster enjoyed was working at Motorola as part of the Army’s Training With Industry program. He worked as a financial analyst there, learning business practices while sharing information on Army accounting procedures.
“That experience will help me give practical advice to students preparing to go out into the business world,” Foster said.
Foster worked 10 years as a grocery store manager before graduating Magna Cum Laude and twice being named Outstanding Accounting Student at Montana State University-Billings. He was commissioned into the Army after completing the ROTC program there. Foster went on to earn a master’s degree in Business Administration at Syracuse University. He has served as treasurer, auditor, and financial advisor at several churches where he implemented new financial systems, improved record keeping and reporting, and developed financial policies and procedures.
“God used the last 20 years to mold and shape me and my wife,” Foster said. “I can clearly see His hand in it all. We have been involved in a lot of churches and been through a lot of challenging things, including a couple of deployments; you can see God’s hand even in that.”
The Fosters have two grown daughters and 11 grandchildren.
“There are Scripture references and examples about how we are to behave in a business environment as Christians,” Foster said. “The whole idea is stewardship—we are all stewards.”