OTC Annual Report
Helping Others Help Themselves
As someone who has been in business in Springfield for more than 60 years, Bill Foster has seen a lot of changes in his hometown. One addition that he points to with delight is that of Ozarks Technical Community College.
"It is a special asset to Springfield and all of southwest Missouri. It helps people," Mr. Foster said.
A native Springfieldian, Mr. Foster has turned his pride in OTC into a financial gift. He presented the OTC Foundation with three homes north of the OTC Springfield Campus, a gift valued at nearly $300,000. As a result of his generosity, the Bill R. Foster Student Services has been named after him.
"It's very nice to see. I am humbled. It's an opportunity to give that I welcome. I think it's important to let students see that someone cares about them," Mr. Foster said.
The businesses that Mr. Foster started have all focused on one premise -- helping people.
From designing assisted-living homes to building hotels, the Foster Hospitality Group always has been about lending a hand to people.
"We've been helping people one way or the other, no matter what their age, for 61 years," Mr. Foster said.
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce named Mr. Foster the Springfieldian of the year in 2009. Late last year, Mr. Foster was named Philanthropist of the Year by the Ozarks Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
In the Chamber's announcement of the award to Mr. Foster, longtime friend Sam Hamra described Mr. Foster as someone who "likes to help other people. He always has, even when he had minimal means -- he would help other people if they were in need."
Mr. Foster has made his first major gift to OTC and said he is humbled to join a prestigious group of OTC donors.
"There are some fabulous names of donors to OTC. It's a nice exclusive club to be a part of," said Mr. Foster, who credits his wife, Juanitha, with playing a key role in deciding what gifts to make.
Mr. Foster said OTC plays an important role in the region's economic and business landscape."
OTC allows a business to draw from students who are educated and ready to go to work. That's a wonderful source to have," Mr. Foster said.