October 06, 2020
Colleague Focus – Keri Foster
The first of our Detectable Warning Systems colleagues to be featured in Colleague Focus is Keri Foster. She has been with Mar-Bal for two years, joining us after Mar-Bal acquired AlertTile and DWS in 2018.
“I love that Mar-Bal has a family atmosphere, that it feels like everyone genuinely enjoys working with each other. It was immediately apparent when I entered the Mar-Bal environment that the company actively sets their employees up for success and I think that plays a large part in the general morale. I appreciate that the Baloghs take an active role in knowing what’s going on at each location, with the products but also with the people”.
Keri’s depth of knowledge and acumen displayed would lead you to believe she’s had decades of experience providing solutions for those in need of ADA compliance. Because of this intelligence and her relationships within the industry, Keri was part of the group that traveled to Las Vegas for World of Concrete 2020.
“My proudest moment of Mar-Bal hands down was being asked to represent Detectable Warning Systems at World of Concrete 2020 in Las Vegas. I had the opportunity to speak with industry journalists on behalf of Mar-Bal’s developing innovations in the RediMat line, which I really enjoyed. I loved getting to meet the people behind the email signature for so many of our customers and active prospects, and of course adding new customers too. Plus I’m a bit of a construction nerd and I liked the chance to see the different industry developments and technologies that are presented at the convention each year”.
Keri’s growth can be attributed to her eagerness to learn and desire to succeed but credits Mar-Bal’s company culture wit her career development. “I began with Mar-Bal as a sales assistant in 2018, but was quickly given more proactive sales opportunities on top of my administrative duties. I have been with DWS since 2012 and I have a lot of industry knowledge of our panels which enables me to speak passionately about our product. Working closely with Mike Keels and Tony Lignetta I was set on a trajectory towards a true sales role and I’m proud to say that I have achieved that goal. I feel supported by our team and driven to perform for all of our benefit”.
As you can imagine, Keri’s life outside of the office is just as fruitful and she shared with us her love of music, favorite foods and in her own words “easy” dream vacation. While she may draw inspiration from her colleagues during office hours, Keri’s connections made through music inspire her as well. “Outside of Mar-Bal, I am co-owner of a music school and I teach piano to all levels. I have a friend through my musician network who is a traveling band director serving three low income school systems throughout Southeast Georgia. Her name is Faith Broom and I’ve worked with my music school to raise funds so that all of her students in the band programs had access to instruments. Faith has put so much of her own effort and love into her program; I am endlessly inspired by her drive”.
Speaking on her favorite dishes, it is evident that the cooking of Keri’s grandmother is at the top of her list. [What is your favorite home-cooked meal?] “My Grammy’s Hungarian rice, and her chicken paprikash. Oh and her stuffed cabbage rolls! I love her stuffed cabbage rolls so much that she made three pans of them for my wedding back in 2011”.
As a self-proclaimed flatlander growing up in Florida, Keri undoubtedly has a special place for the ocean in her heart. However, she is also called to higher altitudes, getting away to the mountains when she can. “I have been a flatlander all my life, having been born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. And while I love the beach, I always feel myself, called by mountainous terrain. I love to take my five year old son on hikes, like Rough Ridge Trail up on Grandfather Mountain in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. I was also able to take him to Colorado and do some light hiking up in Rocky Mountain National Park as the sun was setting, which was absolutely unforgettable. I’m easy, my paradise is a cabin in the mountains, with some hot coffee in hand, and preferably a piano around too (if I’m being picky)”.
We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Keri and look forward to our next edition of Colleague Focus featuring a new member of the Mar-Bal team.