Chuck, Eleanor, & Lowell Foster

Lowell Foster

Lowell Elliott Foster’s obituary as it appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer on Monday June 22, 2015. Lowell was born on July 5th, 1922 in Corning, Iowa and died in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina on June 17, 2015.

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Dad Irimugawa-Tachikawa flight 1945

A pretty good person

It’s been said we’re the sum of our experiences. That may be true, but I think alot of what we are – who we are – comes from our parents.

Some things our parents try to teach us will shape what we do and how we act. Some things our parents don’t try to teach us will shape who we are. My dad gave me both.

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Doug Foster - head shot

About

Doug Foster is the Founder and CEO of Convinsys, a sales engineering company. Started in 2006, Convinsys specializes in story driven, technical product demonstrations.

As CEO, Doug is focused on helping organizations build revenue by delivering convincingly simple and engaging customer experiences.

Prior to starting Convinsys, Doug served in technical and …

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Our first punkin chunker

A good laugh

Punkin’ chunking is a rather eclectic sport, and certainly not as well known as soccer or football. In fact, even though you can find “chunkers” throwing things all year round, you’ll only find them tossing pumpkins (aka punkins) each year a little before Thanksgiving. The picture above is the first …

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EDS HQ in Plano, TX

180,000 IP phones

Walk into Bank of America and you’ll see Cisco IP telephones. Lots of them. Want to know how they got there?

Let me tell you my best sales story.

The first time I saw voice and video work over a data network was at our Cisco sales lab in Raleigh. My boss Matt Mullady was standing beside me, watching a demo, shaking his head. “This is amazing.” he said. ”This is going to change everything.” …

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Buddy with an idea

Who am I?

Discovering who you are can be really tough.

For me it happened when I was unemployed and had to (re)write my resume.

Bob was a good friend of mine and the VP of HR for a big six accounting firm. I thought he could give me some tips on how to make my resume better. He took it, looked at it, then handed it back to me. He said “Who is this?” …

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Dome home in Sherrill, Iowa

Building the dome home

“Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.” – Jerry Avins

Shortly after I graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State, I told my friend Jim Mackey “Cindy and I are going to build a geodesic dome home.” “Figures,” he said, “you living in a regular house would be like like an architect living in a mobile home.” …

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Buckminister Fuller in front of a geodesic dome

The Dynamic R. Buckminster Fuller on WUNC

R. (Richard) Buckminister Fuller was a man of many talents. I had a chance to hear him when he came to Iowa State University back in 1975. Unfortunately I passed on the opportunity – using the excuse that I had to study for a test. Looking back now, I SO wish I had gone.

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Rebuilding an Opel Cadet engine

Machinist to ME

“It’s hard to believe Jeff did that.”

“Did what?” I replied.

It was 1975 and I had just started at Iowa State. Reb’s mom and I were were standing by the fence, watching Saydel play their first home football game of the season.

“You didn’t know … Jeff committed suicide.”

Reb, Jeff, and I had graduated …

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High school chemistry lab

High school chemistry

My senior year in high school wasn’t all bad. In fact, at times it was pretty fun.

Close to graduation I started wondering what pranks I could pull on a few best friends, or even teachers. Our chemistry teacher, “MadMan” Larry Dean, was one of my favorites. MadMan’s nickname was well deserved.

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Donald Davis at the National Storytelling Festival

5 Ideas from the 2012 National Storytelling Festival

“If you learn one thing, then it was worthwhile.” Dad told me that when I was a kid.

He was talking about reading books, but I’ve found his quote rings true for almost everything.

Sometimes you learn more than one thing. Last weekend at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee I learned …

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switchboard

VoIP Hi Def audio conferencing. Amazing & free!

I’ve been working with data/voice/video networking – and especially Voice over IP VoIP – for most of my career. I love it.

So why am I writing this short story? Because the other day I lived through the audio conference call from hell. The voice quality was abysmal. In fact …

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Chuck Robbins, Cisco

Five Principles of Selling

As a senior executive at Cisco, every quarter I’m responsible for making sure my North American team closes thousands of sales, generates hundred-million-dollar revenues, and guarantees every customer we come in contact with is a satisfied customer. To do that, I rely on these five principles for effective selling.

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NASA EBF3 - Karen Taminger

Telling the EBF3 story

Through one of my clients – Fuentek – I get to work with NASA scientists and engineers. I mean, these guys REALLY are rocket scientists! How cool is that.

I learn about technology they develop, then help them find licensing opportunities for the Intellectual Property.

Here’s an example: Electron Beam Free Form Fabrication (EBF3).

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Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett and Social Media

Last night at Walnut Creek I heard what I thought was Jimmy Buffett’s best concert ever. I’ve bought enough of his music, books, and gone to enough of his concerts over the years to fund at least one of his expeditions. He is the master in finding a story, living it, and then sharing it with others.

So reminiscing back to the concert got me to thinking about how much social media and Jimmy Buffett have in common …

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