Retail | Wholesale | Food | Beverage 2023: WATT R. FOSTER JR.
PRESIDENT AND CEO, FOSTER FUELS, BROOKNEAL
In 1989, Watt Foster Jr. bought Foster Fuels from his father, the late Watt R. “Bobby” Foster Sr. The younger Foster marks the third generation to run the family business, which was founded in 1921.
In June, Foster was named one of 11 winners of Ernst & Young’s 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year Mid-Atlantic Award.
Foster Fuels holds the prime contract for emergency fuel with the federal government, and through the company’s Mission Critical division it has responded to relief efforts including Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and, more recently, the Texas ice storms and Hurricane Ian. This year, Foster Fuels became the first fuel provider on the East Coast to offer net-zero hydrotreated vegetable and waste oil (HVO) renewable diesel fuel, which is derived from used cooking oil.
The business’s success allows Foster to focus on the Watt Foster Family Foundation, which donated more than $460,000 in 2021 to support disadvantaged children, scholarship funds and local charities. Foster also has placed more than 2,000 acres of land under conservation easements.
WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY: Being at the lake with my family