Renowned investor Foster Friess works to encourage private sector solutions to improve the lives of others
Born in Rice Lake, Wisconsin in 1940, Foster Friess is a first-generation college graduate. His mother dropped out of school in the eighth grade to pick cotton in order to save the family farm in Texas. His father dealt cattle and horses.
At Rice Lake High School, Foster says, “I was valedictorian, class president, student council president, and captain of the basketball, track, golf and baseball teams—all the things that are possible when only 16 kids are in your class!” he says with a wry smile before admitting that there were, in fact, 160.
At the University of Wisconsin, Foster earned a degree in business administration, served as president of his fraternity, was named one of the “ten most outstanding senior men,” and won the heart of “Badger Beauty” and Chi Omega president Lynnette Estes, whom he married in 1962. Two sons, two daughters, and thirteen grandchildren followed.
Lacking enthusiasm about the prospects of being drafted as a private first class foot soldier, Foster enrolled in the Reserves Officer Training Corp at the University of Wisconsin. He trained as an Infantry Platoon Leader and served as an Intelligence Officer for the First Guided Missile Brigade in El Paso, TX.
In 1974, Foster and Lynn launched Friess Associates. The firm’s flagship, the Brandywine Fund, averaged 20 percent annual gains in the 1990s, causing Forbes magazine to name it one of the decade’s top mutual funds. Business Week heralded him as the “longest surviving successful growth stock picker” and CNBC’s Ron Insana dubbed him one of the “century’s great investors.”
Amidst this professional success, Foster says that his personal life struggled. Behind the scenes, he had “a marriage flirting with divorce and emotionally distant children.” Facing these challenges and bored with his success, he was receptive to Blaise Pascal’s notion: “Within each person is a God-shaped vacuum that only God can fill.”
In October of 1978, Foster says, “I did one of those ‘born again’ things and invited Jesus to become the ‘Chairman of the Board; of my life,” a decision to which he credits all subsequent successes, including those which saw the firm grow to a $15 billion portfolio and his personal relationships restored.
Foster has devoted significant resources to philanthropy. In 1999, the “Champ” himself awarded Foster the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, and in 2000, at the National Charity Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., Foster was named the “Humanitarian of the Year,” following in the footsteps of Coretta Scott King, Bob Hope, President George H.W. Bush, and Lady Bird Johnson. In 2009, Foster received the “Benefactor of the Year” Paul Weyrich Award. In 2010, he received the “Spirit of the Children Award,” given annually to Childhelp supporters who have generously given their time and good fortune to children’s causes.
Lynn and Foster gain their philanthropic inspiration from Galatians 6:2: “When we carry one another’s burdens we fulfill the law of Christ,” and Matthew 25:35-40, “When you do it for the least of my brethren, you do it for Me.” From supporting families of disabled children in Jackson, Wyoming, to assisting victims of Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake, Lynn and Foster engage in a wide scope of philanthropic activities.
Foster believes that private individuals are called to carry others’ burdens–rather than relying on the government to do so. In 1997, Foster told the organizers of the Grand Teton Musical Festival he would give them $40,000 if they refused $11,000 in government funding. They took him up on his offer.
As a top priority, Foster helps peaceful Muslims transcend the seventh-century ideology of coercion, intimidation, and violence that threatens us and them.
“This is the most threatening movement in the world today,” says Foster. “In fact, due to the growing numbers of teenage and pre-adolescent Muslims that are being recruited and trained in its anti-American ideology on a daily and weekly basis, this threat to our western way of life is more powerful than Nazism or even Communism ever was in the 1900s.”
Foster is also interested in “augmenting the news” to make it more informative and fair, and he is the major investor in the Daily Caller news website led by Tucker Carlson.
Through his web presence at FosterFriess.com and his Campfire Blog, Foster works to promote the Founding Father principles of free enterprise, limited constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, and traditional American values. He believes we can find effective, innovative private sector solutions to many of the problems we face.
- See more at: http://fosterfriess.com/man-atop-the-horse/#sthash.RPgETEkb.dpuf
Harvard Graduate School of Business, Cambridge MBA
C. H. Smith Fellowship U S International University, San Diego, CA MS Computer Science/Operations Research United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD BS Engineering Brigade Honor Committee, Choir President FBI Academy, Quantico, VA, Graduate Fed. Law Enforcement Train. Center, Glenco, GA, Graduate Federal Bureau of Investigation Counter Terrorist Intelligence Analyst
Middle East and Al-Qa’ida Subject Matter Expert*Top Secret SCI clearance *Department of Homeland Security *Armed Federal Law Enforcement Officer*CBP Inspector Screened for terrorists and/or violators of federal law *Middle East and Al Qa’ida Subject Matter Expert *Top Secret Clearance*Member DOD Counter Terrorist Task Force (After 9/11) *Task Force Reported to Assistant Secretary of the Army* Middle East and Al-Qa’ida Briefer Top Secret Clearance
Senator Ryan Zinke is a third generation Montanan and was a multiple sport All-State stand-out and a Whitefish High School Football Hall of Fame inductee. After serving as three time class president, Zinke attended the University of Oregon on an athletic scholarship and graduated with a B.S. in Geology. As a four-year letterman, he received numerous awards to include All-Pacific TEN honors, the Pacific TEN Medal, the University Sahlstrom Award, and the prestigious Emerald Cup for academic, athletic, and leadership excellence. In 1996 and again in 1997, Ryan Zinke was twice selected for Most Outstanding Young Men in America honors.
Ryan’s distinguished military career began in 1985 when he graduated from Officer Candidate School and attended SEAL training (class 136). He was then assigned to SEAL Team ONE in Coronado, CA where he led counter-insurgency and contingency operations in the Persian Gulf and the Pacific theater of operations.
From 1990-93 and again from 1996-99, he was selected to SEAL TEAM SIX where he was a Team Leader, Ground Force Commander, Task Force Commander and Current Operations Officer in support of National Command Authority missions.
He then served as the Special Operations Officer in Europe and led the first exercise between former Soviet Special Forces and NSW forces, and served as the SEAL Commander of Joint Task Force TWO in support of Special Operations missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo.
In 2004, Ryan was assigned as Deputy and acting Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM where he led a force of over 3500 Special Operations personnel in Iraq in the conduct of 360 combat patrols, 48 Direct Action missions, and hundreds of sensitive operations. He was responsible for killing or capturing 72 known enemy insurgents and terrorists. In 2006, he was awarded two Bronze Stars for combat.
Ryan’s final Naval assignment was establishing the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command where he served as “Dean” of the Naval Special Warfare graduate school with a staff of over 250 educators which provided over 43 college level courses to over 2500 students annually at 15 different locations world-wide. He retired from active duty 2008 after serving 23 years as a US Navy SEAL.
In 2008, Senator Zinke was elected to the Montana State Senate representing District 2 which includes the cities of Whitefish, Columbia Falls, and the entirety of Glacier National Park. Senator Zinke chairs the Senate Education Committee and serves on the Senate Finance and Claims Committee. Significant bills include Workers Compensation reform and increasing flexibility in education. Often referred to as a “Teddy Roosevelt” Republican, Senator Zinke is a fiscal conservative and a leading advocate for working families, small businesses, traditional conservation values and a forward looking educational system.
Senator Zinke is CEO of two business development firms that specialize in advanced technology with clients to include Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Sierra Nevada, Unmanned Systems INC, and Katmai among others. He also serves as the Director of the Montana Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Center for Remote Integration, a founding Director of the Montana Firearms Institute (MFI), and is the President and Founder of the Great Northern Veterans Peace Park Foundation.
Ryan Zinke is Disabled Veteran and holds a MBA in Finance and a Masters of Science in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego. He is married to the former Lolita Hand and has two young boys, Wolfgang and Konrad, and a daughter Jennifer, who is a former US Navy Diver and is also married to a Navy SEAL.