Mar/Apr
2018

Amalia Foster

Written by Cindy Mennenga
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I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY RECENTLY TO SPEAK WITH AMALIA FOSTER WHO IS ONE OF ROCHESTER TOYOTA’S NEWEST SALES CONSULTANTS. FOSTER HAS HAD A FASCINATING LIFE—FILLED WITH LOTS OF TWISTS AND TURNS—NEARLY AS EXCITING AS READING A CAPTIVATING BOOK. 

FROM ROMANIA, WITH LOVE 

Foster, who grew up in Romania at a time when it was heavily influenced by Russia, was expected to learn Russian in school. She says, “I didn’t want to learn Russian, so I taught myself English. I worked really hard (at learning English) for a while, then I met two humanitarian missionaries from the States and I was able to practice my English with them. They encouraged me to come to the States to study at university, when I didn’t even know I could get out of the country.” 

Encouraged, Foster diligently studied and applied to universities in the United States. She was accepted to a small school in Idaho called Rick’s College. One of the missionaries that Foster knew was a professor of nursing at the school, and she helped guide Foster through the admissions process. Foster eventually graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in civil and environmental engineering. Of her education, she says she really enjoyed taking science, math and chemistry classes. 

As time passed, Foster married, and she and her husband had four children. After her husband completed his master’s degree at Iowa State University, he was hired as a biostatistician at Mayo Clinic, and the family relocated to Rochester. The family has enjoyed living in Rochester for the past 15 years.  

LIFE’S CHALLENGES 

Currently employed as a sales consultant at Rochester Toyota since September 2017, Foster enthusiastically helps people purchase new vehicles. She thrives on interacting with customers and likes the variety the job provides. 

Prior to working at Rochester Toyota, Foster taught business and math classes at Minnesota School of Business for 10 years. After earning her MBA, she was promoted to the business program chair responsible for making sure the department ran smoothly until the school closed in December 2016. 

While she was teaching at Minnesota School of Business, Foster would frequently invite business professionals to visit and speak to her classes. Over time, she got to know the team at Rochester Toyota. Foster says she’s a people person and really enjoys talking to and helping others. She adds, “So, I took on this challenge. It’s not easy because there are so many aspects to it. It’s challenging and rewarding at the same time. I taught business concepts in my classes—now I am in a position to apply and learn how those principles work in the workplace. I also really like how Rochester Toyota operates as a business and how they contribute to the community. It’s a great company with really, really great people. I’m excited to be a part of the team.” 

LIFE IS A GRAND ADVENTURE 

In her spare time, Foster enjoys reading and likes to go on hikes. She says that she and her family also enjoy travel. Nearly every year they go overseas for vacation, and this past summer the family traveled to Switzerland and Romania. In the summer of 2016, they vacationed in Italy. Of life in the United States, Foster adds, “I am happy to be here in the States, and I consider this to be my home. We go back to Romania to visit, but this is my home.” 

Reflecting on her life, and how it has changed from living under Communism to her vibrant and fulfilling life here in Rochester, Foster says, “Today, I tell my kids that from learning that one skill (English)— look where it has brought me so far—just by doing that one thing!” 

Cindy Mennenga, owner of MedCity WordCraft, LLC is a freelance writer and editor based in Rochester.