The Royal Family - Van Foster
Position: Banquet Waiter
Years of Service: 31 Years
When Windsor Court held its grand opening at Gallier Hall in 1984, Van Foster worked as a bus boy. Since then, he has retained a position at the hotel as a devoted employee for more than 30 years. After serving in the stewarding and housekeeping department for 15 years, Van eventually transitioned to his current role in banquet service.
As an indisputable people person, Van’s positive attitude, genuine sense of humor and calm demeanor make him a perfect fit for banquets, where he always enjoys the opportunity to interact with guests and make personal connections. From setting up a room, serving food or tending bar, he appreciates the fact that there is no “typical day.” There’s always a new task to master or challenge to conquer, keeping Van on his toes and at the ready to ensure guest satisfaction.
Van is a valued team member whose opinion and work ethic are held in high regard. He is someone who appreciates the little things, like management recognizing him, knowing his name and thanking him for his work, so Van relishes the fact that he is trusted by supervisors, who regularly go to him for post-event feedback.
With such a lengthy tenure under his belt, Van doesn’t hesitate when asked why he’s stayed at the hotel for so many years – the people. Whether it’s within his own department or throughout the hotel, Van praises his coworkers, not only as his best friends, but also as his family.
When he’s not at the hotel, Van stays busy working out, playing with his dog (a spoiled toy poodle named Paris) and spending time with his wife and son. He has a true lust for life, believing each day should be lived to the fullest. A New Orleans native and advocate of experiencing new things, he and his wife go out to a different restaurant once a month and take a trip together every year. While past jaunts have taken them to London, Jamaica and the Bahamas, Van and his wife are planning an excursion to Bora Bora in celebration of their 30th anniversary in April.
Favorite Windsor Court Moment
Van’s defining moment at Windsor Court came in 2005. After earning Employee of the Month status every year for four consecutive years, Van was named Employee of the Year. Annually, the 12 recipients of the monthly awards are nominated to receive the official Employee of the Year prize, which is announced at the annual company meeting. According to Van, the recognition was a true honor, comparable to having his first born. “People always tell you what you can’t do and try to put you down. I proved everybody wrong.”