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Richard Foster
SWE Breakout Speakers
ZONE Out Your Competition

Zoning for homes and commercial buildings solves the comfort and balanced temperature problems and $aves on energy costs. However if you’re a contractor who shy’s away from zoning, here you’ll learn to have confidence to sell zoning on every job, adding extra profit while beating your competition.

About Richard Foster

Company President with over 30 years of managing and growing a manufacturing business. Able to create and develop business ideas, plans, marketing, products and follow through to implementation.

Mr. Foster assumed management over the family business at 20, due to father’s illness, grew sales from yearly on average 20% and built a growing workforce. He successfully set up manufacturing operations from scratch and bought out majority shareholders. He negotiated with a Fortune 100 a Strategic Alliance for 10 years, eventually selling major asset of the company to that Honeywell in 1999. He then transitioned the business to be a contract only supplier. In 2004, he started a new division, ZONEFIRST®, selling to the HVAC trade, as in the past.

In 1976 in his role as marketing manager started one of the industry’s first Toll Free Technical Support line, providing application, design, installation and on-site troubleshooting assistance to HVAC Contractors. In addition he used the customer feedback from these calls to improve and develop new products. Mr. Foster has spoken taught zoning to thousands of HVAC Installers through his informative and interactive presentations. He has spoken at meetings of ACCA, ASHRAE, CARE, RSES, HRAI, SCAHACC, Excellence Alliance and hundreds of HVAC Distributor Training meetings.

1975 – Present
Trolex Corporation – Manufacturer of Heating and Air Conditioning Zone Damper Systems. During the period 1976-1999 Sales increased from $1M to $12M.

1974 -1976 Part Time Sales
Developed Sales Reports, Managed Trade Shows and Exhibits, attended industry events

1976-1978 – Marketing Manager
Developed new products, created literature, managed advertising, implemented Toll Free Customer Technical Assistance Answer Man Service
Provided custom control systems and drawings

1978-1982 – Sales Manager
Managed company sales growth at average 20% per year, customer relationships, developed next customers, markets, and acting President roles while President was on medical leave for 9 months

1984-1992 – Vice President
Elected to Board of Directors, managed company buyout of majority shareholders.
Vertically integrated manufacturing that was previously 100% sub-contracted.
Negotiated Strategic Alliance with Fortune 100 Company

1992 – Present – President
In 1999 negotiated sale of Trol-A-Temp® Division to Honeywell. He Transitioned
company to private label supplier of dampers. In 2004, successfully re-entered the
HVAC Industry under New Brand name ZONEFIRST®, developed new product offering and sales growth continues on average of 20% per year.
His involvement in the industry associations, trade shows has made him a well-known and knowledgeable industry veteran.

Industry Associations

  • Air Conditioning Contractors of America – ACCA
    North Jersey Chapter –
    Secretary 1979-1981, Managed the ACCA Region Conference 1980
    Director 2007-Present
    National Associate Task Team – 1990-1994 Chair 92-94
    American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers – ASHRAE –
    Life Member
    Air Conditioning Heating Refrigeration Institute – AHRI –
    Director 2008-Present
    Exposition Policy Committee – 2000-09, Chairman 2009-Present
    Heating Air Conditioning Refrigeration Distributors International – HARDI
    Supplier Committee Chairman 1990-92 NHAW)
    Associate Representative on Merger Committee 2000-01 (NHRAW/ARW)
    Vice Chair Membership Committee
    Permanent Key Member
    Market Center Distribution Award
    Heating Refrigeration Air Conditioning Institute of Canada – HRAI
    Manufacturer Member
    South Carolina Association of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors – SCAHACC
    Associate Member 2007-Present
    Technical College of the Low Country – HVAC Advisory Board 2009-Present
    US Green Building Council – Member
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