Welcoming BRAC’s Board Chair
Flynn Foster, CEO and president of Guaranty Corporation and Guaranty Media, will serve as chairman of the board for BRAC in 2020.
With robust BRAC experience – serving on almost all the organization’s committees and councils – Foster brings to the table a breadth of understanding of the organization’s goals. This is especially important as 2020 is the year BRAC closes out its five-year strategic plan and develops a plan for the next five years.
BRAC’s history with Foster’s company Guaranty goes back almost 100 years. BRAC, then known as the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, helped recruit the Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company (GILICO) to the Baton Rouge Area. Flynn Foster’s grandfather George Foster Sr. founded GILICO in 1926, which was located on Third Street in Baton Rouge.
His son, George Foster Jr. began working with his father at GILICO in 1949. Over the next few years, Foster Jr. rose to become president and CEO of Guaranty Corporation. In 1964, a friend approached Foster Jr. with an idea—buy WAFB-TV before someone from New Orleans does. Foster Jr. made the $3 million decision in under 24 hours.
Guaranty owned WAFB until 1988 when the American Family Corp., now known as Aflac, made an offer that Foster Jr. couldn’t refuse. While American Family Corp. did purchase WAFB-TV, Guaranty was left with the undeveloped FM signal which they later developed into WAFB 98.1, now commonly known as Eagle 98.1.
When George Foster Jr. retired in 2011, he was honored to pass the company down to his own son, Flynn Foster, just as his father had passed it down to him.
When Chicago-based Kuvare Holdings took over GILICO shortly after Foster Jr.’s retirement, Flynn Foster and Guaranty Media Vice President and General Manager Gordy Rush had to start thinking about what was next.
During a presentation at a radio conference in Indianapolis, Foster and Rush saw the declining 10-year projections for media and decided they needed to do more than just radio stations. They began focusing on digital media, and eventually bought a digital agency called Gatorworks.
A couple years later, Guaranty went on to purchase Jay Ducote’s company, including Govt Taco. Ducote was the host of Bites and Booze, a radio show on Talk 107.3, one of the company’s five stations. What started as a “How’s everything going?” meeting turned into a major business deal centered around growing Ducote’s brand and using Gatorworks to do so.
In serving as BRAC board chair, Foster hopes to help BRAC develop “our corner of the world” so it can thrive and grow for the eight hundred thousand residents in the Baton Rouge Area.
Written by Whitney Hicks
As the marketing intern at BRAC, Whitney assists the marketing team in developing marketing material while also managing social media accounts and writing content for BRAC’s blog.