Foss & Company is comprised of a group of experienced professionals, representing the best in class within their respective fields. In this blog series, we highlight different Foss & Company team members to shine a light on the diverse and dedicated people that help make us who we are.
Next in the series is Director of Acquisitions, Eric Brubaker.
How did you get started in this industry?
I was a senior in college, I had just returned from Spring Break in Jamaica where I had spent the last of my savings. With two months left in the Spring semester, I needed to find a job and make money. We always had a lot of guest speakers at my college who would come in and create a case study for us to analyze/review/debate about their particular industry. As it just so happened, Jeff Jacobson of Foss & Company was a guest speaker in my class in March of 2005. I was somewhat interested in his presentation, but what really got my attention was his announcement at the end of his presentation that he was looking to hire an intern. I was so excited I almost tackled him when the class was over and thankfully he chose to hire me. Within my first week I had agreed to a deal in principal with a young developer for a project called the Colonial Arms Building in Roanoke, VA, and shortly thereafter I informed Jeff that I would be sticking around full time.
What interested you about this industry?
I was fortunate that Virginia was my first territory and there were so many exciting things going on in the VA HTC space at that time. There were a lot of opportunities, lots of smart, hardworking and visionary developers, the projects were interesting, and this was the time that “living downtown” was just becoming a thing. Yes, “living downtown” in cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, NYC, etc., had been going on for 100+ years, but back in 2005 when I worked on the Colonial Arms Building there were only 98 residential units in downtown Roanoke. Not only was it was fun to be part of this new wave, but it was also very satisfying to see that the projects we worked on helping transform entire communities from boarded up and dangerous to thriving, safe, and successful within a short period of time.
When did you join Foss & Company and what interested you about Foss & Company?
When did you join Foss & Company and what interested you about Foss & Company? I joined in March 2005 and I loved everything about Foss & Company. I had always wanted to work for myself and either run my own company or be part of the leadership team that ran a business. I felt all of that was incredibly possible when I joined. Joe Foss always said, “there is no limit to how much success you can have at Foss.” He meant what he said and that was the perfect situation for me. In addition, Joe and George Barry had had a tremendous amount of success by then and I knew it was rare to have the opportunity right out of school to be able to work so closely with such talented, experienced, and successful leaders. They were definitely a little bit crazy to give a 23-year-old as much responsibility and opportunity as they gave me, but I’m incredibly thankful they did, and it has taught me to be open minded about giving opportunity to others, even if they don’t appear to check all the boxes for a given position. Experience is important, but there are so many other qualities that are equally or potentially more relevant when considering someone for a position.
What is one thing people may not know about Foss & Company?
Each January, we have an annual planning meeting in Scottsdale where everyone in the company is encouraged to come with ideas on how we can improve. Many of our best innovations have come out of these meetings. We also have a lot of fun doing outdoor activities together in the warm Arizona winter weather.
Any other industry and/or Foss & Company insights you would like to add?
Foss is a dynamic, entrepreneurial, aggressive, and innovative company. In a space that has long been dominated by big banks and major corporations, we are recognized for our efficient and solution-based approach. We have a great reputation in this industry as a partner people can rely on and we fight to keep it that way each and every day.