About ETC

  • The birth of a company

    Product Name

    Christmas eve, 1975, an 18-year-old college student pitched the idea of a state-of-the-art lighting console to his college professor. "We're going to make a lighting console and sell it to the Met!" 

    With this statement of determination, ETC was born. 

    One year later, on Christmas day, Fred Foster, his brother Bill Foster, and two friends, James Bradley, and Gary Bewick, revealed the Mega Cue - the lighting console that started it all.

    Twenty years later in 1996, Foster's dream was realized when ETC sold a lighting console to the Metropolitan Opera House (the Met.)   

    All grown up

    Christmas Eve 2020 marked ETC’s  45th anniversary, and there's no denying we've come a long way. Now a global leader in the manufacturing of lighting and rigging technology, ETC employs over 1,000 people in 15 corporate offices around the world. ETC is proud of its industry reputation for unmatched technical and customer service, 24/7/365. And with a family of over 300 authorized service centers throughout the world, staffed by hundreds of certified technicians, customers are never far from an ETC resource with a face and a name. 

    We develop professional tools and make them accessible to everyone. Our products can be found in small and large venues worldwide, such as theatres, churches, restaurants, hotels, schools, television studios, casinos, theme parks, and opera houses.

    Foster always said, "We have the best people. And when you have the best people, you can never stop growing." ETC's employees constantly keep an eye on technology trends, always asking, 'how does this benefit our customers and how can we improve on it?' We strive to be a resource to our customers with live training sessions, workshops, online classes, forums, videos, news articles, and more.

  • Fred Foster

    Fred Foster
    ETC Co-Founder

    1957 - 2019

    Fred Foster was a visionary, an innovator, a role model, and a true leader. His contributions to the entertainment technology industry were countless and ranged from product innovations to student mentorship programs. He was recognized repeatedly for his philanthropy by several organizations around the world.  

    Throughout the years, Foster performed virtually all roles for ETC – from original inventor/engineer to industrial designer, tech support, salesman, marketer, chief operating officer, to president, and finally, CEO.

    Fred Foster passed away in February of 2019 leaving behind an industry-leading company with a unique culture and a future of continued growth.

    Remembering Fred

  • The future through employee ownership

    In 2015 the board members of privately owned ETC decided the company would become partially employee owned. In December of 2023, they expanded the ESOP making the company 100% employee owned.

    In order to reward the employees for their dedication, the company awards shares of ETC stock to employees in the form of an ESOP, or employee stock ownership plan. With this expansion of ownership ETC further acknowledges the employees as the backbone of the company and solidifies ETC's future as a privately owned, independent company. A company where the culture can be passed down from generation to generation. A culture where employees come first, where family is number one, and where customer service means treating everyone as they should be treated.

    At ETC we take our mission statement seriously.