MCUL Mourns Longtime LAFCU Board President Harold Foster
LAFCU recently announced the passing of Harold F. Foster, longtime board member and president, who passed away peacefully on Feb. 24, surrounded by his family.
“Harold Foster served LAFCU as its board president for 37 years and was instrumental in so much of our credit union’s history,” said LAFCU CEO Patrick Spyke. “He made a profound impact on the lives of so many with his servant leadership, dedication, and guidance. Harold was the epitome of all that is good – someone who tirelessly advocated for what was right and positively influenced all around him. We are grateful to Harold’s wife, Sherry, and sons, Jeremy and Jody, for sharing him with us, his LAFCU family.”
Born in Georgia, Foster grew up in Lansing. He graduated from J.W. Sexton High School in 1967 and married his high school sweetheart, Sherry (Smyth) that same year. He became LAFCU’s board president in 1985.
LAFCU’s assets increased nearly 20-fold from $50 million when Foster became board president to $973 million in 2022, when he stepped down from the board president position.
During his tenure, LAFCU also expanded its portfolio to include ownership in CUSOs, such as Member Driven Technologies, Commercial Alliance, and Member First Mortgage. Additionally, the organization completed three mergers, which significantly expanded the credit union’s footprint in Michigan.
Foster’s legacy is a long and distinguished record of service and advocacy for issues such as diversity, equity and inclusion. Foster and the board appointed an African American female as LAFCU’s interim CEO nearly 20 years ago, and they formalized the organization’s DEI effort by establishing a chief diversity officer position in 2020. He also recognized recreation as an important aspect of quality of life and was a proponent of the Lansing Lugnuts partnership and LAFCU Fireworks, which thousands enjoy annually. Foster also organized an extremely popular annual golf outing with LAFCU and the Lansing Labor News, raising tens of thousands of dollars for the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
Foster was an integral part of the “Save GM” campaign, which successfully convinced General Motors to keep its plants and presence in Lansing, Michigan, saving thousands of jobs and resulting in continued economic growth for the Lansing region. In addition, he was the past president of the General Motors Credit Council and the editor and business manager of the Lansing Labor News.
Foster had recently stepped down from the role as board president, but continued to serve as a board member, sharing his wisdom and experience.
“Harold was a pillar in the community and within LAFCU,” said Randy Freeman, president of LAFCU Board of Directors. “He always embodied the credit union philosophy of ‘not for profit, but for service.’ I’m incredibly grateful to Harold for his mentorship, which has made us all better people and professionals.”
A funeral service will be held March 3 at 11 a.m. at McGeehan Funeral Home, Keck-Coleman Chapel in St. Johns, Mich. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Greater Lansing Food Bank.