Home is Where the Heart Is

Marathon Petroleum’s new Vice President is committed to community

Lavelle Edmondson, Dave Foster, St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom, Monica Hagar, and Jim Manning.

David Foster moved to Louisiana from California just a few short months ago, but his original hometown was not Los Angeles. A native of Baytown, Texas, Foster earned a degree in chemical engineering from Rice University in Houston and an MBA from the University of Houston.

Now with more than 30 years of experience in operational and technical leadership in the refining and petrochemical industry, Foster is now proud to call the Garyville area his new home. As the new vice president of Marathon Petroleum’s Louisiana Refining Division (LRD), Foster will be at the helm of the Garyville facility, which has a longstanding productive and ever-expanding relationship with the Port of South Louisiana.

Since its construction in 1976, the Garyville refinery has increased in size through the years, and so has the amount of material it moves through the Port. Crude oil and other feedstocks from all over the world come up the mighty Mississippi to the Garyville docks to fuel the operations at the refinery. Products such as gasoline, diesel and asphalt are then shipped out of the refinery to their global customers. In 2018 alone, over $10 billion worth of feedstocks and products crossed the Garyville docks and used the river as its mode of transportation.

The facility’s record of excellence in safety and environmental stewardship is evidenced by their earning the EPA’s Energy Star certification for the best performing plants every year since 2006, and by Marathon Petroleum’s recognition as the EPA’s Partner of the Year for 2018 and 2019.
They’ve also managed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 31% since 2014, demonstrating their operational efficiency and commitment to robust energy-efficient design. With such a stellar record, taking the helm of the Louisiana Refining Division is no small task.

Fortunately, Foster has the experience and the commitment to steer the LRD into an even brighter future.

“I look forward to continuing the legacy here in Garyville of leading a safe, industry-leading facility we can all be proud of,” he said.

That future includes not only a commitment to the success of the LRD, but a commitment to improving the surrounding community in St. John Parish. That means improving on their education initiatives with a $53,000 donation to help open the first Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school in the parish. In addition to funding, the LRD also provided mentors for the school’s engineering program.

For the past six years, the LRD has also teamed up with local non-profits, elected officials and other stakeholders to put together events such as the “Backpack Extravaganza” and “Kits for Kidz,” which distributed backpacks and school supplies to over 1,000 children in St. John Parish. By partnering with stakeholders and getting more involved in the local community, more children were able to be reached with educational tools than when each of the organizations held their own events. It’s good to work together with neighbors.

On top of their educational initiatives, the LRD held a year-long salute to veterans in 2018. It began with a $5000 donation to the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. Over 30 employees volunteered at the event to play bingo and serve food to our veterans. Additionally, the LRD was the title sponsor of a Veteran’s Day Celebration and Parade where St. John Parish stakeholders and many employees volunteered to honor the sacrifice veterans have made for our freedom.

As the LRD takes on a new Vice President, the company plans to continue and even expand their investment in the community.

“We have long-standing traditions here in St. John Parish, and we are very proud of the contributions we make within the community,” said Foster. “I look forward to working with everyone.”

David Foster

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