Photos Courtesy of The Foti Family and NDSU Athletics
Since graduation, Tom and Brenda Foti have met up with college friends on mini reunions every Memorial Day weekend with the exception of two years. Since they couldn’t see their friends this year, we decided to drop in on the Bison couple for an update. Here’s what this former basketball player coached by legend Erv Inniger had to say.
IN TOM’S WORDS
When Tom Met Brenda
The first time we [Brenda] met was in the residence dining center. We didn’t see each other much during the first semester of freshman year because they were so busy with traveling and basketball was revving up. Then, we started dating the second semester of freshman year.
We had fun together, and we had the same value system. We came from similar family backgrounds and hit it off right away with both sides of the family. I look back now and realize we’ve been very fortunate with the girls and how well they have done in academics and sports. So none of that would have happened if we hadn’t ended up at North Dakota State.
Tom’s Path After NDSU
I am the vice president and general manager of the Aldevron facility here in Madison, Wisconsin. What the company does is develop and manufacture DNA proteins and antibodies that are either used in research to discover new drugs or they can be used in clinical trials to test if therapy will work for people who are sick.
I deal with more of the management. I used to be a research scientist for several years, but I knew I always wanted to combine science and business to try to build a company and high-performing teams. I’ve been with a few different companies and in 2009 and 2010, we founded the Madison Aldevron facility. Ironically, that’s connected to my time in Fargo also because Aldevron is headquartered in Fargo.
Once A Bison Always a Bison
Michael Chambers went to North Dakota State so I knew him because he was also an alum, and he had the same academic advisor I had. We were tied together basically through NDSU.
He started a company in Fargo in 1988 after graduating called Aldevron and built that company up. In the meantime, I was building up a career in Madison, Wisconsin, and when there was an opportunity to work together, I called him, and that’s how we got it started in Madison.