With long term family connections to scouting, Judie Foster Babcock sees many connections between the scouting mottos/laws and the Rotary 4-Way Test; that’s part of what attracted her to Rotary. Many of her jobs revolved around helping people. She currently works at St. Paul Traveler's Insurance; however, her Rotary badge reads “Philanthropist."
Though Judie has lived here for a very long time, she was not born here; she was born in Rochester, Minnesota, her mother’s hometown. Her father was from River Falls and liked to joke that he had a “BS in BS,” a Bachelor’s of Science in Boy Scouting.Both of her parents were very involved in scouting; her dad was a district executive and her mom was a troop leader. When Judie was young, her family moved to Bismark, ND, where her dad worked for the Boy Scout Council.
Because Judie’s dad had such a strong “fishing habit,” he decided to move to a career in insurance sales, and moved the family to River Falls when Judie was about six. She worked in the office at a very young age, and that’s likely what set her along the path to a career in insurance. Her Rotary badge, however, reads “Philanthropist," as that’s another passion of hers, and something she plans to do more of when retired.
Judie’s dad later took on an animal control role. Judie worked with him there, too, and learned to work hard and make some tough choices about life and death. Judie also worked in a hardware store, got involved with theater, especially musicals, many of which she still knows by heart. Judie eventually landed in insurance, starting in a role with Aetna doing worker’s compensation, which actually involved a lot of social work. After a few interim roles, Judie took a role with St. Paul Traveller’s Insurance Company, and she’s been there since – and hopes to retire there. She now does a lot of work with risk management and compliance, which is more fun than it sounds!
She enjoys working insurance because it’s a structured environment that provides a way to work with people, support their businesses, and make sure they have things in place to help them recover from unforeseen challenges. She appreciates the mentors and friends she has made over the years, and notes that it’s hard to now see many of them retiring.
Judie also pointed out that the business of insurance is constantly changing, and she enjoys learning something new every day. St. Paul Traveller’s, like other insurance companies, is investing in programs to attract and retain young professionals, and Judie enjoys being part of that work. (If you know a young person who may be interested in a career in insurance, Judie invites you to send them her way!) Finally, working in insurance has paid well, enabling her to do some of the other things she enjoys, and provides good insurance – something that’s been especially important to Judie and David over the past ten years.
Judie’s father, Bruce Foster, was the son of Earl and Litha Foster, born in 1897 and 1897. Judie is the “oldest of the youngest of their three children.” Joel Foster, one of the founders of River Falls, is Judie’s great-great-grandfather. In her spare time, Judie enjoys family camping, fishing, skiing, crafting, music and volunteer projects.