Fred Ode signing proposal for Foundation Software
02 October 2019


Fred Ode signing proposal for Foundation Software

Me signing in 1985.

Next year is a big year for me — 35th year in business, new building, first grandchild. It’s made me reflective, and, if I’m honest, a little nostalgic. We’ve come a long way since that night in 1984 when it all began.

It was Christmas Eve, and I was in Buffalo, NY, visiting family. I had been telling my uncle Ernie about how I wanted to strike out on my own. He asked a few questions, looked me in the eye and said, “Freddy, just do it.” So I did.

Two days later on December 26, 1984, I called up the Karl Koch Erecting Company and told them “I’ve gone into business for myself. Would you be interested in having me support your system?” They were, and the next year, on January 3, 1985, I met with them in person. They liked me enough to ask me to draw up a proposal — we both signed, and that was it.

It was just a few months after that in June of ’85 that we incorporated, and Foundation Software, LLC. was officially born.

It’s a simple story on paper, but every part of it is important. Because at any one of these points, I could’ve stopped: Uncle Ernie could’ve said nothing; the Karl Koch Erecting Company could’ve told me no. And if they had, would I be where I am today? I’m not so sure.

So appreciate the journey — regardless of how far along you are — because it’s never just one thing that gets you to where you want to be.


— Fred Ode