goodbye to a beloved friend


“Perhaps it is because cats do not live by human patterns, do not fit themselves into prescribed behavior, that they are so united to creative people.” -Andre Norton
We were blessed to share our working lives with a special team member. One, who for the last 15 years, reported to work faithfully, never complained, and made a habit of brightening our day.
Ralph, ironically named as she was a girl, joined Tom and his crew along with her brother Jo when Foerstel’s new building was finished in 1996. Jo could always be found lounging on someone’s desk while Ralph tended to hang out in the background. If you were lucky enough to see her, a sudden movement usually meant her disappearance again. But Ralph had a mischievous side to her. At night, as we would discover, she would pilfer paper clips from our desks. Most of them found their way to her food dish, and others would be found in random locations. Toys and such did not interest her near as much as a simple paper clip.
Her brother Jo required medical care that eventually we could not maintain, and he went to live with his veterinarian, getting great care. Ralph seemed to embrace her new role as the office mascot and cheerleader, and when Foerstel took up residence in our current location, she absolutely loved it. Now she was hanging out on people’s desks, greeting clients and yes, still leaving the odd paper clip here and there. She was always there, like she knew you were having a bad day, to try and cheer you up. It always worked.
So Ralph, with a heavy heart, we say it was an honor to work with you, and we will treasure your friendship and the memories you created for us forever.
– Jeff Harder

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Tom Foerstel : Founder & President

Tom Foerstel

Founder & President

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s, Tom developed a strong desire to create positive change for people and planet.


He went on to pursue his passion for art and design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and worked for design firms in Southern California before moving to Boise, Idaho in the early 80’s. Foerstel Design opened its doors in 1985. Since its inception, the firm has cultivated a bold, happy, forward-looking team focussed on creating distinct and effective work on behalf of their clients.


An integral part of Tom’s philosophy is giving back to the community in which he lives — a company cornerstone that drives Foerstel’s long history of providing pro-bono services to local non-profit humanitarian and arts programs.


One of Tom’s proudest personal achievements is his ability to say Supercalifragilisticexpyalidocious backwards.