Milan Foster was the customer at the end of the bar who ordered one drink and watched.
Are minors being served alcohol? Is the bartender drinking on the job? Is there enough food available for customers who imbibe?
For 13 years, he was a liquor enforcement officer for the City of Colorado Springs. He worked with the liquor board to oversee business licensing – and license suspension for drinking establishments that didn’t follow the state law and city code about alcohol sales.
But, when the city discovered a multi-million dollar budget shortfall this year, and that it would need to cut some 200 jobs, Foster’s position made the list.
It was a chance to retire from the city, and it was an opportunity to go into business for himself, showing business owners the ins and outs of getting a liquor license.
Foster took time recently to tell CSBJ about himself and his new business.
Organization: Liquor Licensing of Colorado LLC
Position: Proprietor, consultant
Hometown: Chester, S.C.
How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: 24 years in the Colorado Springs area. My wife, Alycia, and I live in Divide.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix; master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
A few words about your company: Liquor Licensing of Colorado LLC was formed to provide qualified assistance for all liquor licensing matters – including applications, surveys, monitoring renewals, TIPs training and Colorado responsible vendor training.
Recent accomplishments: Retiring, again! Because of an injury, I retired from the Mecklenburg County Police Department in Charlotte, N.C., during 1983. This year, with the budget crisis, the City of Colorado Springs opted to do away with both of its license enforcement officers.
Biggest career break: Continuing my education. My wife inspired me to continue my education. I was somewhat concerned about returning to school because of my age. However, I quickly learned that the age of a student is only a number. In addition to giving me the knowledge to create a company, continuing my education has allowed me to follow another dream: teaching. I teach criminal justice at two universities.
The toughest part of your job: Dealing with governmental bureaucracy.
Someone you admire: Steve Wheeler, Colorado Springs City Court administrator (retired). We are from the same region of the country and we both served in Vietnam. Overlooking his rigorous work schedule, there were many days that he took the time to review my graduate work. He not only pointed out grammatical errors, he added insight that increased my understanding of the topic. I respected the man for the position he held, but I respect the man a lot more.
About your family: Alycia and I have been married for 26 years. We share our home with our Yorkie, Toby.
Something else you’d like to accomplish: I would like to see Liquor Licensing of Colorado set the benchmark in the liquor licensing industry.
How your business will change in the next decade: Changes will undoubtedly be caused by the various liquor licensing authorities, state and local.
What book are you currently reading?: “The Prophesied End-Time” by Ronald Weinland.
What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs?: An understandable system of total accountability on the part of all government leaders to the people they serve.