He would present to his investors substantial purchase
orders, typically to large Fortune 500 companies.
Virtually all of them were 100 percent fabricated.
For professionals like myself and
others who participate in this arena—
the lawyers, bankers and lenders,
private equity, and all the ancillary
professions that it touches—TMA has
been a great vehicle for networking
with each other, helping us understand
who’s doing what and who has
strengths in one area or another.
I’m a CTP, and I believe the certification
has been really valuable for me,
particularly going outside this market or
if someone outside this market happens
to be looking at our credentials. People
who are familiar with it understand
what it means, so they recognize that
you have capabilities and experience
for these types of engagements.
Q What advice would you give someone who was new to the
industry or was thinking about getting
into the industry?
BECKER I believe in this line of
work the most valuable things we bring
to the table are our experiences. We’ve
gone through difficult situations,
understand where pitfalls are, and have
developed skills and abilities to manage
through them. If you’re starting out, the
question is always, “Well, how do I get
experience?” I think one way—and
maybe the most important way—is to
find someone who can share that with
you and who you can work with to gain
those kinds of experiences. You can use
that and leverage it as you build your
career in the turnaround business.
Q What about outside the office? What are you passionate about
when you have time to spare?
BECKER I’d have to say it’s
spending time with my family. My wife
and I have three children who are now
grown. None of them live at home any
longer, but we still try to get together as
much as possible. My two daughters live
here in Minneapolis, so we are fortunate
to see them often, whereas my son lives
in Denver, so we don’t get to see him
quite as often as we’d like.
We also still try to go on annual
vacations with the whole family. Last
year was a ski trip to Breckenridge, and
the year before, we went to Napa Valley
and the surrounding wine country.
We’ve also gone as a family to Puerto
Rico. With the kids being adults now,
it gets more difficult for everybody
to get time off to get together, but we
still try to do it as much as we can.
Beyond that, a couple of years ago we
built a home on the lake, so we love
spending time there and having family
and friends over. We’re out on the water
a lot, whether it’s kayaking or fishing
or just simply floating around on the
boat and enjoying the sunset and a
glass of wine. We just love hanging
out with family and our friends.
Q Are you into any type of fishing in particular?
BECKER This past year I
discovered muskie fishing, and it’s
something that sort of gets in your
blood. People laugh because when they
ask how many I’ve caught, my answer
is unfortunately zero, but I’ve had a
number of follows! I’ve been in the boat
when other people have caught them
and it’s very exciting. It’s my hope that
in the next year, when I get a little more
time on the water, it will happen.
Q I’ve also heard that you dabbled with owning racehorses. Were
BECKER Yes. I and a couple of
partners had two horses that we raced
primarily here in Minnesota, but in six
different states and Canada.
Our most notable race involved a
gelding we had that raced here. He
was in the Minnesota Derby, which at
Canterbury Park was the largest race
of the year. Our horse went off at odds
of 29-1 and he won. It was a big deal.
Q Did you have $100 on him?
BECKER I had some money
Q What would people who only know you professionally be most
surprised to learn about you?
BECKER I grew up on a farm, so
ever since I was a kid, I’ve been an
outdoors guy. When I was in high
school, in woodshop I made a bow and
arrows. I started target shooting with
them and realized I could use the set for
hunting. I started bow hunting,
primarily for white-tail deer, and found
that the best part of it was the solitude of
being in the woods. To this day, I spend
a lot of time in the woods quietly doing
my thing. Being in the outdoors is
something I really cherish.
Of course not with the same bow—I’ve
had several since then—but I was
able to take a white-tail deer that is
in the Pope and Young Club record
book for one of the largest white-tail deer taken in North America.
Q How big was it?
BECKER It was a 13-point, but the
official measurement is based on inches
for the size of the rack and the points.
Mine had a gross score of just over 161,
which is pretty large. It’s not the largest
deer shot, by any means, but it was an
experience I’ll never forget.
Q I’ll bet it felt a lot bigger while you were dragging it out of the woods,