Jason Becker, 34

0 Posted by - September 29, 2014 - 2014, Charlotte-Lee-Collier 2014

President and CEO, Golf Membership Consultants

In 2003, Jason Becker was coming home to Michigan from a spring break vacation in Southwest Florida when the van he was riding in wrecked in Knoxville, Tenn.

“I heard my buddy scream and next thing I knew I was flying out of the window,” says Becker. The accident shredded 70% of the skin on his body and he endured 32 stitches in his skull, but he survived.

In recovery, Becker abandoned plans to become an engineer with an automaker and decided to move to Florida, a place he dreamed of moving to when he visited on spring break. “I moved down to Naples and had no intention of getting into the golf business,” he says. “I just wanted a change of life.”

Shortly after he moved to Southwest Florida in 2004, Becker got a job working as an assistant for a golf professional. Now, Becker is a PGA professional and is a graduate of the golf management program at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Backed by a group of 24 investors, Becker recently launched Golf Membership Consultants, a company that provides consumers with advice on selecting golf memberships and real estate in Florida. “I raised $140,000,” Becker says. “We launched March 1.”

— Jean Gruss

Q&A

City of residence: Fort Myers

Twitter handle: @GMCBecker

Birthplace: Saginaw, Mich.

Years on the Gulf Coast: 10 years

Marital status/children: Married with two children, a 6-year-old boy (Brendan), 3-year-old girl (Ava).

Alma mater: Florida Gulf Coast University

Best place to network: On the golf course, I have established multiple new business relationships as well as progressed our company with new ideas and goals. You really can learn a lot about someone’s character during four hours of golf, which can be the screening process if there is a potential to align.

Coolest business experience: Having the honorary president of the PGA of America (Allen Wronowski) after hearing about my business and mission say: “This is a game changer for the PGA of America.”

The most important business lesson I’ve learned: Even with a concept that does good for so many people and organizations, there will be critics.

One community group you’re most involved with: Passion Foundation. This group of amazing leaders holds events to create awareness of melanoma. They also raise money to build covered roofs for area parks so kids can play and avoid the sun’s rays. My wife has had melanoma so this is a special group for us to support. As a golfer I can certainly appreciate the dangers and try to educate my northern clients as they transition into Florida.

Favorite off-hours activity: Balance has been key to starting my own business. When I am not working, I am with my kids spending as much time as possible. My wife and I are also very health driven so we frequent the gym as well as hike the Appalachians every few months just to relax the mind in nature.

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Rudy Giuliani and Biz Stone

Best award you ever received: An award my mother received as she was named Southwest Florida Extraordinary Woman of the year. During the nomination process I wrote a lengthy essay on her childhood, which was filled with abuse and lack of love. She turned that negativity into helping people with her work as a chaplain and minister. I have been given a number or recognizable achievements, but witnessing her hold that plaque surrounded by tears will top anything I ever do.

One website that makes your job easier: Ted.com. I enjoy watching other passionate people speak and how they capture an audience. A random five-minute speech on any topic can change my entire day and fuel creativity.

What’s at the top of your bucket list: Building a home. I have always wanted to design my own home and move into something brand new. Nothing big, just a quiet place where my kids can have large bedrooms and I can have my own office.

What new skill would you like to learn: I would like to learn another language, in particular German. My goal is to be able to teach Europeans about the Florida transition as well. To be able to communicate without a translator would be great.

Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: Moving to Florida

Who would play you in a movie about your life: Jason Sudeikis

If I had a magic wand I’d: Start government over with a clean slate. I think our government is so agenda-driven from both parties we cannot accomplish sensible tasks that can help our citizens grow and prosper. We have so many internal problems within our communities and it seems to be pushed aside by mud slinging and arguing. Gun control, bullying, drug abuse and education are just a few examples of topics that need to be taken on, not just talked about.

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