International Crane Foundation

 

Steven Becker

S. BeckerMy interest in the International Crane Foundation began decades ago when a good friend of mine told me about a crazy man that dressed up in a crane outfit up in Baraboo, Wisconsin. I joined as a member at that time but did not visit for several years, although I received the newsletter, The Bugle. A trip to the Northwest Territories with the Foundation’s Co-founder, George Archibald, caught my interest, and my wife and I decided that we would partake. We had a wonderful time and were entranced with George, who commented that we should travel with him to Bhutan sometime; a country he said was the most beautiful place in the world. We did go to Bhutan and have since traveled to South Africa and the Platte River with George and the International Crane Foundation.

As an avid outdoors person, bird lover, and animal enthusiast my appreciation and admiration for the International Crane Foundation has grown stronger over the decades. My wife and I adore George Archibald and we wanted to make a meaningful contribution to preserve the Foundation’s efforts. Fortunately, we could make this donation while George is still working and during our lifetimes.

I have been in the investment business for exactly 40 years, all at the same firm. While I feel great pleasure and fulfillment in advising clients on their investment matters, I have also served in management roles. I was past Chairman of the Board of our firm’s Mutual Funds Board of Directors and an integral part of the management team of Wayne Hummer Investments, which was acquired by Wintrust Financial in 2002. I am currently a Senior Vice-President of Investments at Wintrust Wealth Management.

My outside interests are quite varied. I was a decent amateur golfer, and also a volunteer for the Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA). I have been on the Association’s Board for over twenty years and am a past President of the Association. I was also the head of the CDGA’s charitable arm, the Sunshine Through Golf Association. The Foundation, which historically helped veterans, turned its direction to individuals with mental and physical challenges using golf as a therapeutic activity. I am also a past chairman of the membership committee at our local private country club, which was and is quite a challenge in today’s economic environment. I have always loved working with junior golfers and was honored when the United States Golf Association invited me to be a referee for the USGA Junior Amateur Championship, as well as a member of that committee.

My wife and I just celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary and we are fortunate to have three wonderful adult daughters. While they were growing up, I took a ten-year sabbatical from playing golf and had the delight to be able to coach and manage my daughters’ travel softball teams.

As for my education, I graduated Cum Laude from Denison University with dual majors in Economics and Mathematics, and then furthered my education with an MBA from the University of Chicago with concentrations in both Accounting and Finance.