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PYSK: Matt H. Beckett

Matt H. Beckett, Account Executive/Partner, Bukaty Companies – Beckett & Taylor

JOB DESCRIPTION: Provide consultation and brokerage services to businesses and individuals with regard to their commercial and personal insurance programs.
AGE: 35 YEARS LIVED IN COLUMBIA: 27 ORIGINAL HOMETOWN: Columbia, Mo.
EDUCATION: 1988-1992 Rock Bridge High School; 1992-1996 University of Missouri (B.A. in Political Science)
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Salvation Army volunteer (hosted a “Santa” coat drive); recently became involved with the local Ronald McDonald house and its building committee; advisory board member of the local chapter of Phi Delta Theta. A future goal is to get involved with local government boards and/or commissions.
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I graduated from MU in 1996 and went into the service for 9 years, spending most of that time in aviation. This took us all over the country to places such as Quantico, Va.; Pensacola, Fl.; Miramar, Ca.; and Kansas City, Mo. I left the service as a field grade officer and although I still must render salutes to my Uncle Wilson Beckett, who left the Navy as a Commander, I am proud to say I am still able to “pull rank” on my brothers, dad and grandfathers, who all served. After leaving the service, my family and I relocated back to Columbia to spend more time at home in the town we love. In 2007, my business partner, Jake Taylor, and I began working on opening our own independent insurance agency. In March, 2008, we opened the doors and now specialize in commercial lines of insurance, personal insurance and employee benefits.
A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE AND WHY: Aside from my father, Bruce, whom I’ve always looked up to, there are several: Cubby Taylor, Tyson Nichols, Bill Shifflett, Bob Pugh, Wally Bley, Chris Widmer and Terry Dally are a few I’ve been lucky enough to call friends. I have been fortunate to have gotten to know these men over the years and have a great respect for what I perceive to be a lifestyle of “work to live” and not “live to work.” I admire their integrity, good business sense and eager desire to help their fellow human beings.
WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: I truly enjoy trying to help people. When you work with a client and have a relationship where you really feel like you are helping solve problems for their business and helping them make sound business decisions…that’s the rewarding part about this job.
IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING, I WOULD: …Probably be back in the cockpit. I really enjoyed those years.
BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME AND HOW: Starting over in a career after all those years in the U.S. Marine Corps. During those years we weren’t too “in tune” with the business communities of places we lived or what was going on back home. Coming back to Columbia and starting over was a challenge. I’d run into a lot of my folks from growing up and kind of felt like a “Rip Van Winkle.”
A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: When I’m not helping people with insurance, you might find me wearing a tool belt. I recently “finished” my basement and did all the work on it except the drywall. Though I don’t know if I would actually call it my favorite recent project, it is my favorite to have completed. A close second would be Chris Widmer and my 300-mile bike trip across Missouri for the MU/Illinois football game.
WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: Not every insurance professional is a Ned Ryerson, from the movie Groundhog Day – “Bing.”
WHAT I DO FOR FUN: Relaxing by the fire with a glass of merlot and a nice, thick commercial insurance policy…Ummm, not exactly! Actually, I really enjoy working on my house and watching my kids play baseball, basketball and football, and the semi-annual dance recital at Columbia Performing Arts Council. I am a pushover for MU sports; like to run and work out; ride the “Hillbilly Delux” down the Perche Creek with my brothers; the Taylor boys; and J.D. and Spencer. I also like to travel and take my wife out on the occasional “date night.”
FAMILY: My wife is Suzanne. We met at MU and will have been married 12 years in October. We have three perfect children (perfect when they are sleeping!). They are Jack (10), Nick (9) and Anna (5), and they all look like mom. Thank goodness.
FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: Perche Creek/Missouri River for a Saturday afternoon boat ride. Faurot Field watching an MU/Nebraska game is right up there as well.
ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: Aside from being a dad and having a great family, I’m probably most proud of the great experiences I’ve had so far in my life. I feel like I’ve been able to see and do a lot of neat things…flying over Pearl Harbor at 100 feet, vacationing (so to speak) in the Kuwaiti Desert, backpacking across Europe, humanitarian work in Indonesia, walking the beaches of Iwo Jima, taking the Commandant of the Marine Corps for a ride in the helicopter and physically building a house. Along the way, I’ve met some great people. All of the experiences have really helped to put things into perspective and enabled me to have an appreciation for the things that are really important in life, along with a clear distinction from those that are not.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT: I proposed to my wife, Suzanne, on a rotten log in Rock Bridge State Park. Also, my great, great, great, great, great grandfather was Ira P. Nash, a frontiersman and pioneer in Boone County. He founded Nashville, Mo., was arrested for inciting a duel with William Jewell and helped Lewis and Clark on their journey down the mighty Missouri River.

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