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Spirit of the Valley recipient Becker credits parents, mentors with community spirit

Known for his success as an insurance executive, Marty Becker will be honored for his philanthropic efforts Wednesday as the YMCA of Kanawha Valley’s Spirit of the Valley award recipient for 2019.

The annual award is recognition for efforts contributed to the YMCA’s Spirit of the Valley Initiative, which supports health and wellness programs for families and people in need in the Kanawha Valley.

Becker will be honored during a luncheon Wednesday afternoon at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center, in part of an annual celebration where Becker said some of the most influential people in his life also have been honored.

“Part of what makes it so special is when I look at the list of past recipients there are people I’ve known who were really role models and mentors to me,” Becker said. “It really adds uniqueness and specialness to this recognition.”

Becker is widely known throughout West Virginia as an insurance executive, currently serving as chairman of the Board of QBE Insurance Group, based in Sydney, Australia.

Becker grew up in Huntington, and is a graduate of the old Huntington High School — former home of the Pony Express, he noted in an interview this week.

In Huntington, Becker grew up in a “close, intimate” community, and he was the youngest of three children, with an older brother, Rick, and sister, Betsy.

He gives his parents the most credit for inspiring his success and that of his siblings.

“They had great values and a good work ethic they instilled in us,” Becker said.”My brother, sister and I have all had success far beyond what they ever would have imagined.”

After graduating from Huntington High, Becker earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at West Virginia University followed by his law degree at WVU’s College of Law.

He was president and CEO of McDonough Caperton Insurance Group, where he met future West Virginia Governor Gaston Caperton.

Becker said Caperton was adamant that company employees take an active role in their communities outside of work.

“Gaston was such a believer in giving back to the community,” Becker said. “Once you become involved in your community, it’s a bit infectious. Not only do you get to meet fun and interesting people, but you feel like you’re doing some good and recognizing how much good you’ve been given.”

From his work at McDonough Caperton in the 1980s, Becker’s career spans 35 years, including leadership positions at Orion Capital Corporation, Hales & Company, Alterra Capital Holdings Limited.

Becker has served on a variety of boards for hospitals, non-profit organizations, media holdings companies, and other banking and industry organizations.

Becker has received numerous awards, including the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni, the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame, the Leading CPA in Business designation of the West Virginia Society of CPAs, and the Delta Tau Delta National Alumni Achievement Award.

Becker splits his time between Jupiter, Florida, and Charleston.

Becker said he likes to spend most of his time with his family, including his wife, Katherine Becker, and their children, James and Todd, and close friends.

He said that time with friends and family reminds him of the blessings he’s received and how there’s a way for everyone to give back to their communities in some fashion.

“There are so many different organizations to get involved that will stimulate you,” Becker said. “Almost all of them are always looking for volunteers. You just have to make it known what you can do, and more often than not, it’s going to work out.”

This article has been updated to reflect the correct day of the Spirit of the Valley luncheon.

Funerals for Friday, September 20, 2019

Barton, Richard - 3 p.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Birthisel, Avis - 11 a.m., Casdorph & Curry Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Call, Denver - Noon, Allen Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Dearien, Tommie - Noon, Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden.

Fletcher, Joanna - 1 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Keeney, Steven - 2 p.m., Keith Full Gospel Church, Keith.

May, Rosa - 2 p.m., Bartlett - Nichols Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Morris, Linda - 1 p.m., Deal Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Parsons, Harry - 11 a.m., Ellyson Mortuary Inc., Glenville.

Pauley, Clarence - 10 a.m., Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Pino, Patricia - 11 a.m., Bradley FreeWill Baptist Church.

Rogers, Marilyn - 11 a.m., Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, South Charleston.

Satterfield, Kenneth - 5 p.m., Satterfield residence, 1161 Daniels Run Road, Millstone.