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Oct 11, 2018 2018-10 Accountancy Alumni Finance

Gies grad Scott Becker stars in the world of law and media

Twenty-five years ago, Scott Becker, ACCY, FIN ’86, never thought his companies would be leading events featuring Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Theo Epstein, and Katie Couric. But with a foundation from Gies College of Business, Becker has done just that—and much more.

Becker Media and Law 1

Becker is a longtime healthcare partner at McGuireWoods LLP—one of the world’s most highly regarded healthcare practices—and publisher of Becker’s Hospital Review, which has 60 employees, including more than 20 full-time journalists on staff, and hosts events featuring some of the top celebrity speakers in the world. Becker, who has also authored four books, is a CPA and founder of the media investment firm Becker Group Business Strategy+. He said double majoring in accounting and finance at Gies Business was the perfect springboard to his life and numerous successful careers.

“I came out of Illinois thinking I could do anything,” said Becker, a graduate of Niles North High School and Harvard Law School. “I had so many great experiences with school and the business teachers that have resonated with me throughout my careers. It was a place where I gained confidence, grew my leadership skills, and met many great people, including people who are still my closest friends.”

Becker, a Skokie native, added: “My experience at Illinois was the core to my being in every way.”

Becker's Healthcare is the leading source of cutting-edge business and legal information for experts in the healthcare industry. The company’s portfolio includes five industry-leading trade publications: Becker's Hospital Review, Becker's ASC Review, Becker's Infection Control & Clinical Quality, Becker's Spine Review, and Becker's Dental Review.

“We try to be like The Wall Street Journal in our core areas,” Becker said. “We found that people want news in their various segments. The media company was originally intended to build my brand as a healthcare lawyer, but we were able to eventually understand that there is a real business there. I still serve as publisher and chief content person, but by building a great team and hiring great people from state schools—including several from the University of Illinois—we’ve been able to take the company to a much higher level of success and growth.”

Becker’s ASC Review is celebrating its 25th annual meeting with a huge three-day event in downtown Chicago October 18-20 with 175 speakers, including former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, world-renowned makeup artist and author Bobbi Brown, and a debate between David Axelrod and Reince Priebus. Becker said the event is part of the brand’s goal to “teach and entertain” attendees.

“We view the events as a way to keep our audiences happy and our exhibitors and sponsors happy,” said Becker, whose media company frequently holds conventions with speakers the likes of Venus Williams, Peyton Manning, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Becker said lessons learned in business administration classes at Gies were key in developing business plans for his media company.

“I learned how important it was to focus on our core areas, and we’ve consistently doubled down in those areas to grow around our core,” Becker said.

Becker splits his time between his law and media careers, and he said the balance “keeps life interesting.”

"It’s been a very healthy balance,” Becker said.