SAD NEWS FOR NACO MEMBERS and ALL FOR HIRE CHARTER OWNERS AND OPERATORS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
It is with great sadness that I report that we have lost a great friend, husband, father, Air Force Serviceman, and dedicated worker for the For Hire Charter Industry, Captain Tom Becker from Biloxi, Mississippi. Tom was a great guy, dedicated family man and dedicated to his country and his livelihood in the charter fishing business.
Tom retired from The U.S. Air Force where he served all of us. He retired to Biloxi and started his charter fishing business, Skipper Charters. Tom became a NACO member in the early ‘90s and was elected to the Board shortly after becoming a member. Tom served on the Board continuously until he had a stroke last year when he decided to resign. He served on several NACO Committees, was Vice President and President during his time on the Board. Tom represented NACO on a Gulf of Mexico U.S. Coast Guard Committee and helped keep access for charter fishermen around offshore oil platforms and worked to include the Gulf charter fleet in home land security issues to add an extra source to secure our shores.
Tom was a tireless worker both in his charter business and his efforts to move NACO forward and to provide regulatory relief for all charter boat owners and operators across the county. His efforts and ideas have helped the NACO Board work to gain legislative and regulatory relief while helping to improve and secure new member benefits. In all his years serving on the Board he only missed one meeting, last year due to his stroke. Tom helped guide NACO through two difficult times and thanks to his efforts we now have a new management company who is moving NACO well into the future.
Tom never refused a request for help and went out of his way many times to help others. His experience, knowledge, and advice were paramount in helping to improve the professionalism within the charter boat sector. He always had an answer and if he did not know one he would find out. He never refused a request and went out of his way to help others. The Charter Fleet off Mississippi will greatly miss him and his efforts to keep all working. NACO members, indeed the entire For Hire Charter Fleet, across the country will miss Tom and his tireless efforts to improve our industry.
I will miss Tom as a friend. He was always there to help and just to discuss fishing and any other issue. I have known Tom, and his wife Dianne, since 1995 when I first became a NACO Board Member and attended my first meeting in Alexandria, VA. We became friends instantly and have been in contact ever since. I will miss his knowledge of fishing off Mississippi and of the charter industry as a whole. I think I speak for all charter boat owners and operators when I say he will be greatly missed as we have lost a true friend.
REST IN PEACE, CAPTAIN TOM BECKER