Mark Becker ’01 honored as a Wisconsin Small Business Person of the Year
Mark Becker ’01 of Delevan, Wisconsin, and his business partner, Jeff Peterson, have been named Wisconsin Small Business Persons of the Year 2020 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Together, they founded Geneva Supply Inc. in 2009 as an online wholesaler and have since expanded into digital marketing and brand management. They also manufacture and sell their own line of interior paints and own the largest interior paint company on Amazon.
Prior to 2009, both Becker and Peterson worked at a smaller wholesaler. Upon seeing the expansive growth of online retailers such as Amazon, they decided to venture into their own business. Geneva Supply Inc. has grown to house 125 employees in three U.S. locations and works with more than 80 manufacturers.
Becker majored in speech communication at Ripon and cites his experiences here as among the main forces behind his entrepreneurial drive.
“Liberal arts fit my personality pretty well because I was always a free spirit,” Becker says. He also recalls his time in the Chicago Urban Studies Program and his experiences in the communication department.
“When I went to college, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I got into the communication program that I felt I finally found something that I fit into.”
Becker and his partner hope to expand by adding one warehouse every year for the foreseeable future. He also plans to expand their digital marketing and brand management efforts.
As recipients of the Wisconsin Small Business Persons of the Year 2020 award, Becker and Peterson will attend an awards ceremony in Washington D.C. at a later date, along with more than 50 other winners from different states.
Haley Stowell ’20
Eau Claire, Wisconsin