Mason Becker’s roots run deep in the 33rd Assembly District. His mother Coral grew up in a house near where Fort Atkinson High School is today. Coral’s mother Betty was a public grade school teacher, and her father Russel worked at Crepaco in downtown Fort Atkinson. Mason’s father Tom was one of 13 children, and he grew up on a farm near Cushman Mill. In order to support the family, Tom’s father Bill worked at Purina/Nestle in Jefferson, and his mother Leola worked for the Jefferson County senior home.
Mason grew up in Fort Atkinson and has lived there most of his life. He attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Elementary and has has been a member of his home church, Bethany Lutheran, for nearly 40 years. He went to high school at Luther Preparatory in Watertown.
Mason was raised in a working class household. His father Tom worked at Jones Dairy Farm in Fort Atkinson, processing pork products. During his time there, Tom was a member of the UFCW, and was part of the monumental 1982 strike at that company, including organizing members and standing on the picket line. He later took a job with the AFL-CIO, directing their worker retraining program in Rock County. This time instilled in Mason the value of unions for helping families obtain a better standard of living. Mason’s mother Coral worked as a church secretary.
In the late 1980s, Tom and Coral took a chance at a new opportunity for their family, and they became small business owners, Subway franchisees. They grew the business from a single store to 13 locations that they continue to own and operate successfully today along with their business partners. Mason’s very first job was working at their Jefferson restaurant location when he was 14 years old.
Mason is a proud graduate of UW-Whitewater with a degree in speech communications and a minor in English writing. Whitewater was where he first became actively involved with serving in various positions, first as a residence hall treasurer, then as part of the Residence Hall Association. He was also a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, Zeta Phi Eta (a professional fraternity), and worked on-air at 91.7 WSUW. Mason was fortunate that he was able to pay for his education between part time jobs, and money his parents were able to save, something many students are not able to do today.
During his senior year at UW-Whitewater, Mason met his wife, Laura. Laura had already graduated from the same university and was working as an English teacher at Milton High School. Two years later, they were married at Laura’s home church in Polar, WI. Laura pursued a master’s degree in counseling and has worked for the Delavan-Darien School District, Madison College, and now Blackhawk Technical College.
Mason’s varied work background has helped him understand the needs of the working class. During college, he worked at two different factory jobs in Fort Atkinson. After graduation in 2002, he took a job in retail. Eventually, he worked in advertising sales at WFAW, the local radio station. This part of his career helped him learn about the struggles and needs of small business owners and local employers, such as finding good employees, being able to make payroll, and balancing marketing needs with paying other necessary bills.
Along with his sister Melanie, Mason eventually took his own shot at being an entrepreneur, owning and operating four different fitness center locations. The business had its ups and downs and they eventually closed their last location after being in business for 11 years. This helped Mason learn about the challenges in hiring, training, and retaining workers.
Mason and Laura started their family in 2010, after they had purchased their first house in Fort Atkinson, made possible in part by a WHEDA loan.
June 1st, 2010 was a day that changed Mason and Laura’s lives forever. They found out that the baby girl they were expecting had a rare abnormality called anencephaly. Emma was stillborn on September 30, 2010. Mason and Laura were blessed to have their family, friends, doctors, and church that were very supportive of them during this time.
Laura turned the pain from this experience into action and created a peer support group called “Embraced” for families facing infant and child loss. She also coordinated the fundraising and construction of a playground at Jones Park in Fort Atkinson in memory of families who have lost young children.
A little more than a year after they lost Emma, they were blessed with the birth of their first son, Aleksander. Five years later, his younger brother Cyrus came along. Their miniature schnauzer, Brauny, had to make quite the adjustment to two little boys running around the house.
Mason first became involved with local politics in 2014 at the request of community members searching for results from their leadership. Many residents felt that the City Council was having trouble making decisions in a timely manner, so Becker ran for City Council in the Spring of 2015 and was the top vote earner. He has also been the top vote getter in the subsequent two elections and is currently serving in his third term. He was elected City Council President by his fellow council members for two consecutive years. He is currently the President Pro Tem.
During his time on the Fort Atkinson City Council, Mason has helped spearhead the creation of an Economic Development Commission in order to help attract and retain businesses, and he has advocated for fixing the city’s streets, which have greatly improved in the last four years.
He is also active in his community as a member of the Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of the Fort Atkinson Lions Club, where he is currently 3rd Vice President. He has also served on the church council of Bethany Lutheran for six years.
Today, Mason works as part of the family restaurant business, helping with marketing, hiring, and payroll. You may also see him from time to time behind the counter of one of the locations, making sandwiches and ringing register.