ESTA stalwart Glenn Becker passes away
Tuesday, 23 June 2020
glennbeckerGlenn Becker was ESTA's first president
USA - Glenn Becker, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA)’s first president, passed away on 19 June aged 70.
“Glenn’s vision was about bringing the industry together to make it a better industry”, says ESTA. “He thought that competitors could come together and share ideas and solutions to make business easier and more successful for everyone. Because of that vision and Glenn’s hard work, the Theatrical Dealers Association (TDA) was born.”
Becker organised its founding meeting in 1987 and served as the first president from 1987 to 1991. In 1994, when the decision was made to form ESTA, the TDA board turned to Becker to chair the committee that rewrote the bylaws and set up the new organisational structure. The board would continue to turn to him over the years to take on special projects.
He became involved in theatre in high school. In 1968, Becker took a job delivering newspapers for the Chicago Sun Times and on his first day he read the paper and saw an ad for a job at Grand Stage Company which had been founded by Paul Tyler in 1947. Becker was hired and one of his first jobs was to assist in the company’s move to its new building on Lake Street - in the midst of the infamous Democratic National Convention. Becker started off coiling cable and helping in the rental department and within a year had worked his way up to become general manager. He also worked as a theatre electrician and stage manager across Chicago area theatres.
In 1977, Becker and his wife Janel took over the full running of the company from Tyler. The passing years saw offices opened in Detroit (which eventually merged with a Vincent Lighting office) and St. Louis (in partnership with Associated Theatrical Contractors), as well as the acquisition of New York Costume Company, Northwest Theatre Associates, Tech Theatre, Art Drapery Studios, MidWest Scenic, and Chicago Spotlight.
Becker was well known for his wry sense of humour, and at the same time, his ability to get straight to the point and keep us focused. Most people know that he loved penguins and ‘The Mouse’. He was also fascinated by trains and travel and had a passion for antique cars. But his love and loyalty for his family was his highest priority.
Glenn is survived by his wife Janel (nee Tyler), children Greg (Amy) and Brittany (Eric), and four grandchildren.
Notes of condolence should be sent c/o Grand Stage Company, 3418 North Knox Avenue, Chicago, IL 60641. The family requests donations in Becker’s memory to be made to Behind the Scenes at

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