Cliff Beckham has fond memories of his 20 years at USA Truck Inc. in Van Buren.
Beckham, who served as CFO and CEO during his long career with the company, has one special memory that stands out when, for a very short time, he was a rock star. Beckham, company founder Bob Powell and other executives had traveled to New York City to ring the final bell at the Nasdaq to celebrate USA Truck’s 15-year anniversary of being listed.
“You do the cheering and the clapping and all that stuff,” Beckham said. “We walk out the door into Times Square, and they have our ticker symbol and logo on that giant rounded screen they have.”
The USA Truck team was in for a surprise when they found Times Square full of people who began to scream their heads off when the officials walked outside. “We were like, ‘This is awesome. We are a big deal,’” Beckham said.
Then reality set in. Turns out MTV’s “Total Request Live” show was just down the street and the Jonas Brothers were the featured guests; the three brothers had walked on set at the same time the USA Truck officials had walked out.
“All those people were there to see them,” Beckham laughed. “Nobody had a clue who we were. For 20 glorious seconds, we thought we were a big deal.”
Beckham was CEO at USA Truck from August 2007 until February 2013, which were some of the roughest financial times in the company’s history. Beckham left the company in September 2014 and now is the COO of Trekker in St. Louis.
“It was a wonderful 20 years,” Beckham said. “I learned a lot and met a lot of great people. I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.”