Business warriors: Dick Batchelor
This article first appeared in the Orlando Business Journal. View original here
Title: President, Dick Batchelor Management Group Inc.
Dick Batchelor came from a “very white world” before he joined the Marine Corps and went to Vietnam.
There, Batchelor, now 64, worked alongside men from different backgrounds, religions and ethnicities, all working together on the same goal. That diversity shaped both his political and business philosophies as he went on to become one of the youngest members elected to the Florida House of Representatives and owner of Dick BatchelorManagement Group Inc.
Highest rank achieved: Corporal
Why I joined the military: I always wanted to serve in the Marine Corps and wanted to serve a tour in Vietnam, and they were glad to accommodate me on both counts. Frankly, the GI Bill was another reason I went into the military. I came from a very poor family, and I wasn’t going to college unless I could pay for it.
Most important lesson learned in the military: How to get people to follow, how to work with different people with disparate backgrounds — getting them to coalesce around an idea, a task or a function.
Favorite place where I was stationed: Vietnam was the least favorite. I would say my favorite was being on R&R, and I got to visit Australia.
Best thing about being in the military: Because I graduated in 1966, I didn’t have the exposure like most people of that age to other communities, other people of color, of different backgrounds. One of the best things was being exposed to people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and religions, and really learning how to engage and coalesce around a common cause. Frankly, I lived in a very white world until then.