GrowthSpotter’s People to Know: Dick Batchelor
Dick Batchelor, President of Dick Batchelor Management Group, is a man with an impressive rolodex. Ask him a question and he’ll pull out his phone, make a few taps and come up with the very person you’ve been looking for.
It’s those connections, continuously gathered, curated, and nurtured, that put him in the know on almost everything political in town, not to mention news of growth and development. But he’s also ever-present on charitable boards and at other Orlando events.
He is one of the youngest individuals ever to serve in the Florida House (1974-1982), where he was chairman of the Auditing Committee, the Health and Rehabilitative Services Committee and the House Energy Committee. He was also chairman of four subcommittees.
He has 40-plus years of political experience, some of it at high levels. Candid photos of Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton still wearing a headband, and other notable faces make an impressive collection in his downtown office.
Batchelor is also a savvy businessman who prides himself on delivering results for his clients. He has been named one of “The 50 Most Powerful People” by Orlando Magazine (2004 to 2014), the 2002 “Central Floridian of the Year” by The Orlando Sentinel, the 2002 “Businessman of the Year” by Orlando Business Journal, and the 2008 & 2009 “Best Corporate Citizen” by Orlando Magazine.
He’s received degrees from the University of Central Florida and Valencia Community College. He’s also a veteran of the Vietnam War, where he served in the Marine Corps.
It’s not the life he was born to. He grew up in the middle of seven children of North Carolina tobacco farmers who toiled on land they didn’t own. The environment didn’t foster dreams. The family moved to Florida when Batchelor was 10. His father worked as a carpenter and the family moved into Reeves Terrace, public housing at the time.
Three years later they were able to move to a home of their own in Orlo Vista in a house that cost $8,000 and had a $50-a-month mortgage.
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