|Member of the Florida House of Representatives|
from the 43rd district
|Preceded by||Lewis Earle|
|Succeeded by||Rick Dantzler|
|Born||December 12, 1947|
|Alma mater||University of Central Florida|
|Profession||political analyst, consultant, businessman|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1966–1968|
Dick J. Batchelor (born December 12, 1947) is a former member of the Florida House of Representatives. He is president of Dick Batchelor Management Group, Inc., a management consulting firm that specializes in business development, strategic governmental affairs and public policy issues. He has been featured numerous times as one of the "50 Most Powerful People in Orlando."
Batchelor was born the middle child of seven in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His mother and father worked on tobacco fields as tenant farmers. When Batchelor was still a child, they relocated to Orlando, Florida, where his father worked in construction and later as a carpenter. From 1957 to 1960, the family lived in Reeves Terrace, which operates today as a public housing complex for low-income families. Three years later, the family moved to a house in the Orlo Vista neighborhood of Orange County, Florida. Batchelor attended Maynard Evans High School, where he graduated in 1966.
Military service and education
Between 1966 and 1968, Batchelor served as a volunteer with the United States Marine Corps. He was deployed to Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 and stationed in the port city of Da Nang during the Tet Offensive. Batchelor has said that his experience in the military is where he learned how to effectively work alongside people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and religions in the pursuit of a common goal.
Upon returning to the United States, Batchelor used the G.I. Bill to further his education. He attended Valencia Community College (now Valencia College) and the University of Central Florida, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1971. He also completed post baccalaureate work in Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Central Florida.
In 2012, Batchelor joined fellow Evans High School alumnus and U.S. Congressman Dan Webster in the unveiling of a new memorial dedicated to the twenty-three fallen Vietnam veterans who were graduates of the school. During the ceremony, family members of the men were called forward and presented with a folded flag once flown over the nation's capital.
Batchelor is one of the youngest individuals ever to serve in the Florida House of Representatives. He ran in 1974 at age 26. Representing District 43, Batchelor won with more than two-thirds of the vote.
Five of Batchelor's eight years in legislative service were spent in leadership roles. He served as chairman of the Auditing Committee, the Health and Rehabilitative Services Committee and the House Energy Committee, in addition to chairman of four subcommittees. Batchelor received more than 50 awards for his legislative service.
U.S. Presidential appointments
In 1994, Batchelor was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as a member of the U.S. delegation to observe the South African elections. He traveled alongside Jesse Jackson and met with President-elect Nelson Mandela following the historic election that marked the end of the apartheid era.
In 2000, Clinton appointed Batchelor to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Batchelor traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, where he spent six weeks examining abuses and drafting resolutions to condemn violations made by certain countries, the timeliest of which was one criticizing Russia for their invasion of Chechnya, he said. Three years later, Batchelor returned to Geneva as an observer to the 59th annual meeting of the commission in the wake of mounting global criticism surrounding the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Batchelor established his own firm in 1986, and continues to specialize in providing business development consulting services, strategic government relations and public affairs issues management to his clients.
In 2002, Batchelor was named "Central Floridian of the Year" by the Orlando Sentinel for his successful efforts to generate more than $2 billion worth of funding in construction and renovation for Orange County Public Schools. After six prior referendum efforts had failed to generate some level of taxation to support the district's dire construction challenges, Batchelor organized the "Change 4 Kids" campaign.
The ballot initiative passed with nearly 60 percent of the vote, despite the fact that fewer than 25 percent of residents have children enrolled in the county's public school system. Batchelor was widely credited for helping coalesce the community at large to support the effort.
In the fall of 2013, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Dick Batchelor would again serve as chairman for the effort to renew the tax. The decisions to extend the sales tax will go on the ballot before local voters in 2014.
Annual 5k run
Batchelor has served as honorary chairman of the Dick Batchelor Run for the Children since 1981, which has raised more than $1 million. The race is the largest annual fundraiser for the Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families, which is part of the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. In 2011, the run was held for the first time at Universal Orlando per the request of Universal executive Jan Stratton before her death.
Child advocacy issues
In addition to his annual 5K Run for the Children, Dick Batchelor is an advocate to a number of children's causes, both locally and nationally. Batchelor is chairman of the Florida Hospital for Children Board, chair to the Children’s Leadership Alliance of Orange County, advisory board member to the Federation of Families of Central Florida organization, board member of Florida's Children First, and actively involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
In 2007, Batchelor was among 15 people appointed by former Gov. Charlie Crist to his Children and Youth Cabinet. In 2010, Batchelor was the recipient of the Chiles Advocacy Award for his dedication "to improving the lives of children by successfully promoting policies and programs that benefit those children and families."
Batchelor met his wife Andrea in 1982. The couple have three sons.
- "Representative Dick J. Batchelor". Tallahassee, Florida: Florida House of Representatives. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- "50 Most Powerful People in Orlando". Orlando Magazine. Orlando, Florida. July 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Dick Batchelor: Position, Power & Philanthropy". Onyx Magazine. May 24, 2013. Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Business warriors: Dick Batchelor". Orlando Business Journal. June 1, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- Creston, Nicole (September 28, 2012). "New Evans High School Memorial Honors Fallen Vietnam Veterans". WMFE-FM 90.7. Archived from the original on February 10, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Dick Batchelor, Political Analyst". News 13. January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Dick Batchelor - Business Consultant". Immigrationcounselors.com. September 10, 2002. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Orlando Political Analyst To Observe U.N. Human-rights Meeting In Switzerland". Orlando Sentinel. April 11, 2003. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Dick Batchelor honored for his service to children and families". West Orange Times. September 10, 2002. Archived from the original on February 4, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Change 4 Kids organizes to gain support for half-penny sales tax". Orlando Business Journal. February 21, 2002. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- Damron, David (September 30, 2013). "Orange school leaders look for half-cent tax support". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- Damron, David (January 22, 2014). "Demings backs half-penny Orange school tax, Jacobs unclear". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- Roth, Laurenl (December 1, 2013). "Orange County schools ask voters to renew sales tax". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "33nd [sic] Annual Dick Batchelor Run for the Children hosted by Universal Orlando: January 18, 2014". Orlando Informer. January 6, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- Kassab, Beth (January 23, 2011). "Catching up with Dick Batchelor as Run for the Children hits 30-year mark". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Florida Hospital for Children Board". Florida Hospital. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Children's Summit". Florida Hospital for Children. November 8, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Dick J. Batchelor". Florida's Children First. September 10, 2002. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Dick Batchelor". CEHN. September 21, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Batchelor named to panel on youth". Orlando Business Journal. August 28, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2014.