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2012 ChamberChoice Entrpreneur of the Year: Barry Batcheller

Barry BatchelleerBarry Batcheller
knows a thing or two about building successful companies. One of those companies, Phoenix International, grew to more than 1,400 employees before being acquired by Deere and Company in 1999.

In 2003, Batcheller founded Appareo Systems, LLC, an advanced technology business that designs and manufactures electronic, mechanical and software products for aerospace, defense and transportation applications worldwide.

Appareo SystemsAppareo, which is Latin for “to become apparent” or “to appear,” is a company that is focused on its people. Among its core values: to improve the lives and careers of its people, to act with honesty and integrity, to encourage risk taking and tolerate failure, to push the boundaries of what is possible, to relentlessly pursue quality, and to contribute to community and society.

Batcheller makes sure his staff doesn’t avoid taking risks simply to avoid failure. In fact, Batcheller celebrates risks, knowing that without great risks, there can be no great breakthroughs.

“One of our awards we give every year is for employees who have stuck their neck out and taken a risk and sometimes succeeded and sometimes failed. That employee gets an extra week’s vacation and a trip for two anywhere in the world that they’d like to go,” says Batcheller. “Companies don’t grow if they don’t take risks.”

One risk Appareo is currently taking is a movement for the first time into non-avionic technology. “We’re growing a business interest in control and monitoring electronics for agriculture,” says Batcheller.

Batcheller is proud of the fact that his business carries no bank debt and receives no outside help. According to Batcheller, the business grows based on its ability to grow, meaning he won’t let the company go into debt simply for the sake of growth. “It has to earn the right to grow,” says Batcheller.

Batcheller has previously been named North Dakota Business Innovator of the Year (1994) and North Dakota Entrepreneur of the Year (2006). He was recognized by The Chamber in 1995 as Small Business Person of the Year and appreciates the recognition of being named Entrepreneur of the Year.

Learn more at www.appareo.com.

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