2019 Alumni Profile: Jay D. Battershell
Jay D. Battershell, BA '83, MBA '96, President and CEO of McLane Intelligent Solutions, Temple, TX. Battershell serves on Baylor’s Engineering and Computer Science Board of Advocates.
Q: What led you to Baylor and a degree in Computer Science?
A: When I arrived at Baylor, I had never worked with any computers. Unfortunately, my first Fortran programming class as a freshman was very discouraging as I scraped by with a “C” for the class. I met with Dr. King, my professor, and he encouraged me to keep going, saying that I had the ability and talent to succeed in computer science. I never looked back at that point. I believe many other universities and professors would not have cared if I stayed in a program or not, but at Baylor, the faculty and staff care not only about their program’s success, but their students’ success as well.
Q: What have you found most compelling about your work over the years in the key executive roles you’ve held?
A: I have had the opportunity to work with many global companies to strategize, design, build and run many applications and IT infrastructures over the course of my career. At Accenture, I spent most of my career helping large, global companies implement systems and business processes for diverse companies such as Mobil Oil, LTV, Sears, AC Neilson and Miller Brewing. I also worked in industry at both Uniden Corp, a Japanese-owned company, and LSG Sky Chefs, a German-owned company. These opportunities opened my eyes, literally, to other worlds. I enjoyed working with people from multi-vendor and multi-regional teams in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Japan, China, India and The Philippines. I learned that our differences can be overcome and our common goals achieved only by a team of people who respect, serve and mentor one another.
Q: Tell us a little about your current work. What are some projects that you have found to be most rewarding and why?
A: Three years ago, after a five-year run in the data center/cloud business, I was approached by the McLane Group to become President/CEO of McLane Intelligent Solutions. Our vision is to build the premiere IT managed services provider for small to mid-sized businesses in Texas. Our focus is to “make I.T. work” for small and mid-sized Texas-owned businesses in rural and urban areas with the same level of IT services, data security and technology performance as afforded to much larger enterprises both in Texas and around the world. Why is this unique and rewarding? We are building this business, not from Dallas, Houston or Austin, but from Temple, Texas. We are focused on embedding the McLane business values of Honesty, Integrity and High Christian Principles into all we are, all we say and all we do.
Q: As a member of the ECS Board of Advocates what insights or perspective do you have about the School?
A: The School of Engineering and Computer Science is now the third-largest School at Baylor…this is an amazing statistic to a computer science alum that was a part of a small degree plan in the basements of Sid Rich and Marrs McLean. I am excited about the data science and cyber security initiatives at Baylor and look forward to seeing the ECS program expand and attract future students. ECS gives back much more than it demands from the board members by enabling us to engage with highly motivated research faculty, passionate professors and incredible students who are doing amazing projects and research.
Q: What does being a part of the Baylor Family mean to your family?
A: Baylor University is a big part of our family and our future. My grandfather, JD Partain and grandmother, Gladys Partain were Baylor employees. My grandmother served students in the health center, and my grandfather was a maintenance worker in the dorms. I grew up coming down to Waco and Baylor for Homecoming parades, football games and family gatherings. My mother’s dream to attend Baylor was fulfilled through my sister, Daretta Battershell Brown (BBA ’82) and me. I met my wife, Tara Popplewell, BBA ’83, MBA ’84, at Baylor and proposed on the steps of Pat Neff Hall. And now, two of our three sons have or will graduate from Baylor. As you can see, our green and gold runs both deep and wide. As a parent, we trust Baylor to do the same for our sons as she did for Tara and me — provide a robust, Christian learning and growing environment that challenges them in academics, in their walk of faith and service, and in wise planning for the future.