Alejandro Batista is shown with his nephew, Leonard, in 2001 and today as a Haskell Project Manager.

November 7, 2022

Joining the Navy and Seeing the World Shaped Batista’s Worldview

The Haskell Project Manager says his service gave him the chance to experience different cultures and see that people are fundamentally the same.

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Alejandro Batista has a worldly perspective about his military experience and time at Haskell because he has truly seen the globe and its people.

Born in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, Batista’s appetite for engineering and architecture developed early. His father, Alejandro Sr., was a civil engineer in the Caribbean nation and regularly brought his work home.

“He was always bringing his drawings and books to the house,” Batista said. “So, I became naturally interested. I was more interested in architecture, but that got me started.”

The interest in architecture started a wild ride for Batista. In the late 1980s, as the economy in the Dominican Republic entered a downturn, most of the family moved to New York and then to the less frantic Union City, New Jersey, where he learned English and received an associate’s degree in Architecture from New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn.

“When I graduated in 1997, there wasn’t a lot of work available, and the economy wasn’t great,” Batista said. “A friend of mine was in the Navy, and I had thought about the military. There were a lot of opportunities in the Navy and all the amazing countries he talked about visiting. I got excited.”

Entering as a Seaman, Batista saw Italy, England, Scotland, Iceland, Puerto Rico and Spain. Nearly six years later, Batista left the Navy as an Aviation Structural Mechanic with the rank of Petty Officer Second Class. The lure of resuming his education, always encouraged by the Navy, motivated him to leave the service for the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. But he had already learned a valuable lesson.

“The best lesson I learned in the Navy – and I am encouraging my son on this – was to travel and know other cultures,” Batista said. “It gave me a sense that we’re all the same. We may have many differences, but at the core we’re all the same. The biggest takeaway was getting along with everyone regardless of background.”

After earning a bachelor’s in Building/Construction Site Management from UNF in 2007, Batista settled into a career in construction and joined Haskell in 2015 as a Project Manager, primarily on Food & Beverage projects. He also earned a master’s degree in Applied Business Analytics from Jacksonville University.

“Working with Haskell presents a lot of challenging projects, something new every time,” Batista said. “I work mainly on process-related projects in the food and beverage industry. The process is super interesting. I’ve worked on projects with coffee, distilleries, bakeries and cheese manufacturing.

“Testing the product at the end of the line when all is done – there’s no feeling like it. Everyone feels so accomplished when we complete the project.”

He also finds a parallel with the focus he discovered in the military.

“Commitment, long hours, everything in the military prepares you for any situation in civilian work,” Batista said. “There’s a strong sense at Haskell of focusing on the team and teamwork, and individual benefit is not applied anywhere.”

He recalls the day he took his father to a wood pellet manufacturing plant Haskell was building in Mississippi. He proudly recounted his father’s reaction.

“My father was amazed at the size of the project and that I was working on this,” Batista said. “He was absolutely very proud of me in every sense. That was a great moment.”

Honoring Our Veterans

Haskell proudly employs veterans of the United States Armed Forces and currently has more than 100 team members who previously served our country. To commemorate Veterans Day, Haskell.com is spotlighting one of them each day this week. Additionally, Haskell annually presents each veteran on our team with a special thank you gift.

As Haskell grows rapidly across the United States, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region to meet the needs of new and existing clients, veterans play an ever-increasing role. Those who have served our nation understand mission, structure, results and accountability. They are a perfect fit with Haskell’s core values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust.

Are you interested in transitioning from the military to a career with a vibrant, growing company that provides nearly unlimited opportunities? Contact us to learn more.

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