128 129 fuel mogul. After high school,he joined theMarines and studied electrical engineering.When his termof service ended,he found himself backhome in SouthTexas,working for a family friend in the fuel industry.“I went there after theMarine Corps and learned the business fromhim,and in 1996,I had the opportunity to purchase this business which,at the time,was in Pompano Beach, Florida.”That business,whichwould later become Guardian Fu- elingTechnologies,onlyhad 10 employees.With some help from a bank loan,and somemoney fromhis father,Batchelor took the plunge. At its inception,Guardian FuelingTechnologies was a ser- vice-based company.“If someone’s gasoline dispenser broke their credit card readers on the pumps where you buygas for your car,or one of the screens out therewasn’t working,or the pumps weren’t working,theycalled this company,”Batchelor recalls.”Hewas 26 years old at the time,so purchasing a small company like this in an industry that didn’t traditionallyhave a lot of growth potential was GUARDIAN FUELING TECHNOLOGIES JOEY BATCHELOR COMPANY PRESIDENT a big risk.His goal,though,was to turn the company into something that offeredmore than just repair services. While the company started out in Pompano Beach, it didn’t stay there long.Within three years,Batchelor had opened twomore Florida offices-inOrlando and Jacksonville-and hiredmore technicians in thosemarkets.And by1999,the companywas grow- ing faster than Batchelor had the capital to sustain. Thankfully,in cases like these,it’s not what you know but who you know–and one of Batchelor’s existing customers had just sold his own business for several hundredmillion dollars.“He acted as sort of an angel investor for me,”he says.“In 1999,he came in and partneredwithme,gave us a nice capital infusion to payoff debt,and put somemore operating capital into the business so that we could continue to fuel growth.”While at its core,the business remained a service-based company,the infusion of capital enabled Batchelor to branch out into equipment distribution. Today,Guardian FuelingTechnologies has ex-