“After I graduated from high school, I attended Calhoun Community College and played baseball on a scholarship while I obtained a two-year degree in TV and Radio Broadcasting. I had an unfortunate situation happen to me at a young age – my father passed away in 1977, the summer after I graduated from Calhoun. I was 19 years old at the time and did not immediately continue with school. The thought of going into business was not something that originally crossed my mind, but life is full of twists and turns.
“In 1982, I chose to continue my education. While I was attending Athens College – that was the name of the school at the time – I started taking business classes. Initially, I was doing the broadcasting thing and found out that I wasn’t that good at it because I’m from the country and had the ‘country-twang,’ you know? It was something that I wanted to do, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. However, as I was taking business classes, I realized that it was something that I really liked. And the professors – I call them ‘subject-matter experts’ – that were there were just so excellent at their job that they were able to help me learn a lot and make me passionate about wanting to get into business.
“Athens State was really near and dear to me. It was something that I just really enjoyed and it kind of fits with the small town. I come from a rural background and I felt very comfortable going there. I wasn’t intimidated by a big school, and it has everything you need to prepare yourself for your future.
“I have worked for many companies after graduating from college. I started out working at Intergraph, then moved on to Aerospace, and then to United Technologies working in contracting. Later on, I ended up at Wyle Laboratories and started out as the Director of Contracts and Procurement and eventually moved up to a senior director role while I ran a business unit. We worked by doing testing and some engineering work both in the United States and also overseas. My career has given me the opportunity to travel to many countries; that was like checking off several ticks on my bucket list!
“After various stints, I actually started my own consulting company and then landed here at enGenius as a consultant. I worked my way up to Vice President of Operations and was promoted to President in August 2018. We are working with our war-fighters and have a lot of Army contracts and are helping to train soldiers that are in IT among many other varieties of that department. We also support USSOCOM, our Special Forces, our Green Berets, our Navy Seals, and our Special Operations Forces. It’s all really great and it is uplifting to me to have somewhat of a hand in our country’s freedom revolving around our military forces – we basically give them the intel and tools for them to be able to do their job more efficiently and to essentially keep us safe over here.
“Huntsville is a hidden gem, but our once sleepy little town has now been discovered by the national capital region. The dynamics have changed tremendously, and as I understand it, this is the second highest spending of federal dollars in the U.S., which has a lot to do with the Redstone Arsenal. So we are growing here at enGenius! We’ve been really blessed and had some growth this year which has doubled in size from last year. We have a lot of good opportunities here, a lot of good business in our pipeline, and we’re just going to maximize that to its fullest potential.”
“I truly feel blessed with the position that I am in. No two days are the same – each day is a new challenge, and I welcome it. I love being able to interact with the customers, but also the employees. We don’t just treat employees as a number, we actually care about them and care about their families, their career path, etcetera. My leadership style is to lead by example. I roll up my sleeves and do work anywhere from being the company president to taking the trash out, so to speak. We are a small company and just do what we need to do to get the job done. I love being able to lead and build relationships with them.
“Advice I would give to aspiring business people would be that anything is possible. When you’re young, you just try to navigate down the right road, and sometimes you go down different paths and different crossroads. That’s kind of what I did, but working in business. And I think that was a great choice for me because it’s something that I want to do. It’s all in the mindset; just keep pushing forward and don’t give up. Life has all kinds of obstacles. You go through mountain tops, and when you’re on the mountain top, then you’re going to go down to the valley. Life is full of that, so it’s just keeping the course and having a goal, and working towards that goal. If becoming a company president is something that someone wants to be at some point in their career, I would say to keep your eyes focused on it. That’s something that I certainly did because it’s always been a dream of mine to be a president of a company. I thank God for what He’s allowed me to do and I couldn’t have done it without Him.”
—R. Bruce Bateman, Athens State Alumna of May 1984, President at enGenius Consulting Group Inc., Huntsville, AL. After obtaining his business degree at Athens College (Athens State University), Bruce continued his education at the Florida Institute of Technology where he obtained his Master’s in contract and acquisitions management. Bruce continues to do what he loves in his role as company president, as he tirelessly works towards leading the business to achieve even greater heights.