Q&A

President First: CFO Len Batcha

“I learned by taking risks and not being afraid to assume responsibility,” said the Tech Trans president and CFO.
Sandra BeckwithDecember 8, 2022

Len Batcha, president and CFO of Technical Transportation (Tech Trans), is a logistics professional who began his career at Abbott Laboratories working in materials and warehouse management. A move to the healthcare company’s diagnostics division presented an opportunity to make significant warehouse changes in processes and systems. It also introduced him to mentor Bill Putnam, who became an important career influence. 

Batcha and Putnam introduced process changes that included outsourcing diagnostic equipment transportation, set-up, testing, and training to a team whose leaders eventually left the vendor when it was acquired. The leaders who left after the acquisition started Tech Trans, a freight forwarder that deploys high-value, heavy shipments for the medical equipment, electronics, retail, and high-end consumer products and furniture industries. In September 1997, after Putnam joined that company as a partner, he recruited Batcha from a warehouse management system software provider as president. Batcha added the CFO role in January 2020.


Len Batcha

President and CFO, Technical Transportation

  • First CFO position: 2020
  • Notable previous companies:
    • Catalyst 
    • Abbott Laboratories 

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

SANDRA BECKWITH: You’ve been in a president role since 1997. Why were you named CFO more than two decades later, and why were you the right person for the role? 

Len Batcha: Bill Putnam’s responsibilities included serving as CFO. While preparing a succession plan, he began introducing me to the finance and accounting functions. Slowly but surely, I took over payroll and insurance negotiations. Next, Bill introduced me to our outside CPA and involved me in those meetings and processes. Soon after I started preparing the monthly profit and loss statements, I was migrating into the CFO role, although unofficially. When Bill passed away unexpectedly in October 2019, it made sense from a transition standpoint for me to be given that title officially. 

How does your deep knowledge of the company’s operations affect how you do the job, especially since you didn’t come to it through a classic accounting or finance path? 

Batcha: Throughout my career, I took on roles I wasn’t experienced in. I learned by taking risks and not being afraid to assume responsibility. In this case, I applied the process I have always used: I look at the task at hand, evaluate and analyze it, and try to improve it. When I think I have it to the point where it’s ready, I either automate the process or assign it to somebody and train them. Bill had everything in place already, and that made it easier for me than other new situations I’ve encountered. My next step was, “How can I improve it or what can I do to automate it?”

Throughout my career, I took on roles I wasn’t experienced in. I learned by taking risks and not being afraid to assume responsibility.

Related to that, did you invest in any professional development to prepare you for the CFO role?

Batcha: Absolutely not. In my first year out of college, I started an MBA program with an evening macroeconomics course. My head was spinning — it was like they were talking in a foreign language — and I left the program. I know that if you put me in front of a graduate from Harvard with a finance degree, they’d run circles around me, but I’ll bet I could make a business more profitable than them.

Given your nontraditional background, what part of the CFO’s job is more difficult for you?

Batcha: The part that gets me from a finance and overall reporting standpoint is the analytics. I know there’s information I could extract from data that would allow me to make better predictions and estimates, but I don’t even know what questions to ask. That’s why we’re now working closely with the University of North Texas to recruit young talent with that type of expertise.

I know that if you put me in front of a graduate from Harvard with a finance degree, they’d run circles around me, but I’ll bet I could make a business more profitable than them.

How do you determine who you hire for the finance team?

Batcha: We’ve been looking at a more stable workforce with the accounting team, so we’ve gone after the older generation. We haven’t been recruiting younger people because they’re not as stable — they seem to need to change jobs more. And these positions require stability and dependability. That said, now that we’re automating quite a bit, we are actually looking at hiring younger talent to assist in that area.

Would you recommend a path similar to the one you followed to those hoping to become CFOs?

Batcha: I think it depends on what you want out of this. Our organization isn’t going to be the biggest dog on the block, but we want to be financially stable and independent. We want to provide our employees with a safe work environment where they can make a good living. As president, I get more rewards and satisfaction out of knowing that not only am I keeping 80-plus employees working and financially able, I’m ensuring profitability for the shareholders. Is this a good way to go? I think it is if you’re grounded and you really want to learn all facets of running a business. It isn’t if you desire to make “big” money fast!