Born and raised in Amarillo, Texas, Joe Batson graduated from Amarillo High School and attended The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied Radio-Television-Film and Communications. Accompanying photographer Bill Rhew on a number of international tours, Joe Batson functioned as an assistant in the production process of his DeKalb Film Series. In his youth, Joe Batson also participated in campaign efforts for President Lyndon B. Johnson.Joe Batson served as a Youth Advisor and Campaign Coordinator for the former President, and acted as the 31st District Committeeman to the National Democratic Convention for the State of Texas and as well as a Campaign Executive for the President, working directly with the White House. In 1967 Marvin Watson invited Mr. Batson to join the President’s re-election campaign as an Advanced Field Director. The President’s plans to run again, however, did not last, and Mr. Batson returned home.As a teenager Joe Batson helped with his family businesses through a number of roles. For his family’s ranching operations he served as a cowboy and eventually assumed responsibility of the Coldwater Cattle Company, first as Vice President and later President. Possessing pilot’s certificates for both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, he functioned as Chief Pilot for the family business and was the youngest member to “solo” a helicopter.In addition to helping run the ranch and a family-run oil and gas company, Joe Batson ventured into the advertising industry. Initially purchasing Monte Rosenwald and Associates, he later helped launch Berneta Communications, Inc., named for his grandmother, Berneta Bivins. A successful enterprise, the company has earned regional and national awards for design and production.Joe Batson is an active member of his community, participating in a number of philanthropic organizations over the years. He founded the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, through which he supports production of the outdoor show, TEXAS. A major underwriter of the drama, he also recently donated $1 million toward the repair and renovation of many of the production’s resources.Working with Luci Baines Johnson, the former president’s daughter, Joe Batson has also acted as designer and producer of a major fundraising project for the Arch Diocese of Austin. The project benefitted Seton Medical Center Austin. In honor of Mrs. Johnson herself, he designed and produced the video She Did It Her Way. He operates as a trustee to Lyndon Baines Johnson’s grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.
Apr 1967 - Present