For many of us, our moms played a critical role in our upbringing. They are often our first teacher, our chauffeur and cheerleader. As we got older, moms become a confidant and sounding board as we navigate big life decisions.
For a few Battelle employees, their moms have another role in adulthood—colleague. This Mother’s Day, we take a look at some of those stories.
Javelyn Evans and Mesha Griffith
Javelyn Evans joined Battelle in 1993, starting as a laboratory technician at the King Avenue campus. She grew her career in safety pharmacology as a technician and a study coordinator and after doing that work for many years, Javelyn wanted a new challenge and found her current role as a quality control specialist supporting Battelle’s public health work.
“I review a lot of data,” said Javelyn. “My job is to ensure that the data we produce reflects the great science we do here. I like that the work I’m involved with does so much to help with advancements in health.”
While Javelyn has worked at Battelle nearly her entire career, life has twice taken her away from Battelle for a short period. When her husband Jason (whom she met at Battelle) joined the Marine Corps, they moved to California for a few years before both returning to Battelle. Her long career at Battelle and decisions to return made an impression on her daughter Mesha Griffith.
“My mom has worked at Battelle most of my life,” said Mesha. “I figured, if she has worked at a company for almost three decades, it has to be a good place to work.”
When Mesha was moving back to Ohio from her own stint in California as an adult, her mom shared a job opening on the Contracts team she thought would be a good fit for her. Today Mesha supports the Environment & Infrastructure business unit, drafting proposals and negotiating contracts for Battelle on various opportunities.
“It’s such an interesting experience because I remember being here as a young kid when I’d visit my mom at work,” said Mesha. “Now I can walk the same halls as an employee.”
Because they are aligned to different areas of the business, Javelyn and Mesha’s work doesn’t overlap, but they have been able to participate in employee engagement activities together, such as the Columbus Pride March and InShape step competitions.
“I am happy that Mesha has found a job she enjoys, and I love watching her growth and development,” said Javelyn. “Her peers and managers speak highly of her, which makes me one very proud mom.”
Amy Zelma and Drew Lasko
Amy Zelma has also had a long career at Battelle. Joining Battelle 22 years ago, she’s held administrative roles in both Treasury and Environment, Safety & Health. Recently, she became the senior administrative assistant for the Health business unit.
A couple years ago, Amy saw a position open on the Finance team and immediately shared it with her son Drew Lasko. He got the job and now provides budgeting and forecasting support the Health business. His mom’s passion for Battelle was a key contributor to him considering a job at Battelle.
“As long as I can actually remember, my mom has worked at Battelle, which means Battelle has always been a presence in my mind,” said Drew. “As I have grown older, she has never lost her drive for wanting to stay with Battelle, and I have seen how well Battelle treats their employees through a first-hand look with her.”
Working for the same company, particularly now that they support the same area of the business, gives Amy and Drew extra time together, which is something they both enjoy.
“I love that we can have lunch together, and we’re even on some of the same calls,” said Amy. “He makes me want to do an even better job. I’m so impressed with him.”
Sherri Markle and Zac Markle
For a few Battelle moms, it was actually their child that encouraged them to take a job at Battelle. Zac Markle joined Battelle seven years ago. Zac serves as technical lead on projects focused on reverse engineering and vulnerability research.
“It's been so rewarding to work with an incredible team that makes such an impact by solving tough, real-world technical problems for our customers,” said Zac. “We also have a lighthearted, fun work environment. People look out for each other and genuinely care about your well-being.”
When Zac’s manager mentioned an administrative position opening on their team and how critical it was that they find someone organized and detail-oriented, he immediately thought of his mom Sherri.
“I had no hesitation encouraging my mom to apply to the position as I knew she would be a great fit and it would open doors for more opportunities for her as well,” said Zac. “My mom always taught me the importance of character and a strong work ethic and set such an amazing example of that for me growing up.”
Sherri joined Battelle almost four years ago. Currently, she serves as a business process analyst, primarily focused on people-related processes to strengthen acquisition, engagement and retention.
While they are in the same group in the organization, their day-to-day work doesn’t have much overlap as Zac is focused on specific client projects and Sherri is focused on broader needs across the business line. However, they both enjoy the common bond they share working at Battelle.
“Being able to share our experience as solvers is meaningful. I am thankful for the opportunities we both have been provided on the team,” said Sherri. “I am so proud of Zac and the mission-critical work he does supporting national security. It’s been exciting to watch his career grow and his technical expertise be applied to customer projects.”
Lesley McCracken and Chelsea Owen
Battelle is also a family affair for Chelsea Owen. As she decided to pivot her career out of health care and pursue a degree in environmental health, her husband Joshua Ruehl, who works for Battelle, encouraged her to apply for a job at Battelle as well. She landed a job as an air monitoring technician.
A few months later, she inspired her mom to look for a job with Battelle too.
“I encouraged my mother to consider a position with Battelle after she expressed a desire to move back to Kentucky to care for her elderly father and spend more time with grandchildren,” said Chelsea.
With both her daughter and son-in-law working for Battelle, Lesley McCraken had great insight into the organization and the role she applied for. For Lesley, how a company treats its people matters just as much as the paycheck. In April 2021, she started with Battelle, also as a monitoring technician.
“We were both on the same monitoring crew for over a year when I started,” said Lesley. “Chels actually helped train me when I came to shift, which made the transition into a new job both easier and enjoyable.”
Now that they work on separate teams with slightly different schedules, they don’t often work together, but they are able to find time to grab lunch together on occasion.
“As a parent it’s great to see Chels excel in her work role,” said Lesley. “I couldn’t be prouder of her work ethic and the pride she takes in a job well done.”