To say it’s been a whirlwind couple years at the National Pest Management Association is an understatement. Since former NPMA Executive Vice President Rob Lederer unexpectedly resigned two years ago, the trade group has restructured staff, hired new employees, abolished its constitution, rewritten its bylaws and undertaken countless other new initiatives.
In this month’s cover story (page 42), PCT provides an overview of these changes (and more). Overwhelmingly, the changes occurring at the association’s headquarters in Fairfax, Va., have received rave reviews from the NPMA board and its members. Staff morale is up and the attitude surrounding NPMA is that “it’s a new day.”
What (or who) is at the root of many of these changes? It’s NPMA CEO Bob Rosenberg, who first was named interim EVP after Lederer’s departure and then accepted the role on a permanent (albeit short-term) basis. Rosenberg is well respected at all levels of the industry and his work ethic is second to none. His knowledge of issues facing the pest control industry — particularly when it comes to regulatory affairs — is top notch.
But the elephant in the board room is Rosenberg’s impending retirement. The plan is 12 months from now, at NPMA PestWorld 2015 in Nashvillle, Tenn., the new CEO will make his or her debut and be mentored by Rosenberg for a few months before he retires in early 2016.While no one is irreplaceable (just ask Brett Favre), the person tapped to fill Rosenberg’s shoes has quite a task in front of him or her. After all, Rosenberg has been involved with the industry almost 25 years and led NPMA’s government affairs efforts before becoming CEO.
So how will NPMA find its new leader? A succession committee has been created and is led by Chuck Tindol (Allgood Pest Solutions, Duluth, Ga.). The group also includes Rosenberg, Donnie Blake (OPC, Louisville, Ky.), Norman Goldenberg (formerly with Terminix, Memphis), Chris Gorecki (Orkin, Atlanta), Russ Ives (Rose Pest Solutions, Troy, Mich.), Justin McCauley (McCauley Services, Benton, Ark.), Bert Putterman (Oliver Exterminating Company/Arizona Exterminating Company, Phoenix, Ariz.), Billy Tesh (Pest Management Systems Inc., Greensboro, N.C.) and Emily Thomas-Kendrick (Arrow Exterminators, Atlanta).
The committee meets behind closed doors because of the sensitive nature of its work, but you can imagine what’s going on behind those doors. Discussions certainly explore topics such as, “Is it best to hire someone with pest management industry experience?” Or, “Should we hire an expert association executive?” Or, “What about promoting a current NPMA staffer to the top post?” The committee has stated it’s not focused on any one of these groups, not wanting to limit the candidates who may apply. Such an approach is a good one. After all, Rosenberg came to NPMA from the Florida Department of Business Regulation’s Pari-Mutuel Wagering Division, which regulates the horse racing, dog racing and jai-alai industries.
Although the committee is in the early stages of identifying Bob’s replacement, we wouldn’t be doing our journalism professors proud if we weren’t asking for comments from our readers. As such, PCT has reached out to many NPMA members asking them a variety of questions about what leadership qualities they feel are important for the head of a trade association and what they believe is NPMA’s most pressing challenge.
We’ll share some of these results in future issues, but in reviewing responses one trend that struck us was that few people answered our question about who they think would make a good CEO. And while it’s our duty to ask, we understand why some PMPs may not feel comfortable answering that question. NPMA’s succession committee is working hard to get this decision right and it’s a good thing NPMA members are in lock-step to let the process play out. As one NPMA member told us, “…the whole idea of having a succession committee is for them to accept, solicit, review and discuss without prejudice candidates for this position. The last thing that committee needs now is a bunch of names thrown at them. Let them do their work and I am sure we will have an opportunity for input.” Want to share your input with PCT? If you have comments about the hiring of NPMA’s next leader, please email me. We’d love to hear from you.
The author is editor of PCT magazine and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.