Secret Site Map
Sunday, May 24, 2015

Home News In Memoriam: Bettie Portwood

In Memoriam: Bettie Portwood

People

Bettie Portwood died on Oct. 21, at age 93. Portwood was an active association member who holds the distinction of being the first and only woman to serve as president of the Ohio Pest Management Association.

Brad Harbison | October 25, 2011

AKRON, Ohio — Bettie Portwood, who along with husband Norman, was a longtime owner of Akron, Ohio-based TNT Exterminating, died on Friday. She was 93. In addition to her involvement with TNT Exterminating, Portwood was an active association member who holds the distinction of being the first and only woman to serve as president of the Ohio Pest Management Association.

TNT Exterminating was founded in Akron in 1935 by Harold Portwood , who entered the profession by accident. Harold was in charge of ridding his father-in-law’s property of rodents and he realized the potential for a business. In August, 1936, the company was reorganized into a corporation with Mr. Portwood as president and his oldest son, Norman served as vice president and general manager of the company.

In 1962 Bettie and Norman Portwood met with Akron City Health officials with the goal of forming a local professional pest control association. The Summit County Pest Control Association was born with 18 members including, including Dick Schroeder of Southern Mill Creek Products. Bettie served as the Summit County Pest Control Association’s first secretary/treasurer. She served the Summit County Pest Control Association faithfully in this capacity for 44 years. In 1973, she served as first and only woman president of the Ohio Pest Management Association. It’s for these contributions that PMPs such as Rich Kozlovich, owner of Pest Management Inc., Mentor on the Lake, Ohio, referred to Bettie as "Ohio's First Lady of Pest Control.”

“Her impact on people in the pest control industry can’t be overstated,” said Kozlovich. “Over the years people would ask me why I attended the Summit Country meeting since I did so little work in Summit County and lived so far from Akron, where our association meetings are held. I always said the same thing. I just couldn’t say no to Bettie. Because of her unending warmth and sense humor Bettie was easy to love and impossible to forget.”

Bettie and Norman Portwood owned TNT Exterminating until 1988, when they sold TNT Exterminating to Gerry and Janet Grace. The Grace’s ran TNT for seven years before selling the business to son Mike Grace, the company’s current owner, in 1995.

“What allowed my parents to follow through with the acquisition was the knowledge that Norm and Bettie had such integrity,” said Mike Grace. “There was never a concern that it was a questionable venture. They were first class people — just very humble and very gracious.”

Bettie was survived by daughter, Jean Davis Almquist and grandsons, Liam and Colm Davis, all of Evanston, Ill., two nieces, and one nephew.

Additional information for this story provided by Rich Kozlovich.

Top news

Fastest Growing U.S. Cities in West And South, Census Bureau Reports

Most cities with populations above 100,000 in those regions grew significantly between 2000 and 2010, and 2010 and 2013, according to the bureau's report, which was released last week.

New Bee Survey Released

Losses of managed honey bee colonies were 23.1 percent for the 2014-2015 winter but summer losses exceeded winter numbers for the first time, making annual losses for the year 42.1 percent, according to preliminary results of the annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Apiary Inspectors of America.

Terminix Announces Top Mosquito Cities Based on Twitter Complaints

According to research by Terminix, the worst whining about mosquitoes came from Goodland, a small town in the northwest corner of Kansas. Terminix searched through approximately 200 billion tweets posted in 2014 to determine which United States city is most pestered by mosquitoes.

White House Releases Pollinator Action Plan

The Strategy, released last week, and its accompanying science-based Pollinator Research Action Plan outline needs and priority actions to better understand pollinator losses and improve pollinator health. These actions will be supported by coordination of existing Federal research efforts and accompanied by a request to Congress for additional resources to respond to the pollinator losses that are being experienced.

Legislative Day Video Coverage

More than 325 pest control industry professionals traveled to our nation’s capital in March for NPMA Legislative Day 2015, lead-sponsored by FMC Professional Solutions. In the day-plus of activities, PCOs attended sessions on important industry-related issues and heard from prominent national speakers before heading to Capitol Hill to meet with their congressional representatives. In addition to news articles, PCT’s coverage includes video interviews.

x