|Andrew Christman (center) is presented with the Tom Evans Award by GCPCA’s Rich Kozlovich (left). Also, on hand for award presentation was Andrew’s father, Tom Christman.|
CLEVELAND — Andrew Christman, president of Ohio Exterminating Company, was presented with the Tom Evans Award at last night’s Greater Cleveland Pest Control Association (GCPCA) banquet and meeting, held April 9, at John Q’s Steakhouse, in Cleveland.
Christman served as president of the Ohio Pest Management Association from 2009 to 2011. Several legislative issues regarding bed bugs and products used to control bed bugs arose during this time, and Christman was called upon to testify before committees of the General Assembly and the Ohio Senate.
“Andrew was sort of an unknown quantity who was a pleasant surprise as president,” said GCPCA’s Rich Kozlovich. “They say circumstances will expose the character of an individual and in Andrew’s case he handled himself with great maturity and displayed the right knowledge, understanding and right attitude about bed bug legislation. He was a real blessing for the pest control industry in Ohio during a difficult time.”
Each year for the last 16 years, GCPCA has recognized an outstanding member, or group, with the Tom Evans Award. Evans, former CEO of Southern Mill Creek Products of Ohio, was an active OPMA member and strong advocate for the pest control industry in Ohio. In accepting this year’s award, Christman reflected on Evans, who passed away one year ago. “Quite frankly, I don’t feel worthy of an award named after a man who was so instrumental to our industry,” Christman said. “Tom was such a warrior who dedicated so much time, effort and energy to better our industry.”
WILDLIFE TRAPPING UPDATE. Christman also was the guest speaker at last night’s banquet and provided an update on Ohio House Bill 420, a trapping law designed to aid pest control businesses. OPMA believes that Ohio’s current trapping laws are antiquated in that they were not designed for pest control businesses, but rather for hunters and fur trappers. As Christman explained, “We are trapping for business – it is for demand. We are not doing this for fun. It is a totally different way for looking at nuisance wildlife control.”
Under Ohio’s current trapping laws, PCOs need to obtain a hunter’s license and fur-taker permit (a special category on that license); they also have to apply and get clearance from local game officers. HB 420 would allow PCOs to instead apply for licensure to merely remove the offending animals from the property in a safe and effective manner.
For example, under Ohio’s current trapping laws, PCOs who capture squirrels have to release them on private grounds (with homeowner permission) in an adjacent county. This is a time-consuming and frustrating procedure, especially for larger companies that have to find homeowners willing to allow them to release multiple squirrels on their property. In 2011, at OPMA’s urging, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources began issuing special permits to PCOs (who requested them) that allowed them to euthanize squirrels, instead of relocating them. In 2012, these permits became automatic.
Christman added that HB 420 has had bi-partisan support in the Ohio House.