A Fitting Tribute to an Industry Legend

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December 18, 2017
Brad Harbison

As a member of Pi Chi Omega, the international pest control fraternity, I couldn’t be any prouder of this group for rallying together to raise funds for creating a perpetual scholarship in honor of industry consultant Dr. Austin “Doc” Frishman. I place Austin on the Mount Rushmore of pest control industry educators, and I know I’m not alone in this opinion. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a speaker cite Frishman and quote his line, “Always bet on the roach.”)

I’ve never left one of Doc’s presentations without having learned something new and interesting, and having been entertained. There are a lot of things I admire about Austin and his approach to teaching. He genuinely loves entomology and cares about the success of those he instructs. I remember once hearing him say that he struggled as a student, so he tends to “overexplain” when he lectures; how many educators “underexplain” concepts?

I also know many current-generation industry researchers, technical directors, professors, etc., who decided to make a career in structural pest control after being inspired by Frishman – what a wonderful legacy!

Frishman
 Syngenta

I’m glad that Pi Chi Omega is undertaking a fundraising effort to “pay back” this incredible advocate of “paying it forward.” And you can help Pi Chi Omega make this dream a reality. In the last few months, more than $6,000 has been raised to support PCO scholarships in Dr. Frishman’s name. This pushed the contribution total over the original threshold of $20,000 needed to name five scholarships for Frishman. The next step is to make the scholarship perpetual; to do this a total of $50,000 must be reached.

Here’s how to donate: So that 100% of your donation will go towards this worthy effort mail a check to: Pi Chi Omega, PO Box 187, Fredericksburg, VA 22404. Write “Dr. Frishman Named Scholarship Fund” on the memo line. If you’d like to pay by credit card, call Pi Omega at 540/376-3617 or make the contribution through PayPal by paying pichiomega@pichiomega.org and adding a note that the funds are being made in support of the Dr. Frishman Named Scholarship Fund. (Note that while Pi Chi Omega is a non-profit organization, they are not a charity and donations are not deductible on an individual tax return.)

At Pi Chi Omega’s annual meeting at NPMA PestWorld in Baltimore, PCO Scholarship Committee Chair Stephanie Hill noted, “It is clear that Pi Chi Omega members hold Austin Frishman in high esteem as evidenced by this surge in contributions in his name. We saw the proposal to create the Frishman named scholarship as a timely directive by the members to celebrate the life and expertise of Austin Frishman.”

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Speaking of Austin Frishman, for more than 15 years, Austin helped PCT by serving as a judge for our Technician of the Year Awards program, sponsored by BASF. We recognized that Doc was uniquely qualified to evaluate the performance of service professionals since he worked closely with so many of them over the years, both as an educator and consultant. I would like to personally thank Austin — as well as the program’s current judges: Richard Kramer, Bobby Corrigan, Fred Whitford and Bob Davis — for their important contributions to this annual industry-wide program.

The 2017 PCT Technician of the Year Awards supplement is included in this month’s issue. Congratulations to: Gus Walker, Gregory Pest Solutions, Greenville, S.C. (residential category); Joey Hoke, American Pest Management, Manhattan, Kan. (commercial category); and James Miners, Western Pest Services, Randolph, N.J. (termite category).

This year’s honorees all traveled different routes to the pest control industry, but they’ve become company leaders by going the extra mile for their customers, coworkers and companies. We hope you enjoy learning more about them and their contributions to the pest control industry.

The author is Internet editor and managing editor of PCT.