MONROE, Ga. — Baccus Exterminators held the grand opening and dedication of the W.E. Blasingame, Sr. Pest Control Training Center on Oct. 1. The training center is named in honor of industry legend Bill Blasingame, Sr. who began his pest control career in 1950 after graduating from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in entomology. Blasingame’s passion and dedication to the pest control industry has been felt by thousands of pest management professionals over his illustrious career and according to Joe Baccus, owner of Baccus Exterminators. “We couldn’t think of a better way to honor Bill who has affected so many people in the pest control industry with his knowledge and expertise,” said Baccus. According to Baccus, “Bill actually got me started in the industry in 1963.”
The W.E. Blasingame, Sr. Pest Control Training Center, under the direction of Billy Blasingame, Jr., general manager and technical director for Baccus Exterminators, will be used as a training and resource center for the continued training and education of Baccus employees on a regular basis. “The opening of this facility shows our commitment to having some of the best trained pest and termite technicians in the business. Today in the pest control industry, training is synonymous with success,” said Blasingame.
Valera Jessee, executive director of the Georgia Pest Control Association, addressed the crowd of some 60 guests. According to Jessee, “In 1986, when I interviewed for the executive director position at GPCA, I met with two industry legends – Red Tindol and Bill Blasingame. I had heard of both — the first from TV commercials for the company that provided ‘Tindol Loving Care’ and Bill from his work at the Georgia Department of Agriculture.”
In Jessee’s comments to the guests she stated, “By conservative estimates, Bill has trained over 10,000 pest control operators and technicians as a teacher, or through his capacity as an industry leader.” In closing, she said, “So today is a special opportunity, it is a time to honor the educational contributions provided by Bill Blasingame with a training center that will commemorate and continue the legacy of learning he started over 60 years ago.”
The training center will serve as a resource for ongoing pest management instruction, resource and reference center and a platform for “specific needs” training programs requested by the industry. Blasingame already has a full slate of weekly training classes scheduled that he will be leading as well as classes from manufacturers and suppliers through the end of 2010.
Baccus Exterminators was started in 1974 by Joe and Linda Baccus in Monroe, GA.