CLEVELAND — This year’s Greater Cleveland Pest Control Association (GCPCA) annual meeting, held Monday at John Q’s Steakhouse in Cleveland, was an opportunity to celebrate the life of one of its prominent and colorful members, Tom Evans, who died just days before the meeting at age 74.
Evans was the former CEO of Southern Mill Creek Products of Ohio who was involved in the pest management industry for 40 years.
GCPCA member Rich Kozlovich said that Evans’ cryptic way of conversing with people was purposeful. “Tom was the kind of guy that would mold you and motivate you to find out what you were about — to find out what you could contribute to the industry,” he said. “If you were going to be involved in this industry he wanted to know the quality of your character.”
Evans was an active member of both GCPCA and the Ohio Pest Management Association (OPMA), where he championed the creation of an Ohio State University college scholarship for association members. Each year for the last 15 years, GCPCA has recognized an outstanding member, or group, with the Tom Evans Award. This year’s award was presented to the Ohio Professional Applicators for Responsible Regulation (OPARR). OPARR is an alliance of associations, businesses, and individuals in the lawn care, pest management, tree service, grounds keeping, landscaping, parks and recreation, and related industries who work to ensure that pesticides are used in an intelligently-regulated professional environment.
OPARR does important work for the pest control industry in Ohio including lobbying state representatives to consider the industry’s position on issues that impact them. For example, last year OPARR was instrumental in getting defeated a proposed Ohio bill that would have officially named a month of the year the “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome Awareness Month.” According to WebMD, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), is the name given by some to a condition in which various symptoms reportedly appear after a person has been exposed to any of a wide range of chemicals. MCS is controversial because many medical professionals, including the American Medical Association (AMA), do not recognize MCS, as a medical illness. OPARR was concerned that this bill would have given more credence to MCS. OPARR Vice Chairman Mike Grace, president of TNT Exterminating, Akron, Ohio, accepted the award on OPARR’s behalf.
GCPCA also swore in its new officers including: Molly Patton (president); Scott Storc; Tim Hughart; Jeremy Kozlovich; Billy Kirchner, Mike Marsh and Pat Varga.