Cleveland Association Recognizes Bill Birkner with Lifetime Achievement Award

Cleveland Association Recognizes Bill Birkner with Lifetime Achievement Award

Univar's Carl Hinderer accepeted the Greater Cleveland Pest Control Association Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his colleague.

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April 11, 2018
Brad Harbison
Events & Meetings

CLEVELAND, Ohio — As part of the Greater Cleveland Pest Control Association’s annual spring meeting and awards banquet last night, GCPCA recognized Univar’s Bill Birkner with the first-ever GCPCA Lifetime Achievement Award. Birkner was not able to attend the meeting; Univar’s Carl Hinderer accepted the award on his behalf.

Birkner has long been an important behind-the-scenes contributor, lining up speakers not only for GCPCA training events, but for training events held by the Summit County Pest Control Association and the Toledo Pest Control Association. Hinderer described his colleague as “the ultimate professional” who has been a steadying presence through several mergers and acquisitions, most recently in 2010 when Southern Mill Creek Products of Ohio was acquired by Univar. 

In other GCPCA news, the association’s president, Molly Patton, Patton Pest Control, provided a member update. Patton, who also is the vice president of the Ohio Pest Management Association (OPMA), encouraged members to earn Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) credentials from ESA. She noted that at OPMA’s Winter Meeting the association held an ACE training/testing course that resulted in four professionals earning their ACE credentials. Patton also said Ohio pest management professionals benefited from a recent technical, hands-on training program presented by Ohio State entomologist/professor Dr. Susan Jones.

Lonnie Alonso, president of Columbus Pest Control, provided a legislative update. Alonso noted that there have been a couple incidents in which errors were found in Ohio re-certification tests, and that if PMPs think “something doesn’t look right” with the tests, they should contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture directly, or contact him. Alonso also encouraged members to get involved legislatively and set up meetings with their elected  officials. “In my experience, most politicians are trying to do a good job,” Alonso said. “Meet with them and tell them about your families. Let them know you are a business that hires workers and pays taxes.”

The featured speaker was Rich Kozlovich, president of Pest Management Inc., Mentor, Ohio, who gave a rebuttal to “Silent Spring,” the 1962 Rachel Carson book that launched the modern environmental movement. Carson argued widespread misuse of agricultural chemicals was having serious cumulative effects throughout the ecosystem. The book was instrumental in the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Kozlovich noted that while Carson was a skilled writer/communicator, she was not a scientist, and that if “Silent Spring” would have been peer-reviewed it would have been exposed for having many scientific inaccuracies. In “Silent Spring,” Carson wrote of the hazards of DDT, which EPA banned not long after it was formed; the international community soon followed suit. Many believe the international DDT ban is largely responsible for the re-emergence of malaria and other vector-borne diseases throughout the globe.