HONOLULU — Karie Keown, director of sales training and development, Rentokil North American Pest Control, was presented with this year’s Women of Excellence Award, by Orkin USA President John Wilson and NPMA President-Elect Ray Johnson, during PestWorld today.
In accepting the award, Keown commented, “Since being in Hawaii I have learned two words: ‘Aloha’ and ‘Mahalo’ – which means ‘Thank you.’ If ‘Aloha’ was yesterday’s word, I would like for today’s word to be ‘Mahalo.’ Mahalo to John (Wilson) and everyone at Orkin for sponsoring this award which recognizes the contributions women make to this industry. Orkin has been notorious in a very positive way for their commitment to women in their professional development. Mahalo to NPMA for creating an award that recognizes the contributions of women to this organization. Many, many have gone before me and have contributed for a much longer time than I have, so this is an extremely humbling award for me.”
Keown joined the industry in 2003 when she went to work for her father, starting as a sales and service representative for Presto-X in the Chicago area; one year later she moved into the home office in Omaha, Neb. In 2005, she was promoted to general manager, responsible for the company’s daily operations. During her tenure, Presto-X grew by 9-12 percent each year. She also developed the company’s heralded leadership development program. In 2009, she was promoted to director of sales training and development, leading this area for Rentokil’s 2,000 North American colleagues at Watch All, Ehrlich, Presto-X and Rentokil Pest Control. She was appointed to her current position in 2010.
Keown is activity within NPMA, especially NPMA’s Business Development Committee, for which she was recognized as the Committee Chair of the Year in 2009.
The selection process for the award was highly competitive, as the international honor was open to women across the profession. NPMA received numerous nominations for talented professionals who make notable contributions to the development and growth of the profession and other women.