Departments - News Coverage

March 24, 2014
PCT Magazine

Arrow Environmental Services Acquires Bug Out Service

— Arrow Environmental Services, Sarasota, Fla., has acquired Bug Out Service, a $15.6 million operation based in Jacksonville, Fla. The deal closed on Jan. 31. Terms were not disclosed.

The Bug Out deal is Arrow Environmental’s largest to date and gives the company a platform for expansion into eastern Florida. In 2010, Arrow Environmental Services partnered with Concentric Equity Partners, a private investment firm based in Chicago, and since then they have made 39 acquisitions.

“Bug Out is a premier company, no question about it,” Joe Finney, newly named CEO of Arrow Environmental Services (see related story below), told PCT. “The quality of their people and their longevity is phenomenal. One thing that stood out to me in visiting their branches was this pride of ownership all of their employees take in their individual responsibilities. They have a very structured and defined value system. Other companies might have a value or mission statement that just hangs in the break room, but at Bug Out you can see actual evidence of it in the day-to-day work of their people.”

Bug Out was founded in 1963 as division of Arlington Fuel Oil Co., and was purchased by John Sessions two years later. Sessions ran the business until 1998, when the daily operations were transferred to his daughter and son-in-law, Caren and Paul Felker. The Felkers will remain on board as large individual stakeholders and Paul Felker will remain with the company in a yet-to-be-determined role. Bug Out will continue to operate under the Bug Out brand and all Bug Out employees — including longtime employees Vice President John Milton and Technical Director Linda Prentice — have been retained.

Paul Felker, 54, told PCT magazine that he and wife Caren were forecasting ahead and since neither of their children (ages 20 and 25) were interested in the business, they began exploring other succession plans, including selling. “I wanted to make sure I created opportunities for our people and that they didn’t think I wasn’t just selling to one of our competitors,” Felker said. “The more I thought about this, the more it made sense.”

Felker added that he believes Bug Out and Arrow Environmental Services have compatible cultures, whose foundation is taking care of employees and customers. “I feel like our people look at this as an opportunity to join together with another company that shares similar cultures, and where we can work together to grow the business and create our own opportunities,” he said.

With the acquisition of Bug Out Service, Arrow Environmental Services is now close to a $40 million company and gives the firm three large operations that can serve as platforms for expansion: Arrow Environmental Services (Sarasota/Tampa, Fla.); Skyline Pest Solutions (Atlanta, Ga.); and Bug Out Service (Jacksonville, Fla.)

“This is a game changer for us,” said Finney. “We are really looking forward to the cross-pollination of them learning from us, and us learning from them.” — Brad Harbison


joe finneyFinney Named CEO of Arrow Environmental Services

Joe Finney was appointed CEO of Arrow Environmental Services and operating partner at Concentric Equity Partners in January.

Finney was brought on board as CEO as a result of Arrow Environmental’s recent growth, including the acquisition of large businesses in Jacksonville, Fla. (Bug Out Service) and Atlanta (Skyline Pest Solutions). With Finney’s move back to the pest control industry as Arrow’s new CEO, Bill Hurd moves into the role of chief operating officer and president, working with Finney and Arrow Chairman George Pickhardt to manage the company going forward.

Finney comes to Arrow Environmental Services after serving as senior vice president of Sears Holdings Management Corp., and president of the company’s automotive group, the last three years. Finney’s roots are in the pest control industry, having worked for Terminix from 1987 to 2003, including roles as regional vice president and European managing director. He’s also served as a board member for Arrow Environmental since it partnered with Concentric in 2010.

Finney told PCT he is thrilled to return to the pest control industry full-time. “I have a passion for assertive leadership and the ability to work with people and see the growth of individuals,” he said. “I’ve applied a lot of the principles I learned when I ran branches and some of my other roles. I feel like I’ve come full circle. I’m here to do some special things and it’s going to be a great ride.”

Ken Hooten, partner at Concentric Equity Partners, said Finney will be instrumental in the company’s future growth plans. “Joe is really well respected in the branch operation services industries for being innovative even though he’s built big companies. He’s a builder by track record — he’s not a maintainer,” Hooten said. “Joe is unbelievably gifted, but he is also humble, and our whole model is about serving our partners at the regional and local levels who are serving their customers. There isn’t a better guy in the country at doing that than Joe Finney.”


Date Book

Send your announcement at least 14 weeks in advance to jdorsch@giemedia.com. For additional dates, visit www.pctonline.com/events.

April 22-24: UPF&DA Spring Conference, Rosen at Shingle Creek Property, Orlando, Fla. Contact: www.upfda.com.

May 18-21: 2014 biennial National Conference on Urban Entomology, San Antonio, Texas. Contact: http://ncue.tamu.edu.

June 2-4: 11th International Fumigants & Pheromones Conference, Krakow, Poland. Contact: Visit www.insectslimited.com.

June 4-5:  2014 IPM for Food Plants Seminar, Hershey, Pa. Contact: Richard Kammerling, 631/421-1120 or visit www.rkchemical.com/trainingandseminars.htm.

June 17-18: PCT Top 100 Awards Ceremony and Executive Summit, Hyatt Regency San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas. Contact: Kim Anderson, 800/456-0707.

July 17-19: NPMA Academy 2014, Westin La Paloma Resort, Tucson, Ariz. Contact: NPMA, 703/352-6762 or visit www.npmapestworld.org.

July 24-26: NPMA Mid-Atlantic/Carolinas Summer Conference, Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, Wrightsville Beach, N.C. Contact: See July 17.

Oct. 21-24: PestWorld 2014, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, Orlando, Fla. Contact: See July 17.

Nov. 16-19: 62nd Entomological Society of America’s Annual Meeting, Entomology 2014, Portland, Ore. Contact: www.entsoc.org/entomology2014.


Dow AgroSciences’ Morris Named U.S. Government and Public Affairs Leader; Simons Tapped as Replacement

— Dave Morris, commercial leader for the Dow AgroSciences U.S. Urban Pest Management and global leader for the Sentricon System and Dithiopyr herbicides, has been named U.S. government and public affairs leader for Dow AgroSciences.

In the newly created position, Morris told PCT he will align and leverage government and public affairs efforts in the United States with the corporation’s global government and public affairs team. He will lead a team of federal and state government and public affairs managers working on issues across the portfolio.

Morris continues to report to Stan Howell, vice president for the company’s North America commercial unit. Greater focus in government and public affairs is necessary, Howell says, to help continue the rapid growth of Dow AgroSciences as it develops and brings new technologies to its customers in agriculture and the specialties markets, as well as defending its freedom to operate with current products in existing market segments.

Replacing Morris is Paul Simons, who most recently served as global asset director in the Chemicals Business Unit at Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich. Simon previously worked for Kimberly-Clark. He holds a MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla.

Morris is well known in the pest management and turf and ornamentals industries. He has worked for Dow AgroSciences since 1982, when he joined the company as a field sales representative.

In an email sent to industry colleagues on Feb. 12, Morris wrote, “I wanted to write you personally and thank you for your support of our business, as well as me personally during my tenure as leader of our Urban Pest Management business. I have truly enjoyed the time back in this business and as you know I grew up in this business, so it is with some anxiety that I move on. My new role will be a challenging, new learning experience for me and I am excited to begin that new chapter in my career. But, I leave a business I love, an industry full of great people and some deep friendships that have developed. While I won’t be spending a majority of my time in this industry, we do have issues in this space that will still allow me to be involved.” — Jodi Dorsch


vern walterIndustry Mourns Vern Walter

AUSTIN, Texas — Vern Walter, a leading pest control industry educator and consultant, died on Jan. 25, at age 86.

A 1950 graduate of Purdue University, Walter soon thereafter joined Dr. Lee Truman in Indianapolis, and during the next 12 years he worked for and learned from Truman, one of the leading pest control industry minds in North America.

Walter then bought a Terminix franchise in Harlingen, Texas, which he ran for 10 years before an opening as technical director for Terminix International became available. After five years in that position, Walter left Terminix to work for the Industrial Fumigant Company (in the United States, as well as in Africa and Australia) before owning and managing Abash Pest Control, which he later sold to Terminix in the 1990s.

Walter was well respected for his expertise in the food-protection segment of the industry, serving as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO). He was a two-time author of chapters in the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control and a former columnist for Pest Control magazine.

Purdue University’s Gary Bennett said Walter was one of the first people to welcome him to the university and throughout the years was an important sounding board for him and Purdue’s entomology program. “He was a valued and outstanding partner in many of our educational programs and a positive influence on me personally,” Bennett said. “He had a ‘can do’ attitude that assured me that I was working with an industry of real importance — and he was right. He promised to always be available to me and this institution to do anything we needed his help with, and his presence on our annual conference program was a testament to this promise.”

John Craft, another pest management industry icon, followed a similar career path as Walter, working first for Truman and later for Terminix. “Vern had a lot of technical knowledge and he was able to apply it in a very practical and efficient manner to get the job done,” Craft added. “He was a consummate reader who would always pick up the latest pest control book, so a lot of the pest control knowledge he picked up was self-taught.”

Stoy Hedges, manager of technical services, Terminix International, met Walter about 20 years ago at Terminix, and kept in touch with him throughout the years. “Vern had a dry sense of humor similar to my own, and we both enjoyed each other’s Christmas letters detailing that year’s life events,” Hedges recalled. “Vern loved beer and was, in fact, a brewmaster, which he put to good use consulting on pest issues in breweries around the world. I last visited Vern in November 2012, and though his health was declining, his spirits were high, and he was still engaged in a number of projects. He was a true icon in the food protection part of our industry, and I will miss him.” Walter is survived by his wife of 40 years, Margerie, three sons, four stepdaughters, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.


PPMA Selects Bob Vila to Serve as NPMA Spokesperson

FAIRFAX, Va. — Missy Henriksen, executive director, Professional Pest Management Alliance, in February announced that Bob Vila has been selected as PPMA’s celebrity spokesperson for its Satellite Media Tour (SMT) during 2014’s National Pest Management Month.

“Vila is an instantly recognizable figure in home improvement due to the more than 30 years he spent offering remodeling tips and tutorials on a variety of television series including ‘This Old House’ and ‘Restore America with Bob Vila,’” Henriksen said. “There is no other name that resonates with American consumers as an authority on home improvement more than Bob Vila, and his participation in the SMT will lend an expert, credible voice to our messaging regarding pest prevention and the importance of hiring a pest professional to combat pest infestations.”


Comings & Goings

If your company has added new personnel, send a photo and press release to jdorsch@giemedia.com.

Jean Nowry has been promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer of Massey Services, Orlando, effective Jan. 1. Nowry previously served as senior vice president of finance and administration. In her new role, Nowry will manage all financial matters, including corporate strategy, budgeting and planning; business integration; and all corporate administrative operations, such as accounting and human resources.

Additionally at Massey Services, Gwyn Elias has been promoted from the position of executive vice president/chief financial officer to executive vice president/chief investment officer, effective Jan. 1. In his new position, Elias will assume responsibilities for all company-owned assets and investments, real estate and subsidiaries.

Central Life Sciences named Mel Whitson Salesman of the Year for the Zoëcon Professional Products division. Whitson is the Florida region manager and is responsible for the company’s vector and professional pest management markets. This is his third “Salesman of the Year” award.

Terminix Manager of Technical Services Stanton Cope, Ph.D., has been elected vice president of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) for 2014-15. Cope will serve as vice president during his first year, and in successive years will serve as president-elect, president and past president. Terminix says Cope is only the second industry representative to serve in the vice president role since AMCA’s founding in 1935.


Makhteshim-Agan to Transition to New Name

— Makhteshim-Agan, a partner of Control Solutions, will transition to a new brand name, ADAMA, in early second quarter 2014.

To support the initiative, MAI changed its legal entity name to “ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Ltd.” The firm said the name, ADAMA, comes from the Hebrew word for “earth” or “soil” and reflects the company’s farmer-centric focus and its commitment to advancing agriculture in its markets around the world.

Brand implementation will be conducted on a global basis with staggered country-by-country launches. The full transition to the new brand is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

“Our decision to transition to a single global brand, ADAMA, marks yet another milestone in our evolution into a leading global organization with shared values, shared culture and a single brand name. A branded provider of farmer-focused products and services around the globe,” said Erez Vigodman, president and CEO. “The transition to the new brand highlights our long-standing commitment to the agricultural community and allows us to speak with farmers around the world with a common, differentiated voice and identity.”

The formal launch of the new global brand is scheduled for early April 2014. For more information about Control Solutions visit www.controlsolutionsinc.com.


McCloud Announces Pest Invasion Seminar

— McCloud Services announced it will once again host its Pest Invasion Seminar April 15 at the Drury Lane Theatre & Conference Center in Oakbrook, Ill. The all-day seminar provides pest-related updates, as well as information on new FDA regulations, food-borne illness and security.

“McCloud Services is proud to once again host Pest Invasion,” said Chris McCloud, president and CEO. “With a record attendance of nearly 350 people in 2013, we are looking forward to another successful seminar this year. We have an excellent line-up of industry experts that will provide educational updates and very timely information on a wide range of topics affecting the food industry. As the food industry landscape continues to change, attendees will gain knowledge on how to prepare for evolving food safety initiatives.”

Pest Invasion brings together individuals from the entire food supply chain of custody, including food industry, pest management and environmental health professionals to network, study and learn industry best-practices. This year’s featured speakers include:

  • Dr. Bobby Corrigan, president, RMC Pest Management Consulting and rodentologist, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Dr. Theodore Granovsky, CEO, Granovsky Associates, an urban and industrial entomological consulting firm
  • Dr. Philip Koehler, professor of urban entomology, University of Florida
  • Dr. Rizana Mahroof, associate professor, Department of Biological and Physical Sciences, South Carolina State University
  • Dr. Michael Doyle, regents professor of food microbiology and director of the Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia
  • Dr. David Acheson, founder and CEO, Acheson Group
  • Cameron Riddell, president and co-founder, Bird Barrier

For more information on Pest Invasion 2014 and to register online, visit www.regonline.com/pestinvasion2014.

To learn more about McCloud Services, visit www.mccloudservices.com.


PCO News

Please send press releases about your firm to jdorsch@giemedia.com.

Allgood Pest Solutions acquired Precision Pest Management. The acquisition is the company’s second in the Charleston market. Former Precision Pest Management owner Roy Johnson, with 15 years of industry experience, will continue as a part of the Allgood Pest Solutions team.

In November 2013, Bug Doctor Termite & Pest Control/Bird Doctor Nationwide President and CEO Stuart Aust addressed the students of the Taylor University Business Department about becoming an entrepreneur. Aust lectured on Bug Doctor’s founding 21 years ago, as well as the development of different divisions over time and how it all related to the theme “Business, Defining Moments and Identifying One Degree of Change.” Aust discussed the lessons he has learned throughout the years in business, family and faith, and tying it all together.

Pheasants Forever teamed up with Alpha Ecological (a pest control firm based in Vancouver, Wash.), the McNett Corporation and the Community Military Appreciation Committee to bring 35 veterans from Oregon and Washington on an exclusive weekend hunting and fishing trip on a private ranch in Washington state. Hunting with Heroes is an annual three-day outdoor event, which includes guided hunting and fishing trips provided by Blaze Outdoor Adventures and meals by a local chef who volunteered his services. Ashmead College provided volunteer massages for the veterans and there was a poker tournament with prizes donated by companies in the outdoor industry.

Catseye Pest Control ran its fifth annual Catseye Cares for Kids Campaign, a fundraiser benefiting Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. Catseye donated $15 to Make-A-Wish for each Platinum Program or rodent service sold from November 2013 through February 2014. To date, Catseye has raised more than $25,000 for Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. Last year’s fundraising efforts sponsored 12-year-old Anthony’s wish to meet the L.A. Angels Major League Baseball team. Anthony, who is recovering from bone cancer, flew to California with his family to meet his favorite players and spent a day at Disneyland.

Terminix expanded into the Canadian pest control market with the acquisition of substantially all the assets of Toronto-based Magical Pest Control. Founded in 1997, the firm is one of the largest in Ontario, specializing in commercial accounts and the property management sector, while also treating residential customers. Magical Pest Control President Mark Joseph will continue to operate the business and work closely with Terminix.