Departments - News Coverage

September 26, 2013
PCT Magazine

MGK to Acquire Environmental Science Division from Valent BioSciences

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — MGK, an affiliate of Sumitomo Chemical Co., announced it intends to acquire the Environmental Science Division (ESD) of Valent BioSciences Corporation (VBC), based in Libertyville, Ill. This acquisition will broaden MGK’s portfolio of active ingredients and formulation technologies, enhancing its portfolio of insect control solutions, according to MGK President Steve Gullickson.

“This is a great opportunity for MGK,” Gullickson said. “Valent BioSciences’ ESD is a successful, well operated business that has developed many effective insect control products, many of which will complement MGK’s existing product portfolio. More importantly, MGK is now in an even stronger position to serve our customers and create environmentally responsible and effective insect control solutions.”

MGK has about 250 EPA product registrations in the U.S., with one-third of its product line utilizing pyrethrum, a natural botanical ingredient. The remaining products use conventional active ingredients and formulation technologies proprietary to MGK. By purchasing VBC’s Environmental Science Division, MGK will immediately add more than 100 registered products to its roster. This acquisition aligns Sumitomo’s U.S.-based environmental health insect-control technologies under the MGK umbrella.

“Our acquisition of the Environmental Science Division of Valent BioSciences consolidates a broad range of environmental health chemistry under one roof for future product development, which is very powerful,” says Ian Thorburn, group marketing manager, MGK. “We’re in the process of going through the entire portfolio to identify which technologies will be most valuable to the professional pest management industry. Acquiring these technologies will allow MGK to continue developing leading solutions for the professional market.”

There were 17 people employed by Valent BioSciences’ ESD in Libertyville, Ill. “MGK is working to retain certain employees, further strengthening the team we have in place to serve the pest control marketplace,” Thorburn said.

The acquisition is expected to close this month.


Alterra Raises Money for Employee Who Lost Home

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In May, Fred Maldonado, a service professional at Alterra Pest Control’s Sacramento, Calif., office, and his family of five, found themselves homeless after losing their house to a fire. Fortunately, no injuries occurred, but the Maldonados, who did not have insurance, lost almost everything. When Maldonado returned to work, he informed branch manager Nat Hansen of what happened and that he would need to take some time off that day to look for an apartment.

Maldonado’s ordeal was communicated to Alterra CEO David Royce, who wanted to help Maldonado and his family. So he and CCO Derrick Royce came up with “Operation Support Fred,” a drive in which every employee was encouraged to make a donation of at least $10. Flyers were created and sent out to all employees at 16 different branches. The drive resulted in more than $19,000 (including $7,500 on behalf of Alterra). “I thought we might be able to raise $10,000, but our employees really came through,” David Royce said. “It was really cool and exciting, and it serves as a great example of the culture that we are trying to build at our company.”

Alterra wanted to surprise the Maldonados, so the drive was kept quiet. The company then presented the check to the Maldonados at a recent branch barbeque, and the family was “blown away” by the generous outpouring of support. — Brad Harbison


Texas A&M Entomology Marks New Construction with Naming Ceremony

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — With a groundbreaking, naming ceremony and reception, the Texas A&M University’s department of entomology recently marked the start of construction of its new Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility at College Station.

The name was officially approved by the Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents during its regular business meeting in College Station in time for the naming ceremony and reception held Aug. 9 in the Texas A&M University AgriLife Center on campus.

Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, John Sharp, noted, “This unique combination of excellence and selfless service is what sets Texas A&M and their partners (like the Rollins Family) apart as a unique institution in America.”

The new College Station building was named in honor of the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation, whose $2 million gift will help make the long-awaited dream a reality, said Dr. David Ragsdale, entomology department head at College Station.

“We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Dr. Roger Gold and the Texas A&M University’s department of entomology by supporting this new facility,” said O. Wayne Rollins’ granddaughter, Amy Kreisler.

Ragsdale said the Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility will be paired with the department’s Endowed Chair for Urban and Structural Entomology to provide a world-class facility to conduct Texas A&M AgriLife Research, teaching and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service programs for decades to come.

Gold currently holds the Endowed Chair for Urban and Structural Entomology and has since it was created in 1989. Ragsdale credited Gold with the vision for creating the facility.

Gold said the 11,000-square-foot building estimated to cost $4 million will house laboratories, conference rooms, offices and training areas. It also will include space for insect rearing and chemical and molecular analysis.

“Specifically, the new facility will be tasked with housing a dynamic program that will continue to support the professional pest management industry and the public interests in Texas and beyond,” Gold said.


Date Book

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

Oct. 1-3: 43rd Annual University of Kentucky Pest Control Short Course, Lexington, Ky. Contact: Darlene Thorpe, 859/257-5955 or dthorpe@uky.edu.

Oct 2-3: RK Environmental’s “Food Safety and Pest Management 2013,” Atlantic City, N.J. Contact: Visit www.rkenvironmental.com or call 800/996-4402.

Oct. 21: Pi Chi Omega Board of Directors Meeting, Phoenix, Ariz., Sheraton. Contact: Pi Chi Omega Executive Director Vern E. Toblan at verntoblan@verizon.net.

Oct. 22-25: PestWorld 2013, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Ariz. Contact: NPMA, 703/352-6762 or visit www.npmapestworld.org.

Oct. 22:  Pi Chi Omega Membership Meeting (brunch) 10:00 am to noon, Phoenix Sheraton, Paradise Valley Room, Phoenix, Ariz. Contact: See Oct. 21.

Nov. 4-5: Pennsylvania Pest Management Association’s Annual Conference, Lancaster, Pa. Contact: dchappell@versantstrategies.net or call 800/842-9090

NPMA Board of Directors Approve New Logo, Tagline

Fairfax, Va. — NPMA announced the launch of a new logo and tagline as part of the association’s ongoing evolution of its brand, which began in 2012 with the creation of the association’s strategic plan.

During its July meeting, the Board of Directors approved a new logo and tagline that represents the goals identified in NPMA’s strategic plan — education, protection and growth.

“It was the perfect time to evaluate our company’s brand and logo to ensure it was in sync with who we are and where we are going,” said NPMA Executive Vice President Bob Rosenberg. “For 80 years, NPMA’s members have helped to build a trusted brand in the pest management industry. It is with them in mind that we are excited to unveil our new, fresh visual identity to further strengthen our position as an industry leader and carry us into the future.”

The new logo showcases a shield around a person and a structure, graphically depicting the industry’s protection of people and property. The new tagline, “Our Mission is Your Protection” provides a dual purpose. While NPMA’s mission is to provide protection to its members through advocacy, education and business opportunities, the logo and tagline were also designed with association members in mind, as it is their mission to protect their customers.

NPMA is in the process of updating its collateral, stationery and website with the new logo. A formal launch is planned for PestWorld 2013, to be held in Phoenix, Ariz., Oct. 22-25.


Truly Nolen EVP Arnie Kaplan Passes Away

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arnie Kaplan, executive vice president of Truly Nolen, passed away on Aug. 5, in Tucson, Ariz.

Kaplan had been with Truly Nolen for 28 years, starting as a sales inspector. He also worked as a branch manager and district manager. In 1999, Kaplan and his family relocated to Tucson, where he accepted the position of vice president of finance, information systems and human resources. Under his leadership, the departments made drastic improvements in efficiency and functionality, the firm says. Kaplan was an active participant in Truly Nolen’s management training program and served as a mentor to new branch and district managers.

“Arnie started as a sales inspector and made it to executive vice president mainly on his ability to help people grow,” said Truly Nolen President Scott Nolen. “He was a very respected person in the company who a lot of people owe their personal and professional development to.”

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Kaplan grew up in New York and graduated from State University of New York with a major in history and a minor in religion. He had previously worked as a taxi driver and owned a business selling medical prostheses. He is survived by his wife, MaryJo and children, Zach, Azelia and Mikiela.


Comings & Goings

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

Truly Nolen of America promoted Kevin Hall to branch manager of the Midvale, Utah, location.

Long-time independent manufacturer representative John Slagor joined J. F. Oakes as its West Coast representative in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana and Idaho.

Al Turner, area sales manager for Bayer CropScience’s professional pest management business, was awarded the Harry J. Balcom Legend Award from the Florida Pest Management Association in July. The award, given to the FPMA member who exemplifies the highest level of professionalism and service, was presented to Turner at FPMA’s annual summer conference. In addition to career performance, the recipient of the award displays a high level of service to both FPMA and the Florida pest management industry as a whole. Throughout his career, Turner has worked closely with FPMA leaders and pest management professionals to determine what FPMA can do to serve the industry, and helped to inform strategic direction and planning for the association.

The Steritech Group appointed Raja Musunuru as chief information officer to oversee the company’s information technology operation. Musunuru is responsible for the development and implementation of Steritech’s information technology strategy, leveraging business systems, proprietary software and applications, and hardware to deliver on the needs of Steritech’s clients and business operations.

Robert DiJoseph has been promoted to vice president of operations for BedBug Central.

Cooper Pest Solutions, Lawrenceville, N.J., named David Burgess vice president of operations, where he will continue focus on growth and profitability.

Univar Announces New Ratings & Reviews Incentive Sweepstakes

AUSTIN, Texas — Univar Environmental Sciences recently announced the launch of a five-month long promotion incentivizing PMPs to provide feedback on industry products through Ratings & Reviews, PestWeb’s interactive forum.

Univar will give away one Apple TV per month between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013. In order to win, Premier Services subscribers must log into PestWeb’s Ratings & Reviews forum (services.univares.com) and rate or review at least five products within the same month. Winners will be chosen at the end of each month. For full official rules, visit pestweb.com/blog/a3424/pestweb-product-reviews-sweepstakes.

“Our customers often ask about product performance and what other PMPs are saying about particular products. We created Ratings & Reviews so that customers could very specifically share their thoughts and feedback in a constructive forum,” says Karl J. Kisner, vice president of marketing. “This tool allows customers to engage and share their views not only with us, but most importantly, with their peers. Like any ratings and reviews tool, the value is delivered through increased participation and volumes of ratings. So, we have developed this contest to help create greater depth to our ratings and reviews, making it a communications tool that our customers can truly value.”


PMP Launches New Venture

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Samuel Tutton, a 14-year industry veteran, has launched ECOSKAN Pest Solutions, a pest control and consulting business. Tutton serves as CEO while wife Heather is the company’s CFO.

Based in San Bernardino, Calif., the company provides termite and pest control services for residential, commercial and industrial clients. The name ECOSKAN is a combination of “eco” (short for ecology), promoting the company’s use of environmentally friendly and sustainable products; and the term “SKAN,” an acronym used in the family’s corporate business (SKAN Enterprises) that also promotes ECOSKAN’s use of technology for the advancement of customer-centric services.

ECOSKAN uses a consultative approach whereby the company will work with a provider to identify deficiencies in a program and develop an acceptable solution. If the current provider cannot meet the client’s needs, ECOSKAN will either assist in finding a new pest control company for the client, or take over the program themselves if it is a good fit for both parties. Samuel Tutton says the objective is not to steal clients from other PCOs, but to make sure both parties are satisfied with the services provided. “By performing a comprehensive inspection at sites that may be experiencing continued pest problems, ECOSKAN can deliver an objective report to the client to review with their existing PCO,” he said. “We will use the photo documentation along with computer-generated reports to detail deficiencies in the current program and then supply recommendations for improvement.”

Samuel Tutton’s involvement in the pest control industry includes stints with both Orkin and Terminix, where he ran operations that averaged $3 to $5 million in annual revenues. He then took a break from the pest control industry to work for wife Heather’s family business, Inland Cash Register, a Sharp cash register dealer that has expanded into technology development. The couple has grown that business by building strategic partnerships with various technology companies — a model they are transferring to the pest control industry.

“While working on these projects for ICR, I realized there was an opportunity in the pest control industry to launch a similar business model,” Samuel Tutton said. “Instead of directly competing against the large regional and national companies, my goal is work with them when requested by a client to find a solution agreeable to both parties.” — Brad Harbison


Long-Time Sprague Associate Mulloy Dies

EUGENE, Ore. — Mike Mulloy, 59, a long-time employee at Sprague Pest Solutions, passed away in May. Mulloy was the service center manager of Sprague’s Eugene, Ore., operation.

A member of the Sprague team since March 1992, Mulloy started his career as a service technician and climbed through the ranks to become operations manager before being named service center manager in 2002. “Mike Mulloy lived a passionate life of service and dedication to both his profession and his family,” says Alfie Treleven, CEO and president of Sprague Pest Solutions. “He was devoted to his loving family and undeniably proud of his co-workers. Mike led by example bringing enthusiasm, drive and heart to his profession each and every day. The Sprague family will miss Mike dearly and asks that you keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”


Dow AgroSciences Offers Online Training Program

INDIANAPOLIS — Product training is available online for lawn care operators who want to brush up on Dow AgroSciences Turf & Ornamental products and services. This three-part, interactive course provides key insights on pre-emergence and post-emergence herbicides and applications, as well as insecticides and fungicides, Dow said.

“We want to help educate lawn care operators on the tools available to help solve their customers’ problems,” says Andy Kaler, product manager for Turf & Ornamental. “This training program is the perfect way for turf professionals to learn our products and offer their customers valuable solutions.”

Each course takes about 30 minutes to complete and includes educational training followed by a 20-question quiz. Participants can learn about pre-emergence herbicides, including improved playability on golf courses, reduced hand-weeding in nurseries and clean, weed-free turf and landscapes. They also can brush up on the difference between selective and nonselective post-emergence herbicides and learn about disease and insect control and prevention in a variety of settings.

Participate in the course and learn more at www.dowprovesittraining.com.


PCO News

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

Earlier this year, Brazoria County Legislative Day in Austin, Texas played host to Governor Rick Perry. Killum Pest Control’s Eric Melass was co-chairperson for the event and co-emcee of the breakfast where Governor Perry spoke to about 700 people. During his speech, Perry praised the innovative spirit and dedication of Brazoria County entrepreneurs.

Reliable Pest Solutions, Hannibal, Mo., recently celebrated 75 years in business. The company was founded in 1938 by John R. Scholes, who later partnered with Kenneth Cain, who grew their business to multiple locations. The company continued under the direction of Scholes’ descendants, and is now owned by Mike Scholes, the fourth-generation owner of the company.

A-Action Pest Control, Antioch, Ill., earned the 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award.

Sprague Pest Solutions, Tacoma, Wash., recently moved its Portland, Ore., service center to a new location. The new service center allows the company to expand its heating and fumigation service capabilities and provide those services to Sprague clients in food processing, distribution and agriculture, said Brian Kalbfleisch, district manager for Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Allgood Pest Solutions launched its “Crush Cancer” initiative in support of Relay for Life by transforming its Pestimonial Booth into “a vehicle of victory and hope for cancer survivors and those currently fighting cancer,” the firm said. The Crush Cancer booth records stories that will be shared on the initiative’s website, allgoodcrushescancer.com. “Our goal with these videos is to spread the message of hope, optimism and encouragement to those battling cancer,” said Bill Ballard, who spearheaded the Crush Cancer initiative.

Syngenta Agricultural Research Center Celebrates 50 Years in Vero Beach, Fla.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Researching tomorrow’s agricultural technology for today’s crops is a time-honored tradition at the Syngenta Vero Beach, Fla., Research Center, where dedicated scientists have been unlocking plant potential since 1963, the company said. The site marked its anniversary with a ceremony in Vero Beach in July.

“We not only believe in bringing plant potential to life, we live it,” said Jorge Cisneros, Ph.D., research and development manager at the site. “For 50 years, the Vero Beach facility has supported this goal, making us a key agricultural research center for farmers in the United States and around the world.”

Syngenta invests over $1.2 billion each year in research worldwide. The Vero Beach facility has earned a reputation for combining the latest technologies with practical, hands-on field testing. Florida’s 12-month growing season allows scientists at the 240-acre agricultural research center to generate multiple seasons of field data per year and study a wide range of crops.

“We help put pest management tools into farmers’ hands,” said Clark Lovelady, group leader for the insect control team at the Vero Beach location. “We accomplish this by providing quality research data and unique observations about the behavior of crop protection compounds through lab testing, greenhouse trials and field studies.”

“The Vero Beach Research Center is a key location within Syngenta where researchers can conduct studies in the lab, growth chambers, greenhouses and the field at the same time to fully characterize new products and determine how they will perform in commercial applications,” added Paul Kuhn, Ph.D., senior group leader for the disease control team at Vero Beach. “Also, we conduct the extensive research required by government regulatory agencies to ensure that new products will be effective for crop producers, as well as safe for humans, wildlife and the environment.”

Through the years, Syngenta scientists at Vero Beach have played major roles in the development of many key Syngenta brands and technologies. “Almost every herbicide that has been registered through Syngenta has come through our facility,” said Cheryl Dunne, group leader for the weed control team at Vero Beach.

For more information about Syngenta visit www.syngenta-us.com.


Real Green Partners with Shelton Analytics

WALLED LAKE, Mich. — Joe Kucik, CEO of Real Green Systems, announced the creation of Real Green Analytics — a merged-partner company with Donnie Shelton, CEO of Shelton Analytics and Triangle Pest Control Company (TPC).

Real Green Systems recently purchased 50 percent of Shelton Analytics to form the new partnership. Donnie Shelton will spearhead this enterprise as CEO of Real Green Analytics, bringing Real Green’s customers training tools including:

  • Inbound marketing — Search Engine Optimization (SEO), pay-per-click online marketing and social media marketing.
  • Training and project management software applications.
  • ServiceNet — A company intranet to store all of your company information.
  • ServiceUniversity Administer — Document and retain training records all with one training program.
  • BackOffice — Get a 30,000-foot view of the performance of your team and managers’ reviews. BackOffice keeps track of training courses, progress and completion deadlines.

For more information contact Real Green Systems at 800/422-7478.