NEW ORLEANS — Attendees at NPMA PestWorld 2011, held last week in New Orleans, reflected back on 9-11 during the opening ceremony at the association's annual convention and exposition. The last time PestWorld took place in New Orleans was October 2001, one month following the September 11 terrorist attacks. In the weeks following 9-11, airlines suffered, hotels suffered and convention attendance suffered. In fact, for the week of Oct. 28, 2001, 11 conventions were scheduled to take place in New Orleans but only one actually occurred: NPMA PestWorld 2001.
NPMA Executive Vice President Rob Lederer recalled the days following 9-11 when he was on a conference call with NPMA Leadership to decide the fate of PestWorld 2001. “Their answer was swift and it was unwavering: NPMA would not give into terrorists and their threats. We would move ahead with our convention plans.”
NPMA proceeded to change the theme of the conference to “United We Stand” and booked Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf to give a patriotic presentation on unity. “I remember the sense of pride that we as an association and an industry… ignored the warning threats and instead elected to turn to each other, and to their association, in a moment of unity comfort and strength,” Lederer said.
Highlights of this year’s show included:
- NPMA President Ray Johnson’s patriotic guitar medley, which kicked off the opening ceremony that was sponsored by Bayer.
- At the Thursday Opening General Session, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, General Russell Honoré gave an inspiring presentation on leadership. Honoré was Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina.
- On Friday, October 21, during the Industry Awards and General Session sponsored by BASF, the audience heard from Richard Picciotto, the highest-ranking firefighter to survive the World Trade Center collapse, and the last fireman to escape the devastation.
- Jennifer Leggett, president of Lindsey Pest Services, was presented with the Women of Excellence Award at PestWorld 2011 in New Orleans, Friday. The award, presented by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and Orkin, is given annually to a woman pest management professional who has made significant contributions to the pest control industry.
- Dr. Michael Potter, professor and urban extension entomologist at the University of Kentucky, was recognized with the Pinnacle Award, NPMA’s most prestigious award, for his dedication, contributions and commitment to the pest management industry. Potter was presented the award today at NPMA PestWorld in New Orleans.
- This year’s PestWorld provided attendees with a unique opportunity to get out of their seats and learn how to control troublesome pests in the new House of Learning. Staged to represent a true field environment, the House of Learning gave attendees the opportunity to see hands-on demonstrations of everything from canine inspections to treatment methods for bed bugs, and wildlife trapping.
- Throughout the four-day conference attendees roamed the exhibit floor to check out the latest pest control products from leading industry suppliers.
Click here for a photo review from PestWorld 2011.