|Ron Box being recognized during his retirement celebration.|
Editor’s note: Hulett Environmental Services announced that James Ronald “Ron” Box, Board Certified Entomologist, retired after a life-long career in pest control, including the last 15 years at Hulett, which submitted the following article recalling Box’s involvement in the pest control and some of his many contributions.
Little did Ron Box know back in 1959, when as a 12-year-old kid helping his Dad spray his first lawn that his life-long career in pest control would stretch all the way into 2012, and would have such a positive impact on families living throughout Florida. He worked for his Dad throughout high school and after serving overseas in the U.S. Air Force. Married with three children to support, he went on to earn his Associate of Science degree in Pest Control Technology from Broward Community College where he was introduced to the research and teaching aspects of the industry. He also taught a couple of semesters for entomologist, Doug Palmer.
He bought his Dad’s company in 1978, and later sold the business in 1985, with every intention of enjoying an early retirement playing golf in the Bahamas. But, he couldn’t stay away, especially when he saw a need to improve the living conditions around him that were being destroyed by natural pests both on Grand Bahama Island and in Florida.
After returning to the U.S., he wanted to get back into doing what he knew best, and while thumbing through a copy of Pest Control Magazine, Ron found an opportunity to learn a new treatment to get rid of dry wood termites using liquid nitrogen to kill these invasive insects. Later, he worked as the manager of 26 technicians who serviced properties for a large management group.
Then in 1997, he heard about an opening to work for Tim Hulett with Hulett Environmental Services, and that was when Ron found himself presented with opportunities to do more of what he loved to do — research, training, and education. Tim recognized Ron’s talent as an educator and put him in charge of the company’s training and certification programs.
In 1998, Ron’s wife, Jeannine, suggested perhaps now was the best time to pursue his lifelong dream, to go to the University of Florida and earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Entomology. When Ron explained to Tim what he wanted to do, Tim graciously arranged it so that Ron would have time to do it. And though it took Ron until 2001 to finish his degree, shortly after graduating, he took his board examinations with the Entomological Society of America, and in 2002 he was awarded his Board Certified Entomologist status.
When asked about his experience working at Hulett, Ron replied, “It’s the esprit de corps and I love the people. They’re very upbeat and driving, and so is management. And our commitment to quality and service is unparalleled in the pest control industry.”
“Tim Hulett allowed me the opportunity to work with manufacturers, get involved with conducting trials, and dealing with Experimental Use Permits on new products such as Indoxacarb, as well as working with BASF on Phantom for its use on subterranean termites.,” added Ron, “and I have Tim to thank.” Ron was also involved in the first eradication program down in Davie, Florida, for the Florida Tree Termite, Nasutitermes corniger, where he worked on that project for close to five years, doing everything from the actual treating and through to the inspections. He was the first one in Palm Beach County to find, locate, and identify Coptotermes gestroi. Both Drs. Rudi Scheffrahn and Brian Cabrera helped him on that, which in turn, helped to expand their own research on Asian subterranean termites. He also identified the Heterotermes termite species in the Palm Beach area.
“You never had a dull moment at Hulett,” continued Ron, “there was always something going on, and it was always different. Whether it was writing the Certified Field Technician (CFT) Program, which is still in place at Hulett, or creating the support manuals to match up with the CFT manuals.”
As an industry leader, Tim Hulett knew that Ron was the man to create these comprehensive written programs. Ron has also mentored many of the certified operators he has trained while at Hulett, encouraging several of them to take their exams to become Associated Certified Entomologists. He also helped Chris Scocco get his own Board Certified Entomologist status.
Now that Ron and his wife, Jeannine, have retired to Georgia, she’s planning to expand her candy making business, Gifts of Love — and plans to sell her chocolates online and through local retail outlets. While Ron enjoys being the chief chocolate taster, he’s happier doing projects around the house and in the garden tending his small orchard of fruit trees — all the while keeping a watchful eye out for any pesky bugs.
Hulett is grateful for Ron’s many years of dedicate service to the company, for inspiring his co-workers, and his commitment to helping Florida families. He will be sorely missed and everyone at Hulett wishes him the best always.