Brian Alexson • Age: 40 • Title: Vice President of Sales and Service — Commercial Division and National Accounts Department • Company: Terminix International • Location: Memphis, Tenn.
Brian Alexson serves as a perfect example of "moving up through the ranks." He joined Terminix in 1991 and served as a sales representative in the Dedham, Mass., branch office (a former Waste Management operation). He was then promoted to service manager for the company’s Boston branch, and then served as branch manager for the Dedham and Boston offices. He made the jump to regional manager, then region vice president and finally vice president of sales and service — commercial division and national accounts department last year. That position is quite a coup since Terminix — the country’s largest firm — has aggressively focused on the commercial side of its business. Last year the company made a strategic decision to market its services more effectively and directly to commercial customers and it created a commercial division in July 2002. Since Alexson was promoted to this position, the company has successfully opened 40 commercial branches throughout the U.S.
A lifelong Bostonian, Alexson relocated to Memphis last year. He spent his time in the Northeast well, serving in a variety of roles, including president of the New England Pest Management Association, chairman of the NEPMA IPM Registry and a member of the Connecticut Pest Control Association.
"I owned a competing business at one time and could call Brian for advice and direction," said Darren Bennett, former owner of Advanced Pest Control. "When the time was right he purchased my business. Brian has influenced the careers of many people within our industry — and not just limited to Terminix employees. He is a true leader."
— Jodi Dorsch
James Lanier Allgood III • Age: 29
Title: General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer
Company: Allgood Services • Location: Dublin, Ga.
Although some may "jump right in" out of school to join the family business, Lanny Allgood did not. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s of business administration degree in 1997, he went on to law school and graduated in May 2000. A few months later he became a member of the State Bar of Georgia. Today, he serves as the general counsel and chief financial officer of this family-owned pest control, insulation and commercial cleaning services company with operations throughout middle and south Georgia.
"Lanny began treating houses when he was in the 7th grade," said Jimmy Allgood, president of Allgood Services. "He did the profit and loss statements for our business monthly since he was a junior at the University of Georgia and he decided his senior year at law school that he wanted to be a part of our family business."
Since joining the business, Lanny has contributed to changes in the company’s computer system, its branding and routing. Allgood also is extremely active in the Georgia Pest Control Association, serving on its board of directors as a region director, as co-chairman of the association’s career development committee and a member of its leadership class of 2001.
"Lanny could have found a job anywhere in the country as a great young lawyer. Instead he is dedicating himself to the family business and with the goal of raising the bar of professionalism within the pest control industry," said Valera Jessee, executive director, Georgia Pest Control Association. "He is actively involved in all aspects of the pest control industry and promises to be a future leader to watch." — J.D.
Robert Baker • Age: 38 • Title: Technical Director
Company: Clark Pest Control
Location: Lodi, Calif.
As technical director of a $72 million company, Robert Baker has a lot to keep him busy. He has helped train Clark’s employees in the most current forms of pest management and promotes safe and ethical use of pesticides. And training for a company with more than 800 employees is a big job. "Robert has been an integral part of the growth of Clark Pest Control. His innovative approaches keep Clark on the cutting edge," said John Woodward of Whitmire Micro-Gen Research Laboratories. "He is very giving of his time for the industry, both in educating others and in defending pest management at the legislature."
As a member of the Pest Control Operators of California, Baker has served on the association’s technical committee and worked on various forms of legislation. In addition, Baker has served on the California Department of Pesticide Regulation Pest Management Advisory Committee.
"I feel that his leadership in our industry and within our company has helped bring our industry into the future," said Clark Pest Control’s Mike Parker. "He always promotes our industry and company in the best possible way." — J.D.
Brent Boles • Age: 38 • Title: General Manager Company: Schendel Pest Control • Location: Topeka, Kan.
Brent Boles, general manager of Schendel Pest Control, Topeka, Kan., represents the new breed of pest management professional — a media-savvy entrepreneur who cut his teeth in another profession prior to entering the industry. After graduating from the University of Topeka with a degree in communications, Boles worked in the logistics field before being recruited by his father-in-law to join Schendel Pest Control. Bright and energetic, Boles started his pest control career as a commercial salesperson before moving up through the ranks as area manager, sales manager, director of operations and ultimately general manager, where he’s responsible for the day-to-day operation of the business. Under his watchful eye, Schendel has grown nicely, employing 80 people and generating $7 million in revenues, while expanding into Arkansas, Missouri, Arizona and New Mexico. In addition to his leadership position at Schendel Pest Control, the 10-year industry veteran has donated considerable time and energy to Copesan Services where he serves on the Development Committee. Boles’ community service activities include involvement in the Topeka Chamber of Commerce. "With his involvement in various projects he is an honorable example for others to follow. Brent Boles is a man of integrity who sets a standard for everyone to follow," observes Jerry Hatch of Whitmire Micro-Gen Research Laboratories, St. Louis, Mo. — Dan Moreland
Ryan Bradbury • Age: 27 • Title: Branch Manager • Company: Viking Termite & Pest Control • Location: Bound Brook, N.J.
This former day trader didn’t go right to work for his family business in New Jersey. After college, Ryan Bradbury went to work for a pharmaceutical company but after a couple of years he started talking with his family about joining Viking. "Overall I wanted to do what would best help the company," he says. So, his father, Ed Bradbury, gave him the opportunity to open a branch office for the firm. "In just one year it became our fastest-growing branch reaching $700,000," his father says. Ryan says he’s learning through lots of trial and error. "My father let me fail," he said, "because I think you learn more from failing than succeeding." Bradbury has created new services, as well as marketing programs that continue to fuel the company’s growth. "Ryan continues to show great enthusiasm and pride for our industry and looks forward to a life-long career in pest management," the elder Bradbury says. "His commitment to being involved in our industry to make it better for all is exemplary." In 2002 he was the Viking Manager of the Year and he serves on NPMA’s Leadership Development Group Committee. — J.D.
Rick Cooper • Age: 39 • Title: Technical Director • Company: Cooper Pest Control • Location: Lawrenceville, N.J.
Rick Cooper is one of those uncommon individuals in the pest control industry who moves comfortably between business and academia. A researcher at heart, the longtime technical director of Cooper Pest Control in Lawrenceville, N.J., has conducted cutting-edge carpenter ant research that has contributed to the industry’s knowledge base of this destructive pest. Frequently sought out by manufacturers to conduct field trials for experimental use products, Cooper is more than happy to oblige, applying what he’s learned to enhance new product development and Cooper Pest Control, a 34-employee, $2.5 million family-owned business. Considered "one of the most progressive pest management professionals in the United States" by industry consultant Dr. Robert Corrigan, Cooper was recently profiled in a feature article in The New York Times. He holds a master’s degree in entomology from Rutgers University and recently co-authored the "Bed Bug" chapter in the Ninth Edition of the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control. Active in both the New Jersey Pest Management Association and NPMA, Cooper will continue to bridge the gap between pest control and academia. — D.M.
Bob Dold Jr. • Age: 34 • Title: Director of Operations • Company: Rose Exterminator Co. • Location: Chicago, Illinois
Bob Dold Jr. is the next generation of Dolds to lead one of the nation’s oldest pest control businesses. As director of operations for Rose Exterminator, Dold is responsible for coordinating day-to-day operations of various branch offices throughout the organization. He is son to Bob and Judy Dold, the only husband and wife to both serve as NPMA president.
Dold brings an impressive background to the job, which includes stints in both business and government. Prior to working at Rose, Dold was alliance manager, channel sales for Cable & Wireless. His most recent involvement in politics was as an investigative counsel for the Committee On Government Reform & Oversight. Dold worked as lead advance representative on the 1996 Dole/Kemp presidential campaign, where his responsibilities included planning, implementing and managing all facets of travel leading to multiple successful campaign events. Prior to this position, Dold was lead advance representative for former Vice President Dan Quayle. — Brad Harbison
Shanley Donohue • Age: 28 • Title: Branch Manager • Company: Flower City Pest Elimination • Location: Rochester, N.Y.
At 28 Shanley Donohue has already garnered a heap of praise and respect as branch manager for Flower City Pest Elimination. It’s a position she took on in March, 1999 after Waltham Services purchased Flower City. At the time, Donohue was 24. Her territory now covers two-thirds of New York state and she’s been instrumental in helping develop Flower City’s information technology identity, according to Clarke Keenan, president, Waltham Services. Since arriving on the scene in 1995, Donohue has expanded her knowledge of the industry and dug in her heels by becoming involved in numerous ways. In addition to being the first female director on the New York State Pest Management Association’s Board of Directors, Donohue is also the first female member of the Copesan Development Committee. — Will Nepper
Scott Fortson • Age: 36 • Title: Corporate Operations Manager • Company: Terminix Service • Location: Columbia, S.C.
Clearly on the "fast track" at the largest Terminix franchise in the country, Scott Fortson is well positioned to follow in his father Tom’s rather imposing footsteps and take a leadership role in the industry. Fortson joined Terminix Service in 1989 following graduation from the College of Charleston with a degree in political science. He served in various capacities for the company throughout North Carolina before being named Terminx Service’s Low Country regional manager in 1995. He was recently promoted to corporate operations manager, a key position within the $65 million organization, where he will be responsible for the management, growth and development of the six regions of Terminix Service Inc. The company boasts more than 850 employees who operate from 45 branch offices in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. — D.M.
Jerry Gahlhoff • Age: 31 • Title: National Technical Director • Company: HomeTeam Pest Defense • Location: Dallas, Texas
Jerry Gahlhoff began his career in pest management as a service technician, worked his way through one of the nation’s leading entomology programs, achieved a graduate degree, interned with a major manufacturer, succeeded as technical director of a major regional company and is leading the technical team of one of the largest and fastest-growing pest management companies in the country, HomeTeam Pest Defense. As national technical director for the company, Gahlhoff is responsible for coordinating the activities of five regional technical directors and ensuring training and operational procedures are implemented. Prior to joining the $83 million HomeTeam, Gahlhoff was entomologist/technical director for Wilson Pest Control Company. He earned a B.S. in urban entomology and an M.S. in entomology from the University of Florida, Gainesville. "His opinions and vision of the industry are well founded, and the energy he brings to all he is involved with make him someone who will definitely shape the industry in the years to come," said Brian Mann, Whitmire Micro-Gen. — J.D.
Gene Harrington • Age: 34 • Title: Manager of Government Affairs • Organization: National Pest Management Association • Location: Dunn Loring, Va.
The National Pest Management Association has made significant progress building credibility with public officials. Key to the association’s recent success has been the hard work and dedication of Gene Harrington, manager of government affairs, NPMA. For example, in recent years NPMA has made positive inroads with the Environmental Protection Agency. Harrington’s reputation as an honest industry "broker" has helped NPMA develop a better working relationship with the agency.
During the last nine years, Harrington has worked with state associations and individual members on a wide array of legislative and regulatory issues affecting the structural pest control industry. Harrington and others from NPMA have lobbied for school pesticide legislation that is "workable" for PCOs. This includes Harrington’s work developing an alternative language to Sen. Barbara Boxer’s anti-pesticide amendments to various appropriations bills. He also helped insert language in the Food Quality Protection Act that encouraged states to adopt minimum standards for not-for-hire applicators such as janitors and custodians. Harrington also is largely responsible for obtaining additional funding for the USDA-Forest Service’s Wood Insect Product Lab in Starkville, Miss.
In addition, Harrington drafts important position papers that the industry uses for lobbying purposes and has had industry-specific letters to the editor published in numerous large daily newspapers such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Post and San Francisco Examiner. — B.H.
Bryan Houtchens • Age: 30 • Title: Vice President • Company: Team Too Termite & Pest Control • Location: Corona, Calif.
Bryan Houtchens is a third-generation pest management professional who has helped guide a successful business while being actively involved in the Pest Control Operators of California, where he serves as a director. Houtchens learned both the technical and business aspects growing up by observing both his father and grandfather. His pest control experience includes time spent as a general pest control technician, termite technician and supervisor.
Houtchens is currently vice president and general manager of Team Too Termite & Pest Control and he has been responsible for helping the company grow by introducing new technology and treatment options. Houtchens’ association involvement includes his current stint as vice chairman of PCOC’s Orange County District, which is the association’s largest district. Houtchens also has served on the State of California Structural Pest Control Board Technical Advisory Committee and the State of California Structural Pest Control Board Subterranean Termite Bait Station Advisory Committee. — B.H.
Dennis Jenkins • Age: 40 • Title: Owner and President • Company: ABC Pest And Lawn Services• Location: Dallas, Texas
The Jenkins family of Texas is arguably the closest thing the pest control industry has to royalty. Throughout the 1990s, former NPMA President Robert Jenkins Sr. built one of the nation’s most successful family-owned pest control businesses before passing away far too young from kidney disease in 1998. However, the story has a heart-warming ending. Jenkins’ three sons — under the watchful eye of mother Sandy — have built their own successful pest control businesses throughout the state of Texas, generating nearly $35 million in combined revenues in separate operations based in Dallas, Houston and Austin. While big brother Bobby, immediate past president of the NPMA, is the most visible member of the family, and middle-sibling Raleigh is the most outgoing, younger brother Dennis is quietly becoming a force to be reckoned with in his own right as chairman of the NPMA’s Leadership Development Group. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in entomology, Dennis started working in his family’s pest control business at the tender age of 12, pulling weeds for the company’s fledgling landscape division. By the age of 16 he was running his own pest control route and learning the finer points of integrated pest management, as well as pest control sales. When his father sold ABC Pest Control to Waste Management in 1988, Dennis joined the company as Texas Director of Training and Quality Control. He and his family moved to Tennessee a few months later when Waste Management purchased Simmons Pest Control and Dennis was named manager of the Nashville-based business. In 1989, he decided to venture out on his own, following in his father’s footsteps when he opened the doors to ABC Pest and Lawn Services of Dallas. Fifteen years later, ABC is recognized as one of the largest independent pest control companies in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area with annual revenues in excess of $5 million. — D.M.
Adam Jones • Age: 38 • Title: Vice President, Director of Quality Assurance • Company: Massey Services Inc. • Location: Maitland, Fla.
Adam Jones dove headfirst into the service sector more than 20 years ago as a truck mechanic for ChemLawn Services. During his association with ChemLawn, Jones climbed the ranks, taking on numerous roles including lawn specialist, tree and shrub specialist, assistant branch manager, sales manager and, ultimately, branch manager. In 1991 he joined Massey Services where he conquered yet another corporate structure, serving as technical director, director of quality assurance and division manager. At 38 Jones is vice president, director of quality assurance for Massey, and responsible for all technical support services and training. Jones’ commitment to the industry is evident in his involvement with public awareness and education programs with local media and area organizations. Jones also spends a great deal of time on the road as a speaker representing the industry. — W.N.
Kim Kelley-Tunis • Age: 35 • Title: Director of Training and Education • Company: McCloud Services • Location: Hoffman Estates, Ill.
"In her position as director of training and education at McCloud Services, Kim Kelly-Tunis has pushed the envelope on our training capabilities," said Chris McCloud, the company’s general manager. "Kim has created programs for continuing education along with leading a comprehensive initial training program for all service personnel."
"Kim is a good biologist and she’s been doing a lot of good work for the last five or six years," added well-known industry consultant Bobby Corrigan.
In addition to her contributions to McCloud, Kelly-Tunis, a Purdue University alumna, works directly with McCloud clients and participates in a variety of training events, including the Purdue Pest Management Conference. She also has taken a leadership role in Copesan and serves on several organizations and technical committees, including Pi Chi Omega, the Copesan Technical Committee, the Copesan Distance Learning Steering Committee, Copesan RapidTrax Steering Committee and the Professional Women in Pest Control. "Kim has contributed and continues to contribute greatly to the education and training within our company," McCloud said. — J.D.
Stephen Kells • Age: 35 • Title: Technical Director • Company: Abell Pest Control • Location: Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
Stephen Kells is considered an up-and-coming technical specialist who also has left his mark on training and in academia. As technical director at Abell Pest Control, Kells serves as manager of quality assurance, technical and training services of 250-plus technicians and personnel in 23 branch offices in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to developing curricula to train new personnel and develop established employees, Kells ensures that Abell’s various control programs are in compliance with regulatory standards.
Kells has been published in technical journals and also is a skilled speaker. Conferences at which Kells has given pest control presentations include the Purdue Pest Control Conference, Pest Management Canada and the PCT Rodent Management Summit. Kells also performed post-doctoral research in stored product pests and fumigation at Purdue’s Post Harvest Education and Research Center. — B.H.
Jennifer Leggett • Age: 38 • Title: President & Owner • Company: Lindsey Pest Control Inc. • Location: Jacksonville, Fla.
Jennifer Leggett is a fast-rising Florida PCO who has been actively involved with regulatory issues. A 16-year industry veteran, Leggett started out as a technician in 1987 but has gradually worked her way through the ranks and in 1992 she purchased Lindsey Pest Control.
Recently, Leggett represented the pest control industry on the steering committee for the development of The Florida Best Management Practices (BMP) for the Green Industry. She currently is developing the implementation of the BMPs statewide with the IFAS/UF Outreach Committee. During the past six years Leggett has worked with the Duval County Extension Service developing and presenting training programs for technicians — a program that has been adopted statewide. Leggett is a past director of Florida Pest Management Association’s Region 5 and also has served two terms as FPMA’s State Educational Chairman. Leggett is moving through the chairs of FPMA (she is currently the association’s treasurer) en route to becoming FPMA president. — B.H.
Todd Leyse • Age: 38 • Title: Vice President • Company: Adam’s Pest Control • Location: Hamel, Minn.
A second-generation pest management professional, Todd Leyse is following in the steps of his father, Harold Leyse. The elder Leyse co-founded Adam’s Pest Control in 1971 with his partner, the late Don Hansen. Like so many others, Leyse grew up around pest control. (His father Harold Leyse worked for Lystad’s, a well-known company in the region before it was purchased by Ecolab.) Adam’s Pest Control was founded when Todd Leyse was 6 years old. After putting in his time working at a grocery store during high school and college, Leyse earned a B.A. in computer science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He also took many credit hours of business courses. In addition, he played Division II basketball for several years while on partial scholarship at the University of Minnesota-Duluth Campus.
After school he took a job at a Honeywell as a research scientist, which "could be best described as a UNIX systems administrator," he says. There he was responsible for a budget of about $200,000 per year. He left in 1994 to go to work for Rosemount Measurement, a division of Emerson Electric. Although Leyse left the corporate computer world in 1996 to join his father after Hansen passed away, he still has an interest in computers and is working to continue to modernize all aspects of the business. "Todd actively supports our local and national industry associations and is known for his technology expertise," his father says.
The 6-foot-7-inch Leyse is a frequent speaker at industry events and a member of several NPMA committees. He was president of the Minnesota Pest Management Association in 2000 and this year serves as the association’s vice president. — J.D.
Sean McCauley • Age: 33 • Title: Owner • Company: Garden Plus Pest Control & Termite • Location: Pittsburg, Calif.
Garden Plus Pest Control & Termite hired Sean McCauley right out of high school — a good move for the firm. Four years later, after the unexpected death of the company’s founder, McCauley became acting owner. At the age of 32, McCauley has grown the business, branching out into multiple new services and turning Garden Plus into a major industry player. In addition to ranking on several "fastest-growing business" lists and recognition in numerous California business publications, just this year Garden Plus jumped fromnumber 71 to 60 on PCT’s Top 100 list of the largest firms in the industry. McCauley also has received numerous awards for Garden Plus’ environmental commitment. — W.N.
Michael McGuinness • Age: 38 • Title: Technical Director • Company: The Steritech Group Inc. Location: Cumming, Ga.
Michael McGuinness’ credentials may not look like many of the others on these pages. Maybe that’s because he works for a company that performs more than just pest management.
Although he has 6½ years of formal education in either pest management or entomology (from the State University of New York in Farmingdale and the University of Georgia), he’s a hands-on employee who has worked his way through the ranks at the $36 million Steritech. He has had the unique advantage of holding every service position within Steritech — from night service specialist to service supervisor to service manager to regional technical manager and finally technical manager.
McGuinness is a member of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program sponsored by EPA. He’s also chairman of the Steritech Technical Committee, an ISO 9000 internal auditor and an AIB-certified quality control sanitarian. "From Mike’s early education on insects, pesticides and the pest management industry he developed a philosophical outlook with a core tenet being the advantages of reduced pesticide usage," said Eric Eicher, president of Steritech’s pest division. "As part of Mike’s desire to promote reduced pesticide usage, he is heavily involved in the EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program and played a key role in Steritech receiving a commendation for reduced pesticide strategies. His entire adult working life has revolved around the studies of pests, pesticides and developing strategies for successful pest management," Eicher said. "He represents the industry honorably — as a true professional — and promotes it in the best light at every opportunity." — J.D.
Jim McHale Jr. • Age: 37 • Title: President • Company: J.P. McHale Pest Management Inc. • Location: Buchanan, N.Y.
Since purchasing J.P. McHale Pest Management from his father in 1992, Jim McHale Jr. has grown the company using a combination of savvy marketing skills, smart decision-making and innovative thinking. For example, McHale had the forethought to partner with a local handyman service to help physically control pest populations through exclusion and to assist customers with small jobs not of interest to contractors. In 11 years, McHale has grown the company from a small-town operation with $500,000 in sales to a company that currently does $8 million in sales. In 1992, J.P. McHale had one office with about 20 employees that offered general pest control and termite services. Today, the company has nearly 85 employees, encompassing four divisions: residential and commercial pest control, termite services, tree and turf services, as well as the recent EnviroCare division, headquartered at a new two-story building. — B.H.
Frank Meek • Age: 40 • Title: National Technical Director • Company: Orkin Pest Control • Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Frank Meek, a 17-year industry veteran, is a frequent contributor to industry magazines and a speaker at events locally and nationally. This board certified entomologist has been with Orkin Pest Control since 1986, and has held various positions throughout residential termite and pest control and commercial pest control. Meek has held the positions of commercial service technician, residential sales and branch manager. His most recent position was quality assurance manager for Orkin’s Acurid commercial division. Meek is currently the national pest control technical manager for Orkin in Atlanta.
Meek is a member of the National Pest Management Association, the Georgia Pest Control Association, the Greater Atlanta Pest Control Association, Entomological Society of America, Pi Chi Omega and others.
He is on the ESA B.C.E Awards Selection Committee, NPMA Project Development Council and Steering Committee for Oklahoma State University Stored Product Pest Research.
"Frank is a true professional and represents the pest control industry as a sincere, hardworking individual who reflects a positive image of the pest control industry," said Whitmire Micro-Gen’s Gary Moneyham. — J.D.
Eric Melass • Age: 33 • Title: Vice President • Company: Killum Pest Control Inc. • Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
During the past 10 years, Killum Pest Control has shown continuous growth and enhanced its community-wide status. Killum has grown from seven employees in 1995 to 16 employees today and it now services the entire county. In 2002, Killum was recognized as the Business Leader of the Year by the Brazosport Area Chamber of Commerce and the Brazoria County Partnership Inc. As vice president of the company, Eric Melass’ leadership and hard work have been instrumental in Killum’s growth. Melass, a second-generation pest management professional, has helped the company grow by introducing new technology and innovative marketing. Specifically, Melass has become well versed in termite baiting. For example, in 1997 Melass spent a day with the Texas Structural Pest Control Board, educating them on the termite baiting process and the necessary customer interaction. In addition to his work at Killum, Melass is a member of the Greater Houston Pest Control Association (GHPCA), Texas Pest Control Association and NPMA. He is the current GHPCA president. — B.H.
Bruno Milanese • Age: 38 • Title: President • Company: Bay Pest Control • Location: Biloxi, Miss.
An 18-year industry veteran, Bruno Milanese is a successful owner/operator who has raised his company’s profile in the community through his active involvement in various associations and organizations. In 1996, Milanese purchased Bay Pest Control, which was a single-employee, $150,000-a-year operation. Under Milanese’s leadership, Bay Pest Control now generates more than $1 million a year and boasts 12 employees, servicing more than 1,000 customers.
Milanese is a member of the Mississippi Pest Control Association and was recently selected by the association to serve as its representative on the 2003-05 Mississippi Department of Agriculture Bureau of Plant Industry Advisory Council. Council members advise, mediate, introduce, and put into action programs to update and change the legal documentations used in the state of Mississippi to engage in pest control activities.
In 2001, Milanese received the State of Mississippi 2001 Governors Initiative Volunteer Award that was sponsored by the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service. Milanese has donated countless hours to helping develop three mentoring programs and training manuals. — B.H.
Joaquin Arturo Nava Fonseca • Age: 36 • Title: President • Company: Delcen Group • Location: Queretaro, Mexico
Born in Mexico City, Joaquin Arturo Nava Fonseca may not be a name many pest control professionals in the United States are familiar with. But his accomplishments are so great that his name should be recognized on both sides of the border. In 1986 after finishing high school, 18-year-old Nava started his own pest control business named "Fumigacion Y Control De Plagas Del Centro." As his company grew, he opened several other pest control companies, including one that specialized in pest control for the food industry. Today, these companies are integrated and called Delcen Group, which employs 42 people in six locations. From 1999 to 2001 Nava served as president of the Mexican National Pest Control Association. "The Mexican association has done some pretty remarkable work," said Bob Rosenberg, director of government affairs for the National Pest Management Association. "Unlike in the U.S., the pest management industry was hardly regulated in Mexico," Rosenberg added. "The association stepped up to the plate and they worked with the Mexican government to step up regulations to enhance the industry’s professionalism. And they have succeeded."
In 2001, Nava was elected general secretary of the "Confederación Latino Americana De Control de Plagas" (the Latin American Pest Control Confederation, also known as "COPLAG"). As COPLAG general secretary, he represents Latin America on the World Pest Management Alliance. In his role at COPLAG he is leading proposals to establish new legal standards for the pest control industry in Latin America. "He has provided leadership to COPLAG and the vision that he and his immediate predecessors have implemented — despite many borders and cultural differences — is allowing the organization to speak with one voice. That’s a pretty big accomplishment," Rosenberg said. — J.D.
Jamie Ogle • Age: 35 • Title: President • Company: Lloyd Pest Control • Location: San Diego, Calif.
Like many second- and third-generation pest management professionals, Jamie Ogle worked for Lloyd Pest Control as route technician, customer service representative and mechanic’s assistant while attending college. He joined the firm full-time in 1991 upon his graduation from college with a B.S. in managerial economics from the University of California-Davis. In 1993 he became the company’s first marketing manager and was the termite department manager from 1995-99. In 2000 he was named president/CEO.
With an MBA from the University of San Diego, Ogle is a member of many management organizations, including TEC (The Executive Committee, an international organization of CEOs), the San Diego Employer’s Association, Toastmasters and many more. In addition, Lloyd Pest Control won a BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics in 2001 and was named by PCT as a best Web site design award winner in 2002.
Lloyd Pest Control was founded in the 1930s and is now an $18 million company serving Southern California with more than 200 radio-dispatched trucks and 200 licensed technicians. — J.D.
Stacy O’Reilly • Age: 37 • Title: President & Owner • Company: Plunkett’s Pest Control Inc. • Location: Fridley, Minn.
Stacy O’Reilly is a progressive PCO who uses a diverse business background, education and experience to guide Plunkett’s Pest Control. Stacy is the third generation of the O’Reilly family to own and operate the Fridley, Minn.-based business. O’Reilly brings a fresh business approach to pest control having worked in high-level management positions prior to joining Plunkett’s. She began her professional career with a five-year stint as an associate at McKinsey and Co., a worldwide management consulting firm. That experience was followed by positions at Research Engineering, the Minnesota-based manufacturer of PUR Water Filters, and at Simon Delivers, a grocery home delivery firm.
"She digs into everything she does with a lot of enthusiasm and I think that will serve her well in this industry," said Jay Bruesch, technical director of Plunkett’s. "She’s extremely competitive. She does not like to be left behind, one-upped or to fail at things. As such, I think that will make her want to lead this company forward." — B.H.
Donny Oswalt • Age: 33 • Title: Graduate Research Assistant • Organization: Clemson University • Location: Clemson, S.C.
One of the next generation of pest control researchers, Donny Oswalt brings both real-world industry experience and years of academic achievement as a graduate research assistant at Clemson University. Oswalt has been involved in pest control all his life. He helped his father Dave, a longtime pest management professional, start his own business, Budget Pest Control in 1987. During his years at Budget, Oswalt held a wide range of positions ranging from technician to technical director to vice president.
Oswalt has been at Clemson since 2001 working on research projects under Dr. Eric Benson. His research has been focused on termite foraging, behavior and control utilizing baits and novel insecticides. Oswalt’s dissertation research focuses on the carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) biology and control using baits and novel insecticides. Oswalt also is an up-and-coming educator, having given presentations at state association meetings as well as the Entomological Society of America meeting. As a teaching assistant, Oswalt provides students great insight on how urban entomology directly relates to pest management, according to Benson. — B.H.
Sandi Quintana • Age: 38 • Title: Manager, Commercial Division — Los Angeles Office • Company: Western Exterminator Co. • Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
As manager of Western Exterminator Company’s Los Angeles Commercial Division Office, 38-year-old Sandi Quintana oversees 47 male technicians all of whom work at night. Quintana, who has been manager at the Los Angeles office the last three years, is responsible for managing the night business operations and also actively works alongside technicians in the field.
Quintana’s pest control tenure began at age 19 when she ran a pest control route in Los Angeles. She then moved into the office, working her way up to office manager. Later in her career she returned to route work prior to becoming manager of the Los Angeles Commercial Division in 2001.
Quintana serves on numerous boards at Western, including the quality assurance board, and she regularly consults with computer programmers to update the current AS400 system in place at Western. In addition to her responsibilities at Western, Quintana is a wife and mother to four children under the age of 13. — B.H.
Glen Rollins • Age: 37 • Title: Executive Vice President • Company: Orkin Pest Control • Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Glen Rollins could have succumbed to the "silver spoon" syndrome, but his father, Orkin CEO Gary Rollins, saw to it that the third-generation namesake of Rollins Inc. paid his dues before moving on to the executive offices of the nation’s second-largest pest control company. Glen first went to work for Orkin Pest Control in 1979 at the ripe old age of 14, working as a termite technician during the summer when off from school. He joined the company full-time in 1990 as a sales inspector, methodically rising through the ranks as a service manager, sales manager, branch manager, assistant region sales manager and region sales manager. Rollins continued his slow, but steady climb through the organization when he was kicked upstairs to the home office in 1995 upon being named director of commercial development. Two years later, he was promoted again, this time to assistant vice president of the commercial division and vice president of corporate development, a key position within the $665 million company.
In 2000, Rollins was promoted to executive vice president, where he is responsible for all of Orkin’s operating divisions, positioning the Dartmouth-educated executive to take over the top spot at the Atlanta-based company when his father is ready to retire, which doesn’t appear to be anytime soon. However, when he is ready to pass over the reins to one of America’s great pest control companies, most industry observers agree that Orkin Pest Control will be in good hands thanks to the egalitarian leadership style and charismatic personality of Glen Rollins. — D.M.
Tim Runyon • Age: 35 • Title: Owner • Company: Swat Pest Management • Location: Evansville, Ind.
This former women’s shoe salesman learned some of his management skills as he moved up the ranks from stocker to assistant manager to manager. His experience there taught Tim Runyon "about personal reward over personal gain," he said. After 10 years in the pest control industry with another firm, Runyon decided to open his own pest control company. In five years, he’s grown that business, Swat Pest Management, into a 22-person workforce that has demonstrated notable success. His innovative marketing techniques have been recognized in the pages of PCT magazine. He’s known in the Evansville area for charitable gestures such as donating his time and expertise to local schools and churches — a distinction that won him honors from the Evansville Christian Life Center.
In perhaps an ultimate case of admiration and flattery, Runyon’s son, Brandon, plans to attend Purdue University in two years to study entomology and follow in his father’s footsteps. Cisse Spragins, owner of Rockwell Labs, Minneapolis, Minn., says that it’s his managerial style that truly sets him apart. "The degree of involvement, pride and excitement exuded by (Runyon’s) employees is truly remarkable," Spragins says. "It is no surprise that under his leadership his company has been successful." — W.N.
Rick Rupkey Jr. • Age: 36 • Title: Vice President • Company: University Termite & Pest Control • Location: Tucson, Ariz.
Emptying the garbage cans, vacuuming the carpets, dusting, scrubbing the toilets…sound familiar to other second-generation pest management professionals? For Rick Rupkey Jr., performing these chores at age 13 is how he first spent time at his father’s company, University Termite & Pest Control. Summers were spent running termite crews, pest control routes and doing real estate inspections, until Rick went away to college. While attending the University of California at San Diego, he worked for Lloyd Pest Control, often trading duties with Jamie Ogle, son of Owner James Ogle of the San Diego-based company. After school and a brief stint with the St. Louis Cardinals minor league baseball organization, Rupkey returned to Tucson. Since 1990 he has held virtually every position that the company has to offer — including telephone dispatcher, service manager, sales manager and area manager.
Today, as vice president for the company, Rupkey acts as liaison to the various associations and regulatory agencies that the company interacts with. He served for eight years on the Arizona Pest Management Board of Directors, culminating with his tenure as president in 1999-2000. He also served as chairperson for NPMA’s Leadership Development Group. He holds the licensure for the company in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada, manages the corporate offices in Tucson, manages the company’s IT concerns and is the creator and manager of the company’s new Signature Service Programs.
"I consider myself a lucky man," Rupkey said. "Every day I’m happy to get to work. I get to spend my days alongside some of the best people in the industry, and beside my mentor and best friend, my father." — J.D.
Chuck Russell • Age: 39 • Title: Vice President of Pest Services • Company: Eradico Services Inc. • Location: Southfield, Mich.
With his Hollywood good looks and natural-born leadership abilities, Chuck Russell is one of the rising stars of the pest management industry. A second-generation PCO, Russell is past president of the Michigan Pest Control Association and vice president of pest services at Eradico Services Inc., a $7 million pest control and lawn care firm based in Southfield, Mich. Bob England, director of technical services for Eradico Services, attributes Russell’s success to his professional ethics and business acumen, in addition to his remarkable work ethic. "No one in the organization would ever say Chuck Russell hasn’t earned his way to the top of our company," he says. "He hasn’t been handed anything. He has earned it all." When not overseeing the company’s pest control services, Russell is active in state government affairs and an avid supporter of the Professional Pest Management Alliance. Chuck’s father, Forrest, says his son has provided "great leadership" for the company and is "a man of great intelligence, high moral standards, integrity and hard work. Chuck is a credit to his profession and his family." When not working, Russell — who has a black belt in karate — teaches self-defense to children and women, is active in his church, and enjoys spending time with his wife, Kelly, and their three sons. — D.M.
Todd Sawyer • Age: 39 • Title: President • Company: Resiserv Pest Protection •Location: Boise, Idaho
Todd Sawyer has done it all — "all" meaning that he’s run two successful businesses, each with a totally different focus. He worked for his father, Bill Sawyer, at Sawyer’s Pest Control, in Rochester, N.Y., for several years. After Todd moved to Idaho in 1981, he opened Sawyer’s Pest Control of Idaho, and he and his father became partners in both the New York and Idaho operations. After owning and operating the Idaho office for almost 20 years, he sold the commercial business to the Steritech Group. Although Sawyer spent a short time with Steritech after the acquisition, the desire to continue to run his own business won out. The New York office was sold to Terminix and in 2001, Sawyer founded Resiserv, an all-residential firm that has branch offices in Boise, Idaho; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle and Spokane, Wash. "What’s interesting about Todd Sawyer is that he’s run totally different kinds of businesses — one commercial and one residential," said Gene Harrington, manager of government affairs for NPMA.
"My father Bill Sawyer has influenced me regarding this industry and life in general more than anyone," Sawyer said. "His desire to solve problems and make life better for our clients and employees has proven to be a guide for my career." — J.D.
Bert Snyder • Age: 36 • Title: Vice President • Company: Palmetto Exterminators • Location: Charleston, S.C.
Palmetto Exterminators is truly a family affair. In 1976, Albert ("Bud") and Lillian Snyder purchased the six-person company. Today, the couple’s sons, Bert and Lance, are leading the company. Bert earned a bachelor of science degree in entomology from Clemson University in 1990 and has been working full time for the company since then. He began as manager of the company’s Charleston branch office. From 1996 to 1999 he was general manager of operations for the company and since 1999 he’s been vice president of the firm. A former college basketball player, Snyder discovered the first structural infestation in South Carolina of Cryptotermes brevis — the powederpost drywood termite. Snyder was president of Greater Charleston Pest Control Association from 1993-95 and president of South Carolina Pest Control Association from 2001 to this year. The company’s revenue exceeds $5 million and boasts more than 75 employees in seven locations, two of which are new this year. — J.D.
Scott Stevenson Age: 37 • Title: Director of Operations Company: Modern Pest Services • Location: Brunswick, Maine
A third-generation PCO with 22 years of pest control experience, Scott Stevenson has managed the daily activities of Modern Pest Services since 1990. During this time, Modern has averaged a 15 percent annual growth rate and has opened four service centers throughout New England. Most of this growth has come internally through strategic planning, as well as the acquisition of several pest management firms located in New England. Modern was founded in 1945 by Scott’s grandfather, Howard.
Modern is a family affair. The company also includes Scott’s brother, Rich Stevenson Jr., the company’s technical director, and Doug Stevenson, director of administration.
Stevenson also has been actively involved in various associations, serving as director of the New England Pest Management Association (NEPMA). He also served as treasurer, vice president and president of NEPMA. Stevenson’s involvement on the national level includes membership in NPMA’s Leadership Development Group. — B.H.
Dan Suiter Age: 40 • Title: Assistant Professor, Urban Pest Management in the Department of Entomology • Organization: University of Georgia Location: Griffin, Ga.
A leading industry researcher and educator, Dan Suiter wears many hats at the Georgia Experiment Station. Suiter is responsible for the development of a comprehensive extension, research and education program on the management of structural and household pests in support of the pest control industry, homeowners and the Georgia Structural Pest Control Training Facility. The training facility is an invaluable resource to train and educate PCOs, regulators and county extension agents on the application of termiticides. It is a partially completed home comprised of common construction elements found throughout Georgia and the Southeast United States.
Throughout his 16-year career Suiter has provided the pest control industry with cutting-edge research. In recent years Suiter has concentrated most of his research efforts on ants, especially carpenter, Argentine and odorous house ants.
During the last three years, Suiter has worked alongside University of Georgia’s Dr. Brian Forschler on a state-funded anti-Formosan termite program. Suiter also is an accomplished writer and speaker who has given more than 100 lectures in four states. — B.H.
Emily Thomas Age: 28 • Title: Chief Operating Officer Company: Arrow Exterminators Inc. • Location: Atlanta, Ga.
A third-generation pest management professional, Emily Thomas, chief operating officer of Arrow Exterminators, Atlanta, Ga., has a pedigree for pest control. Starting her career after graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1998, Thomas didn’t take long to move from her entry-level position to a leadership role.
In addition to being a member of the Georgia Pest Control Association and NPMA, she served on the board of the Professional Women in Pest Management in 2002. Upon her arrival at Arrow’s corporate office, Thomas didn’t take long to make her mark — whether it be through her contributions in developing Arrow’s new market strategy or the creation of the company’s new Web site. "Her impact has been tremendous," says Rick Bell, vice president of technical services, who likens Thomas’s contributions to the company to that of John Havlicek’s with the 1970s Boston Celtics, "who didn’t start the game, but always came in and made an impact on the outcome." — W.N.
Brian Van Dam Age: 34 • Title: Owner Company: Fulton Company Inc. • Location: North Miami Beach, Fla.
Currently the Florida Pest Management Asso-ciation’s youngest president, as well as the owner of Fulton Company Inc., North Miami Beach, Fla., Brian Van Dam has managed to fit a lot into a mere 13 years of active service in the industry.
In the past five years he’s increased Fulton’s revenues by more than 106 percent, more than doubling the size of the 50-year old company. In addition to serving in numerous roles with FPMA, the organization also has awarded him Committee Chairperson of the Year. He’s also served as a member of the Florida Pesticide Applicators Alliance and facilitated a joint partnership between FPMA and the National Pest Management Association. His charitable assistance in Hurricane Andrew Relief activities garnered him local attention, and he currently speaks to elementary school students on the differences between "good bugs" and "bad bugs."
As if that wasn’t enough, Van Dam currently serves on the University of Florida’s Research and Education Advisory Committee as a representative of the pest management industry. — W.N.
Ben Walker Age: 35 • Title: Vice President of Operations • Company: Gregory Pest Prevention • Location: Greenville, S.C.
It doesn’t get much better than when the president of the company you work for reports that the company has doubled its growth since you joined the firm. Yet that’s exactly what Phil Gregory, president of Gregory Pest Prevention, says about Ben Walker. "Ben’s been with us seven or eight years and brought so many ideas to our company," he said. "We’ve doubled our growth since he joined the company."
Walker received a bachelor of science degree in finance from Bob Jones University. Walker, who had no previous experience in the pest management industry prior to joining Gregory, is now the company’s vice president of operations. (He was previously in management with a national sports chain.) All of Gregory’s branch managers report to Walker and he’s third in command at the $11 million firm. "Ben is one of the most intelligent people that I’ve known in the 30 years I’ve been in this business," Gregory said. "He’s just one of those types of people that comes through your door one out of a million times. People respect and work well with him."
Walker serves on NPMA’s Leadership Development Group Council and is currently serving a third term on the operations/business management committee for NPMA — this year as chairman. He also works on the Copesan Financial Committee and the Copesan Development Committee.
"He’s not the kind of person who asks for recognition," Gregory says. "But I’ve never met someone who catches on so quickly and is so adept at change." — J.D.
Jodi Dorsch is editor of PCT magazine. Brad Harbison is managing editor. Dan Moreland is publisher. Will Nepper is a staff writer. Dorsch can be reached at email@example.com.