RICHMOND, Va. - Aaron Owens, owner of Richmond, Va.-based U.S. Pest Control, was elected to serve as Virginia Pest Management Association (VPMA) board member. Recently, he reflected on the history of his business as well as some of the people and practices to whom he owes his success.
U.S. Pest Control was founded in 1991 by Owens’ grandmother, Joyce DeBerry. Its focus has always been on providing immediate, knowledgeable and trustworthy services, he said. Owens, 27, took the opportunity to work for the company in 2015. After managing accounts and growing U.S. Pest Control year after year, he became owner in 2019. He hasn’t looked back.
U.S. Pest Control currently services residential and commercial accounts. Owens believes success came from being personable with clients. This comes in handy when calming down frantic customers while explaining the pest control process. Having knowledge on why a pest issue may be occurring and coming up with a solution while also being able to communicate it in an understandable way are also keys. It is also important to maintain good leadership of employees as well as keep great relationships with them and ensure their satisfaction.
Owens lauded VPMA Executive Director Andrea Coron, saying she leads an all-star team. His job on the board is to give insights on the industry within Richmond, he said. As a young professional, he can also lend his knowledge about technical field resources. Really, he said, the board is all about engaging with others and branching off their ideas.
Owens said that as he began to grow his company he started to understand the power of networking. Through networking, he met his business mentor Robert “YB” Youngblood, owner of YBConnects, who later introduced him to Cleveland Dixon, owner of Holiday Termite & Pest Control, Springfield, Va. The two hit it off immediately, Owens said. Dixon was the one who introduced him to Black Ownership Matters (BOM), an organization in support of black economic advancement in the field of pest management. Through it, Owens said, he has met a ton of folks who have given different and useful insight.
Away from his role in Virginia’s pest control industry, Owens gives back to his community. In 2021, he was chosen to be a part of “The Father Figure,” an annual event hosted by Relationship Foundation of Virginia. Eleven dads, including Owens, came together to raise money for fathers in the Richmond area who may be less fortunate. With the help of business associates, family members and fundraising initiatives, the dads raised money to provide resources to less fortunate fathers raising a family.
In 2021, the “funding fathers” managed to raise more than $77,000 altogether. All of that money went to the Relationship Foundation of Virginia, which then distributed it to eligible fathers. Owens, personally, raised around $10,000 during the event