Don McCarthy Receives Steven Graff Ambassador Award

Don McCarthy Receives Steven Graff Ambassador Award

The award recognizes individuals for their contributions to the pest management industry in Canada and honors the memory of the longtime quality assurance manager at Abell Pest Control.


Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the summer 2021 issue of PCT Canada.

Don McCarthy, former president of Braemar Pest Control (now Rentokil Canada) was honored as the third recipient of the CPMA Steven Graff Ambassador Award. The award was presented virtually by the Canadian Pest Management Association (CPMA) and Bayer at the Pest Management Canada conference in February.

The award recognizes individuals for their contributions to the pest management industry in Canada, and honours the memory of Graff, the longtime quality assurance manager at Abell Pest Control and past CPMA president, who passed away in 2017. Graff’s CPMA accomplishments included defending the pest control industry before the Canadian government and helping foster the relationship between CPMA and Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

McCarthy never intended to work in pest management. At 17, he left Ontario and joined the Royal Canadian Navy, landing in Halifax where he formed a rock band and attempted to make the big time. 

His father Frank McCarthy, who was one of the first five technicians hired by PCO Services (now Orkin Canada) in the early 1950s, persuaded him to give pest control a try. McCarthy took his advice and worked for PCO Services for nearly 15 years until he was approached in 1989 by Ted Fowler with the invitation to join Braemar Pest Management in Bedford, N.S. Eventually, McCarthy grew the company to serve all of the Atlantic provinces.

McCarthy’s knowledge and passion for pest management led to his involvement in industry associations. In the late ’90s with participation in CPMA falling, McCarthy and CPMA Treasurer Andre Maheu set off on a cross-country road trip that revitalized the association. Their efforts re-engaged pest control companies in the drive to raise industry professionalism and to ensure the industry had a voice to protect needed products regulated by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

 McCarthy also led discussions to give CPMA members joint membership in the National Pest Management Association (U.S.), thus providing the Canadian industry access to greater resources. This partnership was approved by CPMA members in 1998.

McCarthy served as president of CPMA from 1998 to 2002, from 2004 to 2005 and briefly in 2008 during a transition in leadership.

He was chair of the NPMA Commercial Committee from 2005 to 2007 and received the association’s Chairman of the Year Award in 2008. 

He also played an integral role in developing the NPMA Pest Management Food Safety Standards for Food Plants. In 2015, NPMA awarded McCarthy a Certificate of Appreciation for his work on behalf of the industry.

Under McCarthy’s leadership, Braemar was the first Canadian company to be accredited with QualityPro Canada certification (2009). He championed the need to raise the bar of professionalism for all companies and worked tirelessly to launch the QualityPro Canada accreditation program for those companies that wanted to earn this unique distinction. 
Previous recipients of the CPMA Steven Graff Ambassador Award include:
2018 - Gary Muldoon, Orkin Canada
2019 - Tom Schultz, Edmonton Exterminators

2020 - Michel Maheu, Maheu&Maheu