Dan Fleischer, president of PestEx, Newton, Mass., authored the September PCT column “My Biggest Mistake,” in which he discussed some of the lessons he’s learned in growing his business from a one-man operation to a successful 10-person operation, serving the Boston area. Fleischer shares some of these tips in the following podcast.
|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.
LYNCHBURG, Va. - Dodson Pest Control has acquired Scott's Pest Control, Florence, S.C., the company announced.
Scott's has been in business since 2000. "After many years of providing quality pest control service, I am looking forward to spending more time with my grandchildren," said Scott Newell, owner, Scott's Pest Control.
Dodson said its proud family tradition of service will continue as Scott's transfers its business to Dodson. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Dodson Pest Control was established in 1944, and has providing service to the greater Florence area for over 34 years, the company said.
"We will continue to maintain Scott Newell's deep commitment to quality service," said Bert Dodson, CEO, Dodson Pest Control. "We look forward to accomodating the service needs of our new customers."
Dodson Pest Control has 34 offices in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Eastern Tennessee and Washington, D.C. To find out more, visit DodsonBros.com.
***update on 9/21/2012 at 2 p.m.****
FAIRFAX, Va. — Rob Lederer has left his position as executive vice president of the National Pest Management Association, effective immediately.
The announcement was made by NPMA President Laura SImpson during an NPMA Board of Directors conference call this morning. Lederer will remain with NPMA for six months in a consulting role.
In an NPMA press release, Lederer stated, "I treasure my NPMA experiences, particularly the many people I've had the opportunity to meet and what I've learned over the years. But, many of us who travel intense career paths reach a point where it is time to pursue new challenges, and, now, that time has come.”
He added, “With the quality and caliber of our leadership and staff team, I have full confidence that NPMA is poised to achieve even greater successes in the coming years.”
Simpson praised Lederer's contributions to the association and the industry, saying he is largely responsible for building NPMA into a powerhouse organization. "Rob leaves behind an incredibly solid association made up of individual building blocks he stacked with precision and intent. From the strength of partnerships with our state associations to the creation of Quality Pro and the Professional Pest Management Alliance, from the fostering of new industry leaders at Academy and Leadership Development Group to our widely respected government affairs program, the industry owes Rob a resounding thanks for his far reaching efforts that will outlive his time with the association."
Simpson noted NPMA's executive committee has begun diligent work on a transition plan and that members can be assured the association's activities will continue to operate fully during the search for and transition to a new executive vice president. "The great work of NPMA staff, our board and the existing programs established during Rob's tenure as our leader will continue unvarnished while we undergo a comprehensive, national search for the right candidate," Simpson expressed. "We don't enter into this search lightly and won't make decisions without careful, consideration for the day-to-day operations and long-term strategic goals of the organization."
PCT will be providing updates to this story.
LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany — BASF plans to acquire Becker Underwood for a price of $1.02 billion. The company, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, is one of the leading global providers of technologies for biological seed treatment, seed treatment colors and polymers, as well as products in the areas of biological crop protection, turf and horticulture, animal nutrition and landscape colorants and coatings. Becker Underwood has 10 production sites worldwide and 479 employees. BASF came to an agreement with Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) to acquire Becker Underwood which has been a portfolio company of NEP since 2004. The purchase is subject to approval by the responsible authorities and legal closing of the transaction is expected by the end of 2012.
“We are impressed with Becker Underwood’s ability to translate growers’ needs into innovative, tailor-made solutions that can promote higher yields while conserving resources. Becker Underwood is to become part of BASF and we are excited that together with our new colleagues we can continue expanding our competencies. Particularly in the rapidly-growing seed treatment market, we will be able to develop innovative solutions for agriculture,” said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, research executive director and member of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors responsible for the Agricultural Solutions segment.
Becker Underwood is expected to achieve sales of $240 million for fiscal year 2012, ending on Sept. 30. As part of the acquisition, BASF’s Crop Protection division will create a strategic global business unit called Functional Crop Care. The unit will merge BASF’s existing research, development and marketing activities in the areas of seed treatment, biological crop protection, plant health, as well as water and resource management with those of Becker Underwood. Becker Underwood’s animal nutrition business will be integrated into BASF’s Nutrition & Health division.
“Becker Underwood has a strong position in North America. We will continue to expand this core business as we expand globally. Together we can sustainably create value for our customers,” said Markus Heldt, president of BASF’s Crop Protection division. “We are thrilled at the prospect of working with the highly-qualified employees at Becker Underwood as we continue to develop our combined businesses.”
“Over the past years, Becker Underwood has established itself as an innovative provider of solutions for agriculture,” said Dr. Peter Innes, chief executive officer of Becker Underwood. “Strengthened by the power of BASF’s research capabilities as well as its existing portfolio of solutions, we will be able to develop and globally market new types of solutions for growers.”
Upon receiving the necessary legal approvals, the majority of Becker Underwood’s business will be integrated into BASF’s Crop Protection division.