EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Keith Smith, who spent the last 12 years as COO of Action Pest Control, (a part of TruGreen), left the Evansville, Ind.-based business on July 24. Smith told PCT he is taking at least one year off from pest control to work on his commercial boat leasing business.
Smith had been overseeing the daily operations of Action — which has seven branch locations throughout south and central Indiana, southeastern Illinois and Kentucky — since the firm was sold to Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., in 2015. Following the sale, Action operated as part of Scotts LawnService, and then as a part TruGreen, which purchased Scotts LawnService (including Action), in 2016.
In addition to working for Action, Smith owned Smith Commercial Boat Leasing. Recent developments in Kentucky influenced Smith’s decision to leave Action. In December, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) secured $25 million to help fight Asian carp in Western Kentucky.
Smith told PCT that he and his fleet will be participating in the program by leasing his fleet of boats; the program involves catching and killing the damaging Asian carp. “It’s a lucrative deal that can be one-year, or a two-year deal, but I won’t rule out a return to the pest control industry,” Smith said.
Smith joined Action Pest Control in 2008 after holding various management positions in the pest control industry. Prior to that he worked in the domestic caviar business; he retained the fleet of boats used in that business and was leasing them out.
While at Action Pest Control, Smith helped Action and CEO Kevin Pass build the firm from a $4.9 million company to one that was about $13 million at the time of the sale to Scotts.
Smith is also president of the Kentucky Pest Management Association, a position he said he plans on retaining, at least for the time being.
PCT reached out to TruGreen; they did not immediately respond to interview requests.