NPMA Academy 2019 Attendees Gain Insights for ‘Taking it to the Next Level’

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September 4, 2019

Team Orange poses for a photo during the NPMA Academy Olympics.
Academy attendees filled conference rooms to hear from leading business and management leaders.

PHOENIX, Ariz. — For three days in July, more than 250 emerging pest control industry leaders gathered in Phoenix for team-building activities, educational sessions and opportunities to network with one another. The event was Academy — NPMA’s annual meeting designed to advance the professional and business development of emerging pest management industry leaders in a hands-on, interactive environment — and this year’s event was titled “Level Up.”

“Level Up” was chosen for this year’s theme because the 2019 Academy goal was to “help take you and your company to the next level through the collaboration with other Academy attendees, through educational sessions and motivation gained through being a part of Academy,” said Rachel Dittman, director of marketing and communication, NPMA.

NPMA’s Leadership Networking Community (formerly Leadership Development Group) worked hard to develop a program with unique hands-on networking opportunities as well as one that provided insights from noted business and management leaders. This year’s speakers included Jay Baer, a digital marketing expert,  who discussed the need for companies to create their unique story, which produces “talk triggers” with potential customers.  Business coach and trainer Dave Crenshaw discussed the myth of multitasking and how to find more time in one’s day. Crenshaw is the author of “The Myth of Multitasking”— a best-selling book about time management.

As in years past, NPMA Academy culminated with the NPMA Olympics, a fun, athletic-filled forum for attendees to further connect with one another.

NPMA Academy was lead-sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and the event was also supported by NPMA strategic partners Bayer, BASF, FMC, Corteva and Syngenta, along with Douglas Products and Control Solutions.

NPMA Academy 2020 will be held July 14-16, 2020, at the Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando, Fla. — Brad Harbison

Rentokil Steritech Acquires Active Pest Control

LOCUST GROVE, Ga. – Rentokil Steritech expanded its presence in the Southeast and in Texas with the acquisition of Active Pest Control, based in Locust Grove, Ga. The acquisition closed on June 1. Terms were not disclosed.

Active Pest Control is a $21 million firm that ranked #36 on this year’s PCT Top 100 list. The company operates from 15 locations in Georgia and Texas, offering residential and commercial pest control along with termite protection and wildlife exclusions. Founded in 1985, the company is under the leadership of President and CEO Tony Carder. In April, Active Pest Control moved into a new 20,000-square-foot facility in Locust Grove, Ga., to accommodate recent growth.

“Active Pest Control serves a high pest-pressure area that has a high-growth economy,” John Myers, president and CEO of Rentokil Steritech, told PCT. “They have experienced double digit-growth, year after year. We know how hard that is do, and they do it well.”

In 2017, Rentokil Steritech acquired Allgood Pest Solutions, based in Duluth, Ga. Myers said the Active acquisition complements the Allgood acquisition nicely because Allgood primarily covers the north and central Atlanta region, while Active’s footprint is more central and south metro Atlanta.

Myers also is excited about the addition of Carder and his management team, who will continue to lead the Active operation. “We think we have a really good leadership team in place. Tony is a personable, charismatic, energetic guy and he has a team that implements really well.” — Brad Harbison

Hulett’s Michael Montgomery helped buy school supplies for a kindergarten teacher.


Hulett Technician’s Act of Kindness Goes Viral

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Michael Montgomery, a service technician with Hulett Environmental Services, jumped at an opportunity to help a complete stranger who works in a profession near and dear to him: teaching.

In July, Montgomery — whose mom was a teacher — was in a Walmart checkout line behind first-year kindergarten teacher Breanna Ferrell, who was about to pay for more than $100 worth of supplies. As Ferrell told the Ft. Myers NBC affiliate (NBC 2), “[Montgomery] asked, ‘Are you a teacher?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Well, I’m going to buy everything for you.’”

Montgomery, who was at Walmart to buy laundry soap, told NBC 2 that everything just aligned perfectly. “So many things had to happen. I was behind her, she was in that situation, it just had to happen.”

Montgomery’s act of kindness has not gone unnoticed. The NBC story has been picked up by social media sites, and has had thousands of likes and retweets on sites like Facebook, including a shout out from LeBron James’s Facebook page.

Hulett Environmental Services Marketing Director Greg Rice told PCT the Hulett team was thrilled to learn of Montgomery’s good deed. “It’s so encouraging to know that our employees — in the process of their daily activities — find ways to serve others that aren’t associated with protecting people’s homes and health from pests. It’s something you can’t teach. We are certainly thankful to have people like Mike on our team.” — Brad Harbison


PCT, Syngenta Announce 2019 Crown Leadership Award Honorees

VALLEY VIEW, Ohio — PCT and Syngenta will recognize five industry professionals at NPMA PestWorld as 2019 Crown Leadership Award winners. This year’s class is the 31st group of industry professionals (more than 260 individuals) to be honored since the awards’ inception. The 2019 winners are:

  • Claudia Riegel, City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite & Rodent Control Board, New Orleans, La.
  • Gene White, Rentokil Steritech, White Lake, Mich.
  • Tom Jarzynka, Massey Services, Orlando, Fla.
  • Ben Walker, Gregory Pest Solutions, Greenville, S.C.
  • Ray Meyers, RJM Contracting, Lake Mary, Fla.

“For the past 31 years, PCT and Syngenta have been proud to recognize individuals who have contributed positively to the growth and development of the structural pest control industry,” said PCT Publisher Dan Moreland. “Winners of the Crown Leadership Awards represent the finest qualities of civic involvement, industry professionalism and market leadership, and it will be our honor to recognize the Class of 2019 at NPMA PestWorld in October.”

Since 1989, the Crown Leadership Awards have been presented annually to pest management professionals, university educators, industry distributors and association officials who uphold the highest standards of industry ethics, while contributing their time and talent to a broad range of professional and civic organizations.

PCT and Syngenta will honor this year’s winners during a special ceremony to be held during NPMA PestWorld 2019 in San Diego. Also at the ceremony, PCT and Syngenta will present a “Lifetime Achievement Award” to a past Crown Leadership Award winner, as voted on by previous honorees.

If you know of a member of the pest control industry you would like to nominate for next year’s awards, email Dan Moreland at

Each of this year’s winners will be profiled in a special supplement that is published in conjunction with October PCT.


Anticimex Acquires Wayne’s Environmental Services

Pictured (from left to right): Steven Splawn, Wayne’s Environmental Services; Eric Frye, Wayne’s Environmental Services; and Mikael Vinje, Anticimex.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Anticimex announced in July continued expansion in the U.S. with the acquisition of Wayne’s Environmental Services.

Operating throughout Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, Wayne’s achieved more than $27 million in annual revenue in 2018. With the acquisition, Anticimex further strengthens its market position across the southeastern U.S. 

Mikael Vinje, regional president, Anticimex North America, said, “Partnering with the team at Wayne’s positions Anticimex for an attractive and substantial growth trajectory in the key states of Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. Wayne’s has established a remarkable team-centric culture, a relentless commitment to serving its customers, and a dynamic and growth- oriented business development process.  The values that drive Waynes’ commitment to their customers and team members are very much aligned with Anticimex’s core values of trust, passion and innovation which further solidified the mutual decision to engage in this merger.”

Commenting on the transaction, Steven Splawn, CEO of Wayne’s, said, “Over 46 years ago, Wayne’s was established through a strong commitment to the customer. For the last two decades, we have expanded that commitment through our mission to deliver world-class service — every time, while placing great emphasis on our team members via our ‘Dream’ and ‘You Matter’ initiatives.”


Mexico Association Holds 35th Conference

At this year’s ANCPU Mexico conference, special recognition was given to Rene Rojero (speaking), a longtime member of ANCPU and one of the pillars of the industry.

MEXICO CITYEditor’s note: The National Association of Urban Pest Controllers Mexico (ANCPU Mexico) recently held its 35th convention at the port of Vallarta, on the Pacific coast of Jalisco. Benjamín Gómez, director of Econtrol, provided PCT with the following recap.

The ANCPU has a long history and tradition of educating and providing resources to pest management professionals who serve Mexico. This year’s ANCPU Mexico convention included technical and business sessions for those in the Mexican pest control industry, which has risen to become one of the leaders in Latin America.

This year’s ANCPU Mexico conference was attended by 483 professionals, and featured 100 commercial assistants, 28 booths and 29 seminars. Twelve countries were represented.

The event reunites people from all over Mexico to share experiences and learn trends of the Mexico pest control industry. This year’s program included a special focus on food safety and the importance of international standards, and its implications in Mexican markets. Mario Alberto Gonzalez led a panel discussion in which several food safety industry experts shared the ins and outs of auditing programs and certification standards.

The association is led by Rafael Arambula. I believe his genuine service attitude will make a difference. His board includes members Ignacio Martínez and Mario Aguilar, along with volunteers. They created a warm environment for the convention to become a success.

Speakers such as Ricardo Ituarte, Ricardo Burkle and others presented on topics relevant to attendees. Special recognition was given to Rene Rojero, a longtime member of ANCPU and one of the pillars of the industry. Born in Chihuahua, he runs a second-generation pest management firm.

Helping make this year’s event a success were industry sponsors and exhibitors, including Bayer, Syngenta, FMC, Ecosuministros, Macropress, Econtrol – Mylva, AM Roma, Univar Solutions and many others.

Dates and locations for next year’s ANCPU Mexico convention are to be determined.


Rollins Acquires HomePro Pest Control

ATLANTA — Rollins recently acquired HomePro Pest Control as part of an asset purchase agreement, announced The Aust Group, which represented HomePro as the exclusive financial adviser. The acquisition was announced in August.

Mickey Ferrell, owner of HomePro Pest Control, formed the company in 2007. Mickey, his wife Denise, and their son Matthew, have grown the business during the last several years into a leading pest control brand in the Virginia Beach market, servicing a predominately residential customer base. HomePro has been awarded the Pilot Reader’s Choice Award since 2013.

With regards to the transaction, Stuart Aust of the Aust Group commented, “I’m delighted for Mickey and Denise Ferrell, and their son Matthew of HomePro Pest Control, as they have built an impressive company over the years. HomePro makes a great fit for Rollins due to their team-oriented culture and reputation for customer service in Virginia Beach and the surrounding areas.”


Jessee Recognized for Her Longtime Service to UPFDA

Pictured, left to right, Lon Records, Pat Callahan, Valera Jessee, Larry Eichler, Calvin Stephenson Jr., Mohamed Rachadi and Steve Levy.

ATLANTA — Larry Eichler, former president and longtime board member of the United Producers, Formulators & Distributors Association (UPFDA), recently hosted a dinner and reception at his golf club in honor of Valera Jessee, who retired after 31 years of service as executive director of the trade association.

In her resignation letter to UPFDA, Jessee wrote, “Retiring from UPFDA will leave a big gap in my life. The organization and members have been a vital part of me and my career since 1988. I wish for the organization continued growth and prominence in an industry that is vital to the health and well-being of many.”

Jessee had previously been recognized at the UPFDA Spring Conference earlier this year, but Eichler wanted to do something personally for his longtime friend and colleague in the Atlanta area, where they both reside. Among those in attendance were Lon Records, Pat Callahan, Jessee, Larry Eichler, Calvin Stephenson Jr., Mohamed Rachadi and Steve Levy.


Rentokil Steritech Acquires Johnson Pest Control

READING, Pa. — Rentokil Steritech announced the acquisition of Johnson Pest Control of Sevierville, Tenn. The acquisition further expands Rentokil Steritech’s footprint in the Tennessee market. The acquisition was finalized in May.

Johnson Pest Control was founded by Ray and Tammy Johnson in 1984, and provides residential and commercial pest control services to customers in eastern Tennessee. Ray Johnson is a past NPMA president (2011-2012). Johnson’s employees all have remained on board with Rentokil Steritech.

John Myers, president and CEO of Rentokil Steritech, said, “We are excited to welcome the Johnson Pest Control team to our North American organization, and look forward to continuing the tradition of community involvement that Tammy and Ray have established, and to bringing an expanded range of services to Sevierville-area home and business owners.”

Ray Johnson added, “After 40 years of marriage, and 35 years in business, it was time for us to start thinking about retirement. We look forward to spending more time with our special needs son Grant in the future.”

PCO M&A Specialists (a division of PCO Bookkeepers) acted as exclusive financial adviser to Johnson Pest Control.


Truly Nolen Team Yellow Wins Day 2 of 2019 Mascot Games

Truly Nolen competed in the 2019 Mascot Games.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Truly Nolen’s Team Yellow, led by Raymond from the Tampa Bay Rays, rose to the occasion and won Day 2 of the 2019 Mascot Games, for the company’s first championship since 2016. The two-day event took place June 21-22, at Amway Center in Orlando, and marked the ninth straight year Truly Nolen has been a partner for this event.

Mascots from MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, ECHL, MLS and NCAA were divided into four teams as they competed against each other in various games. On both days, Team Yellow was led onto the arena floor by the Truly Nolen Mouse Limo. Competitions included obstacle courses, dance contests and joust. Team Yellow also won the Obstacle Course on Day 1 and the Dance Off both days.

All proceeds from the Mascot Games benefited New Hope for Kids, which provides support to children and families grieving the death of a loved one and grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in Central Florida. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $500,000 for the charity.