Every state pest management association joined the effort, showing how important the issue of pesticide preemption is to ensure the industry can continue protecting America’s food, health and property, NPMA said.
H.R. 7266 was introduced March 30 by Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13). This bill codifies federal pesticide preemption as the national standard, ensuring that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state lead agency jointly regulate pesticide usage. It would preclude localities from regulating pesticides, instead ensuring that agencies with scientific expertise are able to evaluate whether a product is safe and effective, promoting science-based policymaking.
The letter supporting H.R. 7266 shows that this clarity is needed not just for the pest management industry, but for anyone who uses pesticides, NPMA said. The associations that have signed on include national groups like the Farm Bureau and organizations representing regulators like the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials and the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials.
The 159 associations show a united front to Congress, explained NPMA. This bill is essential in helping businesses in every industry that depend on pesticides to keep Americans safe where they live, work, eat and play, NPMA said.
“This is a monumental achievement for our industry as we continue to push for a preemption fix once and for all in the 2023 Farm Bill,” said Ashley Amidon, vice president of public policy, NPMA. “We will be using this letter in all of our Congressional visits, and we encourage the industry to reach out to your federal representatives and use this letter to help them understand the importance of preemption. We are so pleased to be joined by such a robust list of supporting organizations who share the same challenges we do.”
For pesticide preemption or H.R. 7266 questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pest Force’s Elrod Raising Funds for Families of Uvalde School Shooting
MIDLOTHIAN, Texas — As the father of 2-year-old son Landry and a lifelong Texan, Pest Force founder and CEO Austin Elrod was heartbroken with news of the May 24 Uvalde, Texas, school shooting that killed 21 people, including 19 children.
“When I came home and looked at [Landry] and saw his bright eyes, and then to think about those kids and their families and what they are going through. ... It is unfathomable,” Elrod said. “I want to take action and do something that I hope helps in any way possible. If what we are doing can impact just one person in a positive way, then we have achieved our goal.”
The action Elrod and Pest Force are taking is to donate a percentage of any new service payment (over a 30-day period) to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), volunteers and relief funds to help the Uvalde community. Pest Force employees also offered to donate all of their commissions for that same period to support the campaign, and the company will match 25 percent of this additional amount as a donation.
“I am proud of my Pest Force team for coming together and getting behind this effort to provide support for the Uvalde community,” said Elrod.
Additionally, Elrod would like to see industry-wide involvement. “We activated a special area on our website, www.pestforce usa.com/takeaction, where you can find links to fundraising accounts, institutions and initiatives that help the Uvalde victims and work to prevent these type of tragedies from happening again,” Elrod said.
For more information about this campaign, visit www.pestforceusa.com/take action and Pest Force Pest Control social media channels @pestforceusa, or email email@example.com. — Brad Harbison
Hawx Makes Series of Strategic Personnel Additions
OGDEN, Utah — Hawx Services, which in July 2021 partnered with private equity firm PCM Growth, has made another strategic growth move with the addition of industry professionals Brad Pitts, Scott Broaddus and Daniel Baldwin.
Pitts joined Hawx as chief operating officer, while Broaddus is the company’s vice president of expansion, and Baldwin is Hawx’s vice president of technical services.
Pitts has served in a variety of service and leadership positions in the pest control industry. His career dates to 1982, working for Dallas Pest & Termite Control alongside the late Burt Smith and Rick Rogers.
Since joining Hawx, Pitts has been working to identify and hire industry leaders, launch additional service offerings, implement a Net Promoter Score (NPS) system and standardize processes and operations at Hawx, a company that relies heavily on door-to-door sales.
Broaddus, who is based in Raleigh, N.C., came to Hawx after having spent 15 years on the manufacturing side, working for Bayer Environmental Science. Most recently, he was sales and business lead, Bayer Digital Management, and business manager, Bayer Environmental Science. As vice president of expansion, Broaddus leads a variety of projects and initiatives to support the company’s expansion and growth efforts. He also works with cross-functional teams on operations, sales, marketing and strategy to establish best practices, systems and processes. All of these efforts are “designed around helping Hawx become more efficient and effective in how we hire, develop our people, grow in strategic markets and really deliver an exceptional customer experience,” he said.
Baldwin has been in the pest control industry since 1995 and has served in a variety of areas including distribution, manufacturing and service. From 2019 to 2021, he was director of technical services, training and regulatory services at Terminix.
As vice president of technical services at Hawx, Baldwin is involved in developing standard operating procedures (SOPs), assisting with product selection and quality assurance. “The bigger thing, and what I am really excited about, is the training side,” he said. “We are really trying to modernize how we view the training of technicians.” — Brad Harbison
Kilauea’s Ortogero Launches Hawaii PWIPM Chapter
KAILUA, Hawaii — In 2019, Ashley Ortogero, general manager of Kilauea Pest Control, Kailua, Hawaii, attended NPMA PestWorld in San Diego. While there, she met Allie Allen, executive director, QualityPro, National Pest Management Association.
Ortogero was impressed with the participation and visibility of the Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM) at PestWorld, and asked Allen how she could get involved in the Hawaii PWIPM chapter. When informed by Allen that Hawaii did not have a chapter, Ortogero responded, “Can I start one?”
Allen provided Ortogero with all the necessary information to launch a chapter, and she got started by networking. Ortogero found that other women were interested, and in 2020, the Hawaii PWIPM chapter was officially launched. Due to strict COVID restrictions, 2020 was limited to virtual meetups. She said, “We had to put a bit of a pause on 2020 activities, but in 2021, we started back up again, reaching out to members and contacting vendors — we’ve got an event sponsor (Veseris) — and now we are up to about 60 members.”
A Wisconsin PWIPM chapter also launched recently, and Ortogero has been in touch with Breanna Neerland of Kwik Kill Pest Control, Madison, Wis., who founded the chapter. Neerland has been a great sounding board for Hawaii PWIPM, Ortogero said.
One of Ortogero’s goals was recently achieved when the Hawaii Pest Control Association (HPCA) donated a booth to Hawaii PWIPM for HPCA’s annual conference. Other goals for Hawaii PWIPM, Ortogero said, are to get women opportunities for advancement within their companies, to help them get a wide range of certifications and to attract more women to the industry. “So internally, it is supporting and elevating PWIPM members, and externally, it is attracting talent,” she said.
That Ortogero has taken the initiative to launch and grow Hawaii PWIPM is no surprise to Kilauea Pest Control President John Speed. She has helped grow Kilauea from the only admin in an eight-person company to leading a team of over 50 in just nine years. During her time at Kilauea, Ortogero has helped develop HR, marketing and best management practices. Within the company, she has been a champion for bringing more women into the industry. In 2021, women represented 38 percent of Kilauea’s work force and 43 percent of upper management.
“She’s an incredible asset to us,” Speed said. “Like most general managers, she serves two roles: general manager of the company and assistant to the owner. And she does both those flawlessly.” — Brad Harbison
NPMA Announces Speaker Lineup for Academy 2022
FAIRFAX, Va. — The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) announced its two keynote speakers for the upcoming Academy 2022, to be held July 12-14, in Orlando, Fla.
Academy is designed to give pest management professionals an ongoing source of training, peer networking and experiences geared specifically to the individual’s needs through team-building exercises, Learning Labs and Brain Dates.
On July 12, motivational speaker Paul Long “brings the fun” with his session “Connecting the Workplace and Life Through F.U.N.” In this session, Long answers the question: “How do today’s best companies accelerate business results?” He’ll discuss employee engagement, celebrating all that’s good and creating a culture of experience that inspires workforces to create joy, fun and fulfillment.
On July 14, Eric Termuende, co-founder of NoW of Work and the bestselling author of “Rethink Work,” presents his session “Understand and Action the Power of One Degree Shifts So You Can Create a Culture of Trust and Experimentation to Thrive in the Future of Work.” Having been on hundreds of stages and worked with and studied the greatest places to work in the world, Termuende knows what it takes to build incredible teams that are resilient, innovative and ready for the future of work, NPMA said. Registration for NPMA Academy 2022 is open at academy.npmapestworld.org.
Terminix Completes Divestment of U.K., Norway Businesses as Part of Rentokil Merger
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Terminix Global Holdings completed the divestment of its pest management businesses in the U.K. and Norway on June 1. The acquirer of these assets is Norvestor, a Nordic private equity firm that sold Nomor and Pelias to Terminix for $200 million in 2019. These businesses were divested as a condition to Terminix’s closing of its pending merger with Rentokil Initial. Terminix expects to record a loss on the sale of these assets in the period ending June 30, 2022. Together, the two businesses were expected to generate approximately $60 million in revenue and less than $10 million in adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2022.
“I want to thank the Norway and United Kingdom teams for their dedication and commitment to our company and customers while at Terminix,” said Terminix CEO Brett Ponton. “Both businesses are well positioned in attractive pest control markets for continued growth and margin expansion under experienced new ownership. Terminix is excited to take another step forward in the pending Rentokil merger as we remain on track for completion in the second half with a targeted closing by the end of the third quarter.”
Completion of the divestment and the previously announced completion of the antitrust review process in the United States will satisfy two of the closing conditions to the company’s pending merger with Rentokil.
Pelias is a Norwegian company that was part of the pest control company Nomor Holding AB, which was owned by Norvestor between 2014 and 2019 — and subsequently sold to Terminix. According to a Pelias press release, Pelias has formed a new Northern European pest control group as a result of this acquisition. “We look forward to working with Norvestor again and believe that we together with Terminix UK can build a leading pest control group, sharing best practices across and collaborate in developing the pest control offering of the future, driving even more value for our customers and employees,” Pelias CEO Trond Kristiansen said in the press release.