September News: Rollins Succession Plan Announced; Bayer ES to Become Envu; Laurel Hansen Scholarship; and More

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September 14, 2022

ATLANTA — Rollins Inc. announced in late July that its board of directors unanimously approved the company’s long-term leadership succession plan.

Effective Jan. 1, 2023, the company’s current president and chief operating officer, Jerry Gahlhoff Jr., is expected to become Rollins’ president and chief executive officer. Gary W. Rollins, current chairman and chief executive officer, is expected to remain as chairman of the board of directors.

In preparation for the expected promotion, Gahlhoff — a 2003 PCT 40 Under 40 honoree and 2018 PCT Crown Leadership Award winner — will spend the next five months working on the transition with Rollins and John Wilson, vice chairman.

“I’ve had the pleasure of supporting the company and our pest control business for over 56 years and am fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead this great organization,” said Rollins. “I look forward to Jerry’s advancement and my continuation as chairman of the board. I am extremely pleased with our succession plan and our outstanding leadership team.”

Rollins announced that effective Jan. 1, 2023, Jerry Gahlhoff Jr., is expected to become the company’s president and chief executive officer.

Gahlhoff joined Rollins during the company’s 2008 acquisition of HomeTeam, where he served in a variety of leadership roles, including president. He was named president and COO of Rollins in 2020 and joined the board of directors in 2021.

Gahlhoff told PCT he is humbled to be among those Rollins has given an opportunity to grow and prosper, personally and professionally. “The list of people I know that started in sales or as technicians, that are now branch managers, region managers and division leaders is remarkable. Making that list even longer motivates and excites me.”

Having had a chance to observe Gary Rollins, Gahlhoff said he appreciates his guiding principle to “do right by your people” and he vowed to keep this type of perspective alive and well. Gahlhoff cited the year 2018 when the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was enacted by Congress. For companies like Rollins that pay high income tax rates, this legislation resulted in a tax cut and, thus, an increase in net profit. “I remember sitting in a meeting room with Gary and discussing what should be done with the tax-savings dollars. Gary immediately asked what we could do for our employees with that money. It was quickly decided that this money would be spent on increasing our company’s 401(k) match, issuing shares of company stock to employees based on their tenure with the company and doubling the number of scholarships we provide to the children of our employees heading off to college. Tens of millions of dollars were spent on these programs for our people.”

Gary Rollins said Gahlhoff is an exceptional leader, with great vision and a deep understanding of the pest control industry. “[Jerry’s] years of service have been marked by outstanding performance, most recently as our president and COO. Jerry has had the unique opportunity to be intimately involved in most every facet of our organization. I have the utmost confidence he will continue to build on the strong heritage of our organization and its track record.”

Gahlhoff added, “I am deeply honored to be named incoming CEO and look forward to leading this great organization into our next phase of growth and achievement. I am confident that the solid foundation Gary and others have created over the years — grounded in our culture of providing excellent customer service and business expansion — will serve us for years to come. Our entire organization is grateful for Gary’s leadership, and I know we will continue to benefit from his vision and guidance as our chairman.” — Jodi Dorsch and Rollins press release

 

Bayer’s Environmental Science Professional Business to Become Envu

CARY, N.C. — Bayer’s Environmental Science Professional business announced in August it will become Envu as a standalone company, contingent on the successful close of Cinven’s acquisition of the business from Bayer. Pronounced “ehn-VIEW,” the name is derived from “environment” and “vision” and developed with input from both employees and customers around the world.

“As a trusted industry leader, we know that ensuring continued customer success requires strong partnerships and a renewed perspective,” said Gilles Galliou, president of the Environmental Science Professional business at Bayer and future CEO of the new standalone company. “That’s why Envu will be dedicated to bringing customers innovative solutions to help them push their business forward and tackle the toughest challenges our environments face today.”

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nvu says it will bring together diverse points of view and a vision beyond chemistry. “The fact that our new company will be focused solely on environmental science will allow us to solve problems faster, smarter and more efficiently,” Galliou said. “The challenges we solve today will help ensure a healthy future for all is clearly in view.”

From now until the divestment transaction officially closes, the organization will remain the Environmental Science Professional business of Bayer. However, the company says it looks forward to fully launching its new corporate identity upon the successful close, which is on track for later this year. The business also will continue to collaborate with Bayer as a standalone company.

“We have an established track record of bringing effective, safe and sustainable solutions to customers,” said Tiffany Fremder, head of global marketing for Environmental Science. “We will continue this commitment as Envu and expand our focus on innovation to achieve long-standing environmental health and sustainability.”

 

In Memoriam: Pete Markham

BAYTOWN, Texas — Pete Markham, owner of A-Mark Pest & Bird Management, Baytown, Texas, passed away on Aug. 4, at 68.

Markham began his pest control career in the 1970s as a bird control and pest control specialist for Eli Lilly Corporation, working out of Clinton, Ind. He was well known nationally for his bird control expertise, particularly with displacing nuisance vultures, starlings and other pests from oil refineries and similar large commercial properties. Markham started A-Mark in 1986.

Markham

Dave Mueller, retired owner of Insects Limited, Westfield, Ind., recalled, “Pete’s assignment to pest control from Eli Lilly came about after a pallet loaded with high-valued pharmaceuticals was shipped to Japan and returned when a bird feather was found in a pallet. Because of Pete’s background as a hunter and fisherman from the backwoods of Virginia, he was assigned the quality control/pest control job to manage a heavy bird population on the 1,000-acre Eli Lilly campus next to the Wabash River. Pete was an observer. He arose before sunrise to observe where the birds landed and their habits. This keen observation helped him start his own family business in Texas and beyond.”

Markham was also a respected educator/presenter and a regular at the Purdue Pest Management Conference and University of Kentucky Pest Control Short Course.

Read additional Markham remembrances online at bit.ly/3CghLoE. — Stoy Hedges

 

PCO Overcoming Obstacles of Launching a Business in 2022

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Striking out on one’s own and starting a business is an undertaking always filled with challenges. How about launching a business in 2022, which presents additional adversities such as sky-high fuel prices, supply chain issues and an uncertain economy? Luis Arroyo, owner of All Pro Pest Control, Fort Myers, Fla., is doing just that.

Arroyo

Arroyo, 34, launched his business in June, after having worked in pest control for three years and as a landscaper (including owning his own landscape business) for seven years. While he takes care of his customers’ pest control needs his wife, Lety Arroyo, manages the office and helps with advertising/marketing.

Luis actually took a hiatus from pest control the last two years because of COVID. During the week he stayed at home with his newborn daughter while Lety worked, and on the weekends he did landscaping.

Having launched in June, after gas prices shot up, routing was top of mind for Arroyo. “Right now, I decided to just focus in the area where I live, so I don’t have to travel far for follow-up visits. I am trying to keep everything in a 10- to 20-minute drive,” Arroyo said, adding that he has one apartment complex that is a 40-minute drive, but otherwise his accounts are close together.

Arroyo has seen the impact that higher gas prices and inflation (e.g., higher electric bills) are having on the community he serves. “They might be hesitant to spend right now because they don’t have that disposable income,” he said.

Other challenges he’s encountered include finding an insurance provider and purchasing service vehicles. He currently owns one truck and is looking to purchase another (and hire a part-time technician). “It was difficult to find a dealer that wasn’t overpricing new trucks. I had to drive two hours away [to Tampa] to get a fair price on a truck.”

Despite these challenges, Arroyo remains optimistic. He sees opportunities to develop a strong team by focusing on training and he thinks he can find a niche in his largely Hispanic neighborhood, which he says has been underserved. He said a lot of people in the community are hesitant to call pest control providers because they don’t want to get locked into paying for a recurring program. “So I wanted to do my own thing where I just charge a flat rate,” he said. “For that first service, try us and see if we can take care of the issue. And then, the service is up to the customer, either monthly or bimonthly. I just want to offer people quality they can afford — I think that’s my motto.” — Brad Harbison

 

In Memoriam: Philip Harein and Michael Fresvik

MINNEAPOLIS — Two individuals who greatly impacted the pest control industry in Minnesota recently passed away: Philip Harein and Michael Fresvik. Harein, a longtime entomology professor at the University of Minnesota, died on July 22, at 94, while Fresvik, former director of the Minnesota Pest Management Association, died on July 18, at 78.

In addition to his work at the University of Minnesota, Harein was an author, expert in stored products pets and was a staple in helping to plan the Minnesota Pest Management Association’s annual conference.

Before he was director of the Minnesota Pest Management Association, Fresvik was a regulator for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, where he was respected for not only doing his job, but also being helpful to the industry. Todd Leyse, president of Adams Pest Control, Medina, Minn., said his father, Harold Leyse, and his business partner, Don Hanson, visited Fresvik with questions about how to start a pest control business in 1970, and they were greatly aided by Fresvik. — Brad Harbison

Additional sources: Star-Tribune and Honsa Family Funeral Home.

 

PPMA Prepares for Rodent Awareness Week Campaign

FAIRFAX, Va. — With cooler weather just around the corner, the pest control industry is gearing up for a seasonal influx of rodent infestations. To raise awareness about these pests and the harm they can cause, the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), which serves as the public outreach arm of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), is educating homeowners during Rodent Awareness Week, which takes place Oct. 16-22. This annual event, recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events, aims to teach homeowners about rodent infestations and how they can prevent infestations.

“Rodents are known to seek out shelter during the fall and winter, which makes this the perfect time for homeowners to implement prevention measures,” said PPMA Executive Director Cindy Mannes. “We encourage fellow industry members to join us in educating the public about the dangers of rodent infestations. It’s our responsibility to use our expert insight and compelling visuals to recommend prevention tips, share information about the diseases rodents can carry and emphasize the importance of working with a pest control professional.”

In honor of Rodent Awareness Week, PPMA will launch media relations efforts and strategic social media initiatives across Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube, including content from PPMA’s Out of Sight video project. Pest control companies wanting get involved can include #Rodent AwarenessWeek on social media channels when sharing content about these problematic pests.

Mainframe subscribers also will have access to an exclusive Rodent Awareness Week toolkit on PPMAMainframe.org. These downloadable assets include a customizable press release, social media content, logos and headers, media training documents and high-resolution photography and video assets. This toolkit is designed with industry marketing needs in mind, so companies can use these materials in their own promotional efforts with customers. For more information about PPMA or to subscribe to Mainframe, visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma.

 

Cascade Announces Laurel Hansen Scholarship

SNOHOMISH, Wash. — Cascade Pest Control, Snohomish, Wash., announced it is creating the Laurel Hansen Scholarship at Washington State University. The scholarship will be used to support students and researchers in the Washington State University Department of Entomology.

Hansen has contributed more than 50 years service in urban pest management entomology with particular focus on carpenter ant research and ant identification and biology seminars for the pest management industry. She has provided support and education to pest management professionals in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and a number of other states over the years. Her down-to-earth nature and willingness to go into home substructure crawlspaces gained a great deal of respect from those in the pest control industry.

Hansen

Prior to founding Cascade Pest Control, founder Kurt Treftz collected samples for what was to become Hansen’s Ph.D. thesis on carpenter ants. “Quickly, I learned that she needed workers and not winged reproductives to key out the species,” Treftz said.

Hansen educated PMPs on carpenter ants, particularly Camponotus modoc, including stressing that they have multiple nest sites per colony and how critical this was to understanding how to gain control of these pests. Hansen’s ant identification seminars have proven extremely valuable and popular with a hands-on classroom experience.

This scholarship is open to contributions by other pest management professionals and is greatly encouraged, both in Hansen’s honor and to promote further work that supports the pest management industry.

 

Wallace to Keynote Beyond Service User Conference

HOLMDEL, N.J. — WorkWave announced racing legend Rusty Wallace as its 2023 Beyond Service User Conference keynote speaker. Wallace was the 1989 NASCAR Cup Series Champion, 1984 Rookie of the Year and 55-time Cup Series race winner, and will go into history as one of NASCAR’s finest drivers. He will provide unique insight into driving business growth and success, and will highlight the leadership and teamwork skills needed to effectively build a business.

Wallace’s keynote will be held on Jan. 10 from 8:30-9:30 a.m., with a VIP meet-and-greet to follow. WorkWave CEO David Giannetto will kick off the conference with a keynote presentation on Jan. 9.

The 2023 Beyond Service User Conference will be held Jan. 8-11 at the Hilton Orlando. To learn more and to register, visit bit.ly/3pu8nWM.