The World Famous Fishmongers of The Pike Place Fish Company.

Seattle, known for its music scene, mountains, markets and seaplanes, is the Emerald City to many on the West Coast. As the host city of PestWorld 2016, NPMA’s annual convention and exposition, Seattle will have thousands of pest management professionals ready to test its waters. Those attending the convention will meet with colleagues from around the globe for networking; to learn about the latest products and technologies; and to attend technical and business sessions. Here is a snapshot of this week’s highlights.

GENERAL SESSION SPEAKERS. PestWorld’s opening general session on Wednesday features Jim “The Rookie” Morris, and his story about how powerful inspiration can transform one’s life. As a minor league baseball player in the 1980s, Morris suffered arm injuries that were career-halting. As a science teacher and high school baseball coach 11 years later, his team encouraged him to pursue his dreams and, within three months, he earned a spot on a Major League Baseball roster. Morris’ memoir, The Rookie, was made into a major motion picture with actor Dennis Quaid portraying Morris. Through his passionate storytelling ability, Morris will deliver an uplifting, motivational message. The session is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.

On Thursday, Robbie Bach, CEO of Microsoft Xbox, will share successful approaches for taking advantage of fast-paced change and not viewing it as an obstacle. Bach joined Microsoft in 1988 and throughout his 22 years there, he worked in various marketing, general management and business leadership roles in the company. In 1999, he led the creation and development of the successful Xbox video game business. Bach will share strategies for identifying specific opportunities for business and market growth. The session is sponsored by Syngenta.

OPENING CEREMONY. Tuesday’s opening ceremony will be highlighted by an appearance from members of the World Famous Fishmongers of Pike Place Fish Company, who will share some of the company’s customer service and employee empowerment success stories. Owner John Yokoyama purchased the company, which was nearing bankruptcy, in 1965, and turned the business around. Yokoyama and his team will share how he put the “World Famous” in World Famous Pike Place Fish Company. The session is sponsored by Bayer.

General Session speaker Robbie Bach.
IN THE MIX RECEPTION. Attend the first-ever “In the Mix” reception Thursday, where you will have the opportunity to learn about NPMA’s committees including the Leadership Development Group; Professional Women in Pest Management; PestVets; and the Diversity Committee. Meet other PMPs who share your interests.

EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS. Thought Leader sessions are back again this year. They will feature both business management and marketing strategies. In just one hour and 15 minutes, the sessions provide different approaches from experts and consultants who give perspective from outside the pest control industry. Each presentation will serve as an interactive educational event in which attendees can exchange ideas with leaders in their fields of expertise. This year’s Thought Leader sessions include: “Are You Leveraging Your Technicians to Build Your Brand?” — Randy Moser, High Point University; “New Overtime Rules: What PMPs Need to Know to Comply” — Sandy Seay, Seay Management; “The Importance of Character in the Hiring Process” — Seay; “Working at Height — Keeping Fall Protection Safe and Simple” — Stefan Bright, American Anchor. The Thought Leaders sessions are sponsored by MGK.

General Session speaker Jim “The Rookie” Morris.

PESTWORLD EXHIBIT HALL. With more than 150 vendors, this year’s exhibit hall provides opportunities to meet suppliers and learn about the latest products and innovations. Exhibitors will explain techniques and solutions to benefit small, mid-size and large companies, as well as government employees and university researchers.

AN ECLECTIC mix. In addition to these highlights, attendees will have the tried-and-true experience of PestWorld — a blended arena of education, networking and research to give PCOs ideas for enhancing their businesses. The goal is to help make connections, find answers and discover new ways to increase profits.

The author is an editorial intern with PCT and can be contacted at mfernandez@gie.net.