MEMPHIS — ServiceMaster announced a pair of key promotions involving members of its corporate executive team.

Wick

Marty Wick will assume a new role as chief operating officer of Terminix. All Terminix operations will now report to Wick, including branch operations; environment, health and safety; and customer call centers. Prior to his current role, Wick served as president of the Franchise Services Group, consisting of franchise businesses including AmeriSpec, Furniture Medic, Merry Maids, ServiceMaster Clean and ServiceMaster Restore. The Franchise Services Group supports more than 6,000 independently owned franchise locations with more than 33,000 employees primarily in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan. Previously, he served as vice president of operations for American Home Shield, the largest home warranty company in the nation. His team was responsible for delivering all aspects of service to more than 1.5 million customers, delivered via 1,600 call center associates, with home repairs performed by more than 11,000 home-service contractor companies spanning the plumbing, electrical, HVAC and appliance trades. American Home Shield each year answers more than 6 million calls and dispatches contractors more than 3 million times. Before joining American Home Shield, Wick held leadership positions in the telecommunications industry and management consulting where he gained experience with retail sales, product marketing, field service, process improvement and systems integration.

Replacing Wick as the Franchise Services Group president will be Mary Kay Wegner, who will assume responsibility for the franchise business, which supports independently owned franchise locations employing more than 33,000 people in 15 countries and includes the AmeriSpec, Furniture Medic, Merry Maids, ServiceMaster Clean and ServiceMaster Restore brands. Wegner had been serving as senior vice president of service and operations for Terminix, which operates in 47 states and 22 countries. Also at Terminix, she served as vice president of strategic sourcing and fleet. Wegner led efforts to categorize and analyze purchasing patterns, increase supplier quality, improve supplier diversity and deliver greater value to the company, as well as managing one of the largest commercial fleets in the United States. Previously, Wegner served as director of North American fleet operations for Coca-Cola Enterprises, and she spent eight years in a variety of leadership positions in fleet, logistics and strategic sourcing at Waste Management. Wegner has a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and operations analysis from the United States Naval Academy and a master’s degree in logistics engineering from National University in California. She began her career as an aviation maintenance officer for a Navy anti-submarine helicopter squadron and spent seven years on active duty.

Wegner

Both executives will remain direct reports to ServiceMaster CEO Rob Gillette and members of the ServiceMaster executive leadership team. Gillette also will continue to lead Terminix, as he’s done since August.

“Mary Kay and Marty are terrific leaders with a track record of engaging teams and knowing what it takes to win,” said Gillette. “They’re committed to putting ServSmart to work for our employees and developing technology and tools to make it easier and more convenient for our customers, franchisees and contractors to do business with us.”

Advion Ant Gel Label Training Module Now Live on PCT’s DLC

CLEVELAND, Ohio — PCT’s Distance Learning Center continues to expand with the addition of a label training module for Advion Ant Gel from Syngenta. Visit https://training.pctonline.com and get started on the module. This and other label training modules are the centerpiece of PCT’s Distance Learning Center — a free service for the professional pest control market provided by PCT.

Created by Board Certified Entomologist and consultant Stoy Hedges, the courses use photographs, video clips and reference materials to challenge users’ knowledge, experience and problem-solving skills for a wide range of products and pest problems.

Accessible by PC, tablet or smartphone, Distance Learning Center training is presented in modules designed to take a half-hour to an hour to complete.

Each label course is designed around reading and interpreting a specific pesticide product label, covering all aspects of the label — from trade name, target pests, hazards and first aid to areas for treatment and directions for use. As the user takes the course, he or she will be required to identify pests or treatment sites by photograph and determine whether such pests or sites are included on the label and/or interpret how that product may be used to treat the pest according to label directions.

Training is divided into sections with three to seven related questions, and upon selecting the correct answer(s), an explanation of the correct answer is provided, sometimes with a tip on where the PMP can find the answer in the reference materials.

Visit https://training.pctonline.com to get started, and return frequently as new label training modules are being added monthly.

Dold’s Re-Election Bid Falls Short

Dold

CHICAGO — Rep. Robert J. Dold (R) of Illinois’ 10th Congressional District failed to retain his congressional seat, losing to Democrat Brad Schneider in November. Schneider captured 52 percent of the vote to Dold’s 48 percent.

Dold, owner of Rose Pest Solutions in suburban Chicago, and Schneider have faced each other three times since 2012.

Dold first won the seat in 2010 but was ousted by Schneider in 2012. In 2014, Dold reclaimed the seat with a narrow win over Schneider.

Dold announced in May he would not endorse fellow Republican Donald Trump for president, making him one of the first congressional members in his party to take that public stance.

NPMA Recognizes Industry Contributors With Annual Industry Award Presentations

Norman Cooper (left) accepts NPMA’s Pinnacle Award from Chuck Tindol.

FAIRFAX, Va. — The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) presented its annual industry awards program in October at PestWorld 2016 in Seattle, Wash.

“Our industry is comprised of so many individuals who make a difference in the lives of their customers and employees,” stated NPMA CEO Dominique Stumpf. “Today’s program recognized those members who have made a significant impact on their communities, employees, families and the pest management industry this year.” The following individuals received awards:

  • Pinnacle Award: Norman Cooper
  • Women of Excellence Award: Shay Runion, Arrow Exterminators
  • Young Entrepreneur Award: Luke Rambo, Rambo Total Pest Control
  • Global Ambassador Award: Jonathan Peck
  • PestVet of the Year: Marty Overline, Aardvark Pest Management
  • 2015/2016 Committee of the Year: Fumigation Committee
  • 2015/2016 Committee Chair of the Year: Chuck Tindol (Succession Planning Committee), Allgood Pest Solutions

For information on the criteria for each award, visit http://npmapestworld.org/member-center/award-programs/.

Federal Court Blocks New DOL Overtime Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction on Nov. 22 against a controversial Obama administration rule that would extend overtime pay to 4.2 million U.S. workers — one of the administration’s most significant moves to address stagnant wages.

The rule was scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1. It would raise the salary limit below which workers automatically qualified for overtime pay to $47,476 from $23,660. The judge, Amos L. Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas, ruled that the Obama administration had exceeded its authority by raising the overtime salary limit so significantly, The New York Times reported. The ruling was hailed by business groups who argued the new rule would be costly and result in fewer hours for workers.

The Labor Department said it “strongly disagreed” with the decision and was “considering all of our legal options,” raising the possibility of an appeal in the waning days of the Obama administration. Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute, whose writings on the subject helped shape the administration’s rule, called the ruling “a disappointment to millions of workers who are forced to work long hours with no extra compensation.”

The National Pest Management Association responded with an e-alert that noted: “The preliminary injunction is promising for NPMA members. We have advocated against this rule since July 2015, requesting numerous rational fixes to the final rule including: delaying implementation of the rule, indexing the rule, accounting for regional economic discrepancies and elimination of the triennial automatic indexing. The delay will enable NPMA and our partners in the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (PPWO) the ability to work with the incoming Trump Administration and 115th Congress on make the necessary fixes to overtime laws. There is still a lot of advocacy to be accomplished on overtime regulations and we will need your continued engagement on this very important issue to our industry. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the NPMA public policy team.”

Lawsuit Challenges Montgomery County (Md.) Lawn Care Ban

Attendees at the Montgomery County, Maryland, council meetings where Bill 52-14 was debated. The bill was adopted in October 2015 to go into effect Jan. 1, 2018, banning pesticide use on private property. RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment), along with residents and local businesses, filed a lawsuit challenging the passage of the county’s lawn care ban because pesticide use on private property is preempted by Maryland state law.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) in November joined six local businesses and seven residents of Montgomery County, Md., in filing a lawsuit that challenges the passage of the county’s lawn care product ban.

The complaint, filed in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Md., is asking the court to declare that the law banning almost all lawn care products for private property is illegal as preempted by state law.

The suit arises from the October 2015 adoption of Bill 52-14 which prohibits the use of widely available lawn and garden products on private and county property by residents and professionals. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, for private property, improperly banning the use of hundreds of state-licensed lawn care products on private property throughout the county.

When Bill 52-14 was being debated by the County Council, the Maryland Attorney General’s office, County Executive and members of the Council opined the law’s private property provisions were likely preempted by state law.

“Our nearly two-year challenge to the passage of Bill 52-14 continues with today’s court filing. Along with impacted county businesses and residents, we know this law is preempted by state law and are seeking confirmation from the court,” said Aaron Hobbs, RISE president.

“Virtually everyone in the county will be affected by the private property lawn care ban with residents prohibited from treating their own properties with state-registered pesticides available from retailers, professionals left with virtually no pest solutions to treat residential and commercial lawns and turf, and retailers confused by a county law that unnecessarily differs from state law,” added Hobbs.

Maryland law comprehensively and uniformly regulates the registration, sale, and use of pesticides across the state. Uses of the pesticides that the ban would prohibit were already reviewed, licensed and approved by state regulators.

Bell Revamps Website With New Design, Enhanced Features

MADISON, WIS. — Bell Laboratories updated and enhanced its website, www.belllabs.com, with a fresh design and new features to meet the online needs of customers, the firm says.

With a new, modern design, the website highlights Bell’s status as “The World Leader in Rodent Control Technology,” the company adds. The website is now mobile-responsive, allowing users to easily navigate on any device. Another new feature is the ability to “locate a distributor” to easily find and locate Bell products nearby. More product images and videos also are included to further help PMPs understand products, usage and benefits.

In addition to the new site features, the same resources from the previous website remain. Users can find the most up-to-date labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) on the home page or on product pages where applicable. Country-specific product pages contain detailed descriptions and photos of products in Bell’s five major categories — rodenticides, bait stations, mechanical traps, glue traps and attractants.

PMPs can stay informed of the latest information from Bell with the site’s “What’s New” listing of news articles and current and past issues of The Bell Report.

Visit www.belllabs.com to learn more.

UPCEA Recognizes Purdue’s Gary Bennett

Dr. Gary Bennett (right) accepts the UPCEA award from nominator Robin Cunningham, associate director of degree and professional programs, Purdue University Digital Education; and Dr. Stephen L. Cameron (left), professor/department head, entomology, College of Agriculture, Purdue University.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Central Region Awards on Oct. 19 awarded the 2016 Celebration of Excellence Award for Mature Program – noncredit to Dr. Gary Bennett, Professor of Entomology in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University.

Purdue University’s Integrated Pest Management programs consists of nine courses developed under the tutelage of Bennett. Purdue University is a leader in technical education for the pest control industry, making pest training affordable and accessible. These courses have been the “training of choice” for thousands of pest management professionals. National pest management companies have adopted a number of the courses as standard training for their employees and nearly every state in the country has approved one or more of the courses for certification and/or recertification.

PPMA Announces 2016 New Consumer Attitudes Study

FAIRFAX, Va. — Why do consumers use professional pest control services? Perhaps more importantly, why don’t they? These and other questions were answered in a national survey commissioned by the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), which serves as the consumer education and public outreach arm of the National Pest Management Association. The group sought to measure the attitudes that motivate the use and non-use of professional pest control by American homeowners.

“We conduct this consumer research every three years, as it provides us with invaluable data that helps to shape our industry’s marketing presence and really hit home the value of working with a licensed pest control professional,” said Cindy Mannes, executive director of PPMA. “The findings are also very beneficial to pest control companies and suppliers because it gives them a glimpse inside the minds of American homeowners to better understand their needs when it comes to selecting a professional and how they handle various pest problems. The results can then be used as a resource when developing individual companies’ marketing materials or tailoring outreach efforts.”

Below are some key highlights from PPMA’s 2016 Consumer Attitudes & Usage Survey:

  • Almost three in five respondents (58 percent) have a positive view of the professional pest control industry.
  • Seven in 10 respondents (70 percent) who have a regular pest control service say they do so because it best protects their home and/or family.
  • The main reason that respondents did not elect to have a contract or regular service with a professional pest control company was cost, with 49 percent of respondents saying it’s too expensive, and 33 percent saying they could deal with the problem themselves.
  • Nearly nine in 10 respondents (87 percent) want a professional pest control company to have knowledge and experience in properly identifying and treating every type of pest.
  • Almost half of respondents (49 percent) said they are most likely to use a friend’s recommendation when looking for a professional pest control company, while two in five would use the internet (39 percent) and one in five the Yellow Pages (19 percent).
  • Three in five respondents (59 percent) are concerned about Zika.

The survey results are available exclusively to all PPMA Guardians and investors who contribute more than $1,000 annually as well as Mainframe subscribers on www.ppmamainframe.org. Non-subscribers, or companies who are not investing in PPMA at the minimum level, can purchase a copy of the survey results for $1,000. Please contact Cindy Mannes for more information at cmannes@pestworld.org.

Regina Corso Consulting conducted the self-administered online survey on behalf of PPMA from Sept. 1-8, 2016. A total of 2,027 interviews were conducted among adults, 25 and older, who live in the United States and who are homeowners with a household income of $60,000 or more.