Although I’m writing this column in late November, by the time you receive this issue in your mailbox (or read it online), we’ll be just a few short days away from Christmas. As the New Year approaches, I hope you’re able to take some time to reflect on all you and your company have achieved the past 12 months. I’ve written in this space before about how I don’t make New Year’s resolutions — I still don’t — but I do enjoy the quiet time at the end of the year, both at work and at home, thinking about everything I’ve accomplished in 2018.
But before I turn off my computer for 2018 to spend some time off with my family, I also do a lot of planning for our 2019 issues. The writing and layouts for our January issue are well underway. As we’ve done since 2015, in the first issue of the new year we’ll report on exclusive industry research that PCT has done in conjunction with NPMA, and which is sponsored by BASF. Next month’s coverage will address the topic of diversity in the pest management workforce. We’ve received more than 400 responses to the survey and we will feature data and articles on such topics as:
- What is workplace diversity and why is it important to the pest management industry?
- Tips for finding the best candidates.
- Is the industry retaining and promoting diverse employees?
- Why and how are PMPs offering diversity training?
I hope you’ll enjoy reading the coverage as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.
Another topic we always look forward to featuring each year is the Technician of the Year awards, which is included in this month’s issue. Congratulations to Residential Technician of the Year Matthew Miller, Arrow Environmental Services, Sarasota, Fla.; Termite Technician of the Year Arnold Parnell, Orkin, Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Commercial Technician of the Year Patrick John, Wil-Kil Pest Control, Sun Prairie, Wis. (A side note: Many thanks to all those who took time to nominate your firm’s technicians. We look forward to sharing more of your stories in 2019!)
This year’s honorees all come from different backgrounds and a variety of former careers but they are all setting wonderful examples for other technicians — both inside and outside their companies. I trust you’ll learn something from each of their stories.
And speaking of learning from one another, I’m confident you’ll take away some nuggets from this month’s cover story “Pest Control Hacks.” Scot Hodges of Atlanta-based Arrow Exterminators provides hands-on tips for turning everyday objects into pest control tools. When Hodges, as a “self-described tinkerer with tools,” finds challenges in the field, he thinks “like a mad scientist” to find ways to modify or make new tools. All of his hacks are reasonably priced, intended to help reduce PMPs’ dependence on pesticides and will improve results of the overall service provided to the customer, he says. See page 24 for some of his ingenious creations.
This article reminds me of a similar one we ran a dozen years ago — in October 2006 — in which we featured a series of articles about inventors in the pest management industry. Surely there are more stories to tell so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your pest control hacks or your entrepreneurial/inventor story. We’d love to feature you in a future issue.
As we put together the content for PCT each month I’m truly focused on communicating just how vital your services are to your customers and communities. I’m thankful I work in an industry that helps people every day. I’m thankful for the industry’s creative thinkers — like this month’s cover story subject Scot Hodges — for finding inventive ways to help their co-workers and customers. And I’m thankful for my PCT colleagues — most of whom I’ve worked with for more than 20 years. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!
The author is editor of PCT.