In late May, Bobby, Raleigh and Dennis Jenkins — owners of separate ABC pest control businesses in Texas — left Anacortes, Wash., on their bicycles with New York City as their final destination. We’ve been following their journey online and at press time the brothers were making their way up and down the Cascade Mountains.
The Jenkins’ aren’t the first in the industry to embark on a physically challenging fundraiser, but what makes this journey different is it raises funds for charities the brothers actually created: A Child’s Hope foundation and the Moss Pieratt Foundation.
A Child’s Hope was created by Raleigh, whose involvement in Haiti dates back to his term as NPMA President (in 2010) when he was part of a NPMA team that traveled to the Caribbean island to provide pest control support after the country was devastated by an earthquake. Realizing that his work in Haiti had just begun, following his NPMA presidency Raleigh founded “A Child’s Hope,” an organization dedicated to taking care of abandoned children in the country. “Our goal is to build a self-sustaining community for the children to be empowered and thrive in their own environment and to be the future of Haiti,” he said.
The Moss Pieratt Foundation was formed by Bobby following the loss of his 15-month-old grandson, Moss. Three years ago, Moss passed away and his death was classified as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC), which means his cause of death is unknown; he went down for his morning nap and simply never awoke. The Moss Pieratt Foundation raises awareness and resources for Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) and funds a fellowship position at the NYU Langone Medical Center.
It’s been great watching the pest control industry rally together in support of this trip. PCT will continue to chronicle the Jenkins’ journey with regular online articles. You can also follow their trip and make a donation at www.brothersbike.org.*******************
The term “pioneer” probably is overused when it comes to describing those who shaped the pest control industry years ago (and the PCT staff is as guilty as anyone of doing this), but I truly believe the industry lost a pioneering woman in May when Lois Caffey passed away at 89. Caffey worked for Alexandria, La.-based Adams Pest Control for 54 years. When she joined Adams Pest Control as a part-time employee in 1973 she was a newly single mother of four juggling work and parenting responsibilities. If that wasn’t enough, the pest control industry in the 1960s was incredibly male-dominated. “There were times when she would attend meetings and be the only woman in a conference with 200 men,” recalled Butch Morrison, owner of Adams Pest Control and Caffey’s nephew.
But Caffey was undeterred by these obstacles and thrived under the guidance and friendship of owner Paul Adams, himself a legendary pest control industry figure. She became an active association member at the state and national levels, serving and chairing numerous NPMA committees. One of her crowning achievements was becoming president of the Louisiana Pest Management Association in 1966 — making her the first female president of a state pest control association.
An area Caffey took added interest in was training. In particular, she recognized that termite work requires specialized training and she became one of the driving forces behind the creation of a termite training center at Louisiana State University by both promoting and raising funds for it. Appropriately, in 2001, The LSU Board of Supervisors named the facility the Lois Caffey Termite Training Center in her honor.
While the PCT staff was saddened to learn of Caffey’s passing, we fondly reflect on her contributions, the most significant perhaps being the many termite technicians that were trained (and continue to be trained) at the LSU facility bearing her name.
The author is Internet editor and managing editor of PCT.