What would a 50th anniversary be without a celebration? That is exactly what UPFDA is planning as it heads to Chicago and The Drake Hotel, April 17-19, for its annual spring conference.

The event will feature an outstanding lineup of speakers offering their insights on topics of interest to formulators, distributors, and manufacturers of pest control products, as well as issues of importance to other key industry stakeholders.

The program will include an update on the current state of legislative and regulatory affairs from David Crow, president of DC Legislative and Regulatory Services; a discussion of challenges and opportunities in the mosquito control market by Stan Cope, vice president of technical products and services, AP&G; a PMP thought-leader session featuring Bob Dold, president and COO of Rose Pest Solutions; and a state of the industry report from Dan Moreland, publisher of PCT magazine.

In addition, the association will celebrate its golden anniversary with a special final night banquet where 50 years of dedication to the structural pest management industry will be celebrated and those who guided UPFDA through the years honored. Tommy Reeves, vice president of Oldham Chemicals, will serve as the master of ceremonies and Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Dan Hampton will be the keynote speaker.

Hampton was a key member of Mike Ditka’s Chicago Bears, which defeated the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX. Prior to his 12-year NFL career, Hampton was an All-American football player at the University of Arkansas, where he led the Razorbacks to an Orange Bowl victory in 1978. After being drafted in the first round, Hampton was voted to the NFL All-Rookie team where his fierce style of play earned him the nickname of “Danimal.” He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1982 and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002. Following his football career, Hampton has worked as a color commentator on NFL games and as a radio host, as well as served as a spokesperson for such well-known brands as Chevrolet and Firestone.

“While all our conferences are outstanding, the 50th Anniversary UPFDA Spring Conference promises to be a notch or two above,” says Executive Director Valera Jessee. “We hope product and service providers serving the pest management industry will make a special effort to attend this year’s conference. It will be a time to make new friends, visit with old acquaintances and celebrate the work that we do in the specialty pest control industry.

“It will be like a family reunion as we honor the people who have contributed so much to UPFDA and the industry since its inception,” she added. “You will leave Chicago fulfilled and energized on how we can help grow the industry in the years ahead.”

For those arriving early or staying after the conference, Jessee said the city of Chicago offers first-class restaurants and a variety of sightseeing and entertainment options, including the 360 Chicago observation deck on the 94th floor of the John Hancock building, an architecture river cruise, gangster tour and multiple music venues.

Sponsors of the two-day event include: AP&G, AMVAC, BASF, Bayer, BedBug Central, Bell Laboratories, Bug Stop, Central Life Sciences/Zoëcon, Dow AgroSciences, FMC, Forshaw, Gardex Chemicals, Liphatech, MGK, Neogen, Oldham Chemicals, Paragon, PCT, PMP, Syngenta and Target Specialty Products.

To learn more, visit www.upfda.com.— Jeff Fenner