Editor’s note: The first annual Women in Pest Control (WIPC) conference was held Aug. 23 in Austin, Texas. Linde Mills of Nisus Corporation was in attendance and provided the following recap.
Women from across the nation made history together as they attended the inaugural Women in Pest Control (WIPC) conference in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 23. With more than 100 women in attendance, this conference boasted all female attendees, speakers and vendors.
Bobbie Terry, owner of The Bug Lady Pest Control, founded the WIPC group Facebook page on May 2, 2017. In January of this year, Terry and Lisa Meyers-Botts, co-owner of WIPC and owner of Peacock Pest Prevention, began publicly discussing the possibility of group members meeting in person. They said they had such positive feedback that the idea quickly evolved into a full-blown conference. Terry and Meyers-Botts said they determined that this was an important opportunity to encourage close collaboration between pest management professionals, distributors and manufacturers, not only for making knowledge more accessible, but also for the dissemination of diverse content that promotes gender equality.
“I can’t believe how just asking the ladies in the group if anyone would be interested in a meet-and-greet once a year blew into a conference,” Terry says. “The next thing we knew, phones, email and (Facebook) Messenger were blowing up with people wanting to help. We are so grateful for all the support and help. I believe this is only going to get bigger and better!” Attendees spent the day learning from inspiring women in the industry as well as networking with women who are facing some of the same struggles they are. Meyers-Botts said she is still amazed at the response. “I still can’t believe the support; it was so amazing for all of these women to come together and make this happen,” she added.
Conference organizers said the event was designed to help female pest control operators develop themselves professionally and find fulfillment in their work and beyond.
The WIPC Facebook group page now has almost 500 members. The next WIPC conference is scheduled for Sept. 25, 2020, in Houston, Texas. Learn more. — Linde Mills