NPMA Academy included team-building activities such as volleyball.

In July, current and future pest control industry leaders journeyed to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for NPMA Academy — a three-day event focused on team-building, learning activities and networking.

“Innovate, Collaborate, Motivate” were themes of this year’s Academy, lead-sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, and sessions/speakers were focused on issues that emerging industry leaders encounter on a daily basis.

NPMA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Stumpf, who has attended 23 Academies, kicked off this year’s event by reflecting on past events and participants. “Through the years I’ve been able to witness emerging leaders become captains of our industry. Academy alumni are making differences every day whether it’s through their engagement in NPMA, the influence they have on their businesses or the impact they make in their own communities.”

Another longtime NPMA Academy attendee is current NPMA President Dennis Jenkins (ABC Home & Commercial Services, Lewisville, Texas), who was part of the inaugural event. Jenkins too has observed how his peers have been “transformed into individuals with potential to become great leaders within the pest control industry.” Jenkins said that “relationship building” is the cornerstone of Academy and he noted that since it’s impossible for everyone to attend Academy, NPMA has created the following networking opportunities for emerging leaders:

Members of the NPMA Academy “orange” and “red” teams cheer on their teammates.

Mentor Match is an online mentoring program where NPMA members can go online and sign up — either as a mentor or mentee — identify their areas of need, or expertise, and establish parameters on how often they are available. Once this is done, technology matches mentor with mentee.

The Executive Leadership Program was created to find passionate, committed and engaged individuals from all parts of the country who want to enhance their association and membership experience while connecting with industry leaders. Ten individuals are annually selected to participate in a curriculum designed to increase both their association and industry knowledge and provide skills training in key operational areas.

Highlights of this year’s Academy included the following presentations:

Creating a Culture of Heroes — Kevin Brown, an executive turned motivational speaker, shared personal and professional stories and ideas, as well as strategies and principles, that leaders can use to inspire others. Brown said leaders must first master their daily habits in order to become effective mentors and coaches. “We produce what we are,” he said. Brown’s presentation was sponsored by Syngenta.

What I Learned the Day 45 People Quit — Kristen Hadeed, who as an undergraduate student founded Student Maid, a cleaning company that employs primarily college students, shared lessons she learned, particularly from her early management mistakes. (PCT has coverage of her presentation in next month’s issue). Hadeed’s presentation was sponsored by Corteva Agriscience.

The Future of Video — Marcus Sheridan, who founded the content marketing strategy firm Sales Lion, shared how current-day video strategies are affecting sales, marketing and customer service. Sheridan provided examples of how companies of various size have been transformed by creating a culture that embraces a digital culture.

Academy speakers included former executive Kevin Brown who encouraged leaders to “master their daily habits”
Content marketing strategist Marcus Sheridan shared the benefits of being a company that embraces a digital culture.

Diving deeper

Other highlights included the Bayer-sponsored PWIPM (Professional Women in Pest Management) Professional Development Workshop and BASF-sponsored learning labs, in which attendees dove deeper into pressing management topics of interest and learned from their peers.

The author is Internet editor/managing editor of PCT.