Event Coverage: 2017
PMP inducts 5 to Hall of Fame
Pest Management Professional (PMP) honored its most recent Hall of Fame inductees at a black tie dinner and induction ceremony Oct. 23 in Baltimore, Md., the day before National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) 2017 PestWorld event.
The ceremony marked the 21st time PMP recognized the men and women who have used their knowledge and talents to take the pest management industry to new heights. The PMP Hall of Fame was established in 1997 to recognize the leaders and pioneers – both contemporary and from generations past – in the pest management industry.
The number of PMP Hall of Fame inductees climbs to 92 with the 2017 class, which includes Dr. John Klotz, urban entomology specialist emeritus of the University of California-Riverside; Ed Martin, longtime advocate for professional pest management training — especially Formosan termites — for his home state of Louisiana; Roland Rhodes, founder of Rhodes Chemical and pest management education advocate; Chuck Steinmetz, entomologist and head of All America Termite and Pest Control, once the largest privately owned pest management company in the country; and Billy Tesh, Pest Management Systems and Crawlspace Depot owner, PestOne co-founder, and NPMA past president.
The evening’s first honoree was Dr. John Klotz, who was unable to attend the evening’s ceremony. Speaking on his behalf was Dr. Gary Bennett, PMP Hall of Famer (Class of 2006) and coordinator of the Urban and Industrial Pest Management Center at Purdue University.
Dr. Bennett worked with Dr. Klotz at Purdue University 30 years ago. He knows “more about ants than anybody I know,” he said. “I continue to call him anytime I need to know something…even though he’s retired.”
Bennett continued, “He’s been a great colleague, a great collaborator, and I love him dearly. I congratulate John on a great career and his service to this industry, and I thank John greatly for that.”
The second honoree was posthumous inductee Ed Martin. Grandson Joe Martin, co-owner of the New Orleans Terminix Service Co. Inc. franchise, accepted on his behalf, along with Ed Martin’s widow, Loretta, to whom he was married 57 years.
“He would be very proud,” Loretta said of her husband. “I’m very proud of him and I thank you profusely and whole-heartedly. Eddie was a great person of honor and integrity.”
She thanked her husband’s partner and friend, Vincent Palumbo, who is now president of the company.
Her husband, Loretta explained, was “pleasantly surprised” when his grandson took keen interest in the company. “Eddie was so proud of him, as I am. He made Eddie’s last few years happier, which made me happier,” she said.
Joe Martin then took the stage, thanking the Terminix employees in attendance.
“I learned a lot of things from my grandfather,” he said. “One of the things that stood out from my grandfather the most was how much pride he took in being a pest control operator. He was an entomologist first, and he absolutely loved this industry.”
Dr. Cisse Spragins, owner and CEO of Rockwell Labs Ltd, who accepted for posthumous inductee Roland Rhodes, said she first met the Hall of Famer in 1990.
“I remember my boss and mentor Malcolm Stack [PMP Hall of Fame Class of 2004] telling me at that time that Roland was an industry stalwart and very wise man and he was a good person to learn from,” she said.
“I used to take Roland to lunch, later in his years, and he had a great deal of wisdom, a great deal of history of the pest control industry, as one of the founding first modern distributors in pest control,” added Dr. Spragins.
Chuck Steinmetz said he was honored to be “in the company of such wonderful people, many of whom I’ve known for 45 or 50 years in the industry.”
He got into the pest management business because, as a sophomore in college working toward a degree in agriculture, he took an Entomology 101 class and was “completely captivated.”
Working for Orkin, Steinmetz said, was “a real honor and a thrill because they took the time to train me, to teach me the fundamentals of management.”
It also was an honor to work with Truly Nolen, son of PMP Hall of Famer Truly W. Nolen. “He was the most special, most genuine, the most giving and loving friend I think I’ve ever had. He was remarkable. He told me one thing that stuck with me: If you learn how to do something very, very well and you don’t share it with other people, it has no value,” he said.
As for the keys to his success, Steinmetz said, “I found out early in the business that if you really take care of your employees and you really take care of your customers, you will grow and you will make money.”
The final inductee of the evening, Tesh was honored to be inducted into the PMP Hall of Fame because, he said, “these are the individuals who have made a difference in the years past to set the future forward.”
He mentioned mentors and fellow pest management professionals who “brought forth a new perception of our industry.”
“As an industry, we share everything within our group,” he added. “That’s the unique part of our industry.” Sharing information with others, he said, “makes our industry better and separates us from the others.”
Tesh closed by thanking his team at PMI, the National Pest Management Association, his two daughters, “the light of my life,” and their beaux, and wife Laurie, whom he’s been with 45 years.
At the beginning of the evening, PMP paid special tribute to Norman Cooper, an inductee from the Class of 1991 and one of the pioneers from the past who helped shape the pest management industry. The PMP Hall of Fame ensures the industry won’t forget the visionaries who worked hard to make its jobs easier.
The PMP Hall of Fame induction ceremony is an annual event. To nominate someone in the pest management industry, submit a nomination form.
PMP thanks for their continued support of the PMP Hall of Fame induction ceremony Platinum sponsor Bug Off Pest Control Center; Cocktail Hour sponsor J.T. Eaton; and Gold sponsors BASF, Control Solutions Inc., Kness, MGK, Neogen, Oldham Chemicals, PestPac, Purdue University, Rockwell Labs Ltd and ServicePro.