Academy participation provides lasting benefits


June 27, 2019



In July 2009, I attended my first National Pest Management Association (NPMA) Academy, which took place in Phoenix, Ariz. I still have on my computer many photos of the fun, action-packed activities that are the hallmark of this unique annual event.

The event features speakers that are second-to-none, networking opportunities, and team-building activities and games. Academy 2019 will take place July 16-18 in Phoenix once again. As I reflect on the full Academy experience, each one I attended was a huge positive for me.

Life-changing event



My most memorable Academy was in July 2010 in Orlando, Fla. I will never forget it.

In one of the sessions, each team had to come up with ideas that could improve business without costing much money. Our team had several wonderful ideas, but one stood out to me: Send customers a photo of the technician to ensure safety and security, like Safelite AutoGlass was doing at the time.

Well, I could not get that concept out of my mind. As soon as I got home, I started to research just how I could do that. Believe it or not, at that time there was absolutely nothing available; Safelite AutoGlass had its own system just for them. Long story short, that’s how ACES for Business was born.

ACES stands for Appointment Confirmation Email System. Customers feel safer seeing a photo of who is going to be coming to their door to provide service. They also see a photo of whom they talked with on the phone, which creates a very personal experience.

The year following that fateful Academy experience, I served as NPMA president. I traveled across the country to speak with other pest management professionals (PMPs) and tell them what we were doing at Johnson Pest Control. I had developed ACES to give my company a competitive edge, but as I explained what we were doing, the PMPs I spoke with asked how we were doing it because they wanted to do it, too.

Well, a light went off in my businessman’s head, and we quickly made ACES available to anyone. That little idea from Academy has been such a business blessing to me, but I hear from my customers that it’s a blessing for their businesses as well. Today, more than 20 different industries use ACES every day to provide the next level of customer service.

Worth your time

Academy is held during a very busy time of year for everyone, with vacations and family activities that occur in the summertime. Yet the “Academy Investment” you make for one of your employees can be a life-changing event — and could greatly benefit your bottom line in a very positive way. Your other employees will see the investment as a positive, and may give them hope that next year, they could be the one lucky employee who gets to go to Academy.

The friendships that were built, the networking that occurred, and the teams that were formed to compete at Academy — all these elements helped transform every person who attended. And so it is today: For any company that wants to invest in its people and foster leadership roles, Academy is the place to be.

I know from all of the Academy events I attended, I have come back with a new outlook on life and business. I am always ready to apply what I learned from others, and I have reaped the benefits.


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