Last summer, a group of like-minded pest management professionals (PMPs) from across the country came together with a mission of supporting Black economic advancement in the industry.
The Black community is severely disadvantaged due to a cyclical racial wealth gap created through generations of negligence and discriminatory practices and policies. We believe economic inclusion can help solve inequality in our country. That inclusion begins with improved access to and support of business success, which gives the community equal footing and power. Regardless of political ideology or cultural background, we believe in the advancement of all people. We can all achieve the American Dream.
We created the group Black Ownership Matters (BOM) to help promote Black ownership of pest control companies and advancement in the industry by providing financial guidance, business resources, employee development, mentorship and community support.
To accomplish this, we have a three-pronged strategy:
- To identify current Black owners in the pest management industry, and support their business growth through mentorship and access to resources.
- To promote career advancement of Black PMPs and support upward mobility in their careers through additional education, certifications, licensing, etc. BOM views this step as the catalyst for many to begin their path to ownership.
- To engage in outreach to the Black community at large to inform them of the critical role pest management plays in the lives of all people, to explain why this is a great industry in which to be employed, and to discuss potential business ownership opportunities.
In the past year, we’ve focused mainly on growing our membership and on mentoring members in any area in which they may need help. Each of our board members has many years of pest management experience, and whether it’s recruiting, budgeting, marketing, technical — we match each mentee with a mentor who is going to take his or her business to the next level. We encourage following the African proverb of “Each One, Teach One,” so everyone who becomes involved shares their knowledge for the betterment of all.
In the coming months, we hope to not only increase our mentoring initiative, but to also create marketing materials and scholarship and internship programs to formally promote the industry to historically Black colleges and universities, job fairs and more. Attracting high school students to consider entomology and pest management as career options is another facet of this program.
In closing, we’d love to have you join us in realizing these goals, whether it’s volunteering to be a mentor; helping with a marketing campaign to get out the word about our initiatives; sharing strategies that have worked for your business in developing Black employees as managers and franchisees; or even making a tax-deductible financial donation to help make future marketing, outreach and training materials happen.
Please visit us online to learn more at BlackOwnershipMatters.org. We also invite you to join us for an in-person meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., that will take place during the National Pest Management Association’s PestWorld conference.
PRESIDENT: Jason Payne, Payne Pest Management, San Diego, Calif.
FIRST VP: Wayne Golden, GSquared Consulting, Philadelphia, Pa.
SECOND VP: Dr. Hamilton Allen*, HomeTeam Pest Defense, Tampa, Fla.
TREASURER: Faye Golden, Cook’s Pest Control, Decatur, Ala.
SECRETARY: Sterling Barbour, Revolution National Pest Council, Carson, Calif.
⦁ Genma Holmes, Holmes Pest Control, Nashville, Tenn.
⦁ Dr. Sonja Thomas, Alabama Cooperative Extension, Auburn, Ala.
⦁ Dr. Zia Siddiqi, Rodent Retreat, Atlanta, Ga.
⦁ Ashley Clark, AllenStrategic Communications, Sacramento, Calif.
⦁ Jim Steed, Neighborly Pest Management, Roseville, Calif.
* Also a Pest Management Professional Editorial Advisory Board member.