Jeff Miller, COO of Tacoma, Wash.-based Sprague Pest Solutions, has announced his retirement. Miller joined Sprague in 1980 when the company acquired Seattle, Wash.-based American Exterminating. This marked an expansion into the Seattle market for Sprague, which now offers pest management services to clients across the Western United States.
A 1976 graduate of the University of Connecticut, Miller moved to the Pacific Northwest when his father accepted a job transfer to Seattle. He started at American Exterminating as a service technician. With Sprague, he rose through the ranks of service manager, branch manager, regional manager, director of operations and general manager.
“I would have left the industry had Sprague not acquired the company,” Miller said in a news release. “They brought a vision to the company and allowed me to grow with it.”
Miller said Sprague CEO Alfie Treleven and VP Larry Treleven — a member of the Pest Management Professional Hall of Fame, Class of 2016 — challenged him to reach for more and stretch himself outside of his comfort zone.
“They let me feel like the company was mine and showed trust in me,” Miller said in the news release. “People become their best when they are challenged, and having Alfie and Larry push me has made me a better leader and person.”
“I would like to recognize Jeff Miller for 40 years of leadership, mentorship to many and most of all a great friendship,” Alfie Treleven said in the news release. “We set out on our Sprague journey with the idea of delivering innovative solutions to clients and change the way they viewed our industry. Not only did Jeff help accomplish that but, in the process, helped millions of people eat safer food, while living and working in healthier environments. We are thrilled that Jeff will continue his Sprague journey through his active participation in our leadership and mentoring programs.”
Among Miller’s achievements during his time with Sprague is his work on the company’s leadership development program. The program was launched to help Sprague cultivate internal management talent to meet the demands of its rapidly growing service footprint.
“We started with five people in the first class, and the number of applicants has grown each year,” Miller said in the news release. “It has always been a passion of mine to help people grow and be the best they can be. People see themselves differently when they advance through the program. It has been remarkable to watch people grow and achieve more.”
Miller plans to continue to work as a consultant with Sprague on its leadership development program — in between traveling with his wife, Jane, and spending time with their four grandchildren.