Orkin celebrates 120th anniversary


September 14, 2021


Orkin Pest Control is giving back to the communities and employees that shaped its success in honor of its 120th year anniversary through a $120,000 donation to the American Red Cross and the “Heroes of Home” initiative.

Since 1901, Orkin has helped protect homes and businesses across the country. Despite wars, depressions, recessions and slumps, and most recently, a global pandemic, Orkin takes pride in continuing to provide high-quality service to stand the test of time, according to a news release.

“The key to success is never losing sight of why you do what you do,” Freeman Elliott, president of Orkin Pest Control, said. “At Orkin, we help protect one of the biggest investments a person will make in his or her life – a home or business. We don’t take that responsibility lightly, and we promise to continue to provide the service excellence our customers and communities have come to expect from us over the past 120 years.”

Committed to communities

Throughout 120 years, Orkin leaders have maintained a clear focus on the company’s ability to make a positive impact on where people live, work and play.

In 2020, Orkin launched the “Donating Blood Should be Voluntary” initiative with the American Red Cross to ai the organization in maintaining the country’s blood supply and protect people against the public health threats of mosquitoes.

Orkin donated $120,000 to the organization and encouraged the public to pledge to donate blood to the Red Cross through a SleevesUp campaign, which encourages people to donate blood, in honor of the company’s anniversary.

As a result of the partnership, the Atlanta chapter of the Red Cross honored Orkin with its Good Neighbor Award for making a significant humanitarian contribution to the Red Cross and going above and beyond to support the work of the organization.

OrkinServices, an employee volunteer program, also aims to help take care of communities. Through the program, Orkin branches across the country set aside time each year to give back.

Orkin also emphasizes the importance of education. The company’s formal commitment to public education began in the 1950s when Orkin technicians started presenting to local students. Now, teachers can sign up online to bring Orkin specialists into the classroom to teach about insects’ important role in the ecosystem and environment

Emphasis on employees

With more than 8,000 employees at over 400 branches around the world, Orkin is committed to being a premier employer and keeps employees at the forefront.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, Orkin hosted a “Heroes of Home” contest to celebrate and honor technicians who are committed to protecting the joy of each and every home they serve, according to a news release. Current customers nominated their technicians and explained why their technician is a hero, an effort that resulted in nearly 500 submissions.

“We’re proud to be represented by world-class employees,” Elliott said. “By offering continuing education opportunities and more than 160 hours of training to each technician, Orkin aims to create careers ­– not just day jobs – for every employee. However, we know the job they do each day is a job well done, and I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work of every employee over the past 120 years.”

Training magazine frequently recognizes Orkin on its Top 125 list, and the company has been featured among the magazine’s Editor’s Choice honorees. Orkin’s parent company, Rollins Inc., also is ranked among one of the country’s top places to work.

More than a century setting the highest standard

In 1901, 14-year-old Pennsylvania farm boy Otto Orkin, who is in the PMP Hall of Fame (Class of 1999), developed a rodenticide to protect his family’s farmhouse. The son of Latvian immigrants, Otto’s job was to make sure rodents did not ruin any of the family’s farm stock. He knew to capture a pest, you had to think like a pest.

The special blend worked well so he started to sell it door-to-door. In 1908, Otto moved from selling a product to a service: pest control. By 1919, Otto’s pest control company was flourishing thanks to his commitment to excellent service — a commitment Orkin employees carry on today.

As the business grew over the next 50 years, Orkin’s expertise grew as well, offering customers protection against common pests such as termites, other insects and rodents.

Rollins, Inc. purchased the Orkin Exterminating Company, Inc. in 1964 in the first leveraged buyout in business history and help to turn it into one of the largest pest management companies in the world. Now, there are Orkin branches around the world offering pest control services to more than 1.7 million customers throughout the Americas, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and Australia.


About the Author

Ellen Wagner

Ellen Wagner is the digital editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at ewagner@northcoastmedia.net.

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