What a year it has been!
We began 2022 still navigating the lasting effects of COVID-19. As the year progressed, we readily gathered in person. In the spring, we were finally able to celebrate our President’s Club members. This Truly Nolen time-honored tradition was accomplished at a rodeo ranch in Florida where horse, bison and bulls reign supreme.
Shortly thereafter, the summer brought other challenges. Inflation, gas surges, ongoing supply chain shortages, and employment crises were all elements to navigate; however, the biggest adversary was Mother Nature herself. We faced record heat, which left portions of our nation under extreme heat warnings. Heat-fueled wildfires were felt across the country, but particularly in California where over 7 million acres were burned.
In Florida as autumn arrived, Hurricanes Ian and Nicole left a devastating impact to our partners and customers alike. In fact, a record $10 billion in damage have been attributed to the storms so far. The Truly Nolen family and all of our partners came together as a unit during and after the hurricanes — ensuring safety and providing supplies to the community. Teams came together to bring water, food, tarps and a helping set of hands to the community at large. Our job is to kill bugs, but our mission ”Adding value to the lives we touch” was truly realized during these hardships.
As October began to wind down, our teams across the country were able to visit hospitals to decorate plastic pumpkins with children for the first time in-person since 2019. Our “Truly Spooktacular” program, which began in 2014, brought smiles to children at nearly 30 hospitals in 11 states, and the program remains among one of my favorite things we do as a company. If you have ever volunteered at a hospital, you know nothing beats making a child smile to help them take their mind off of everything else going on around them.
In November, our Community Car Show returned to Tucson, Ariz., for the first time since 2019. The record crowd of over 1,000 visitors certainly demonstrated how much they missed our event and how much we enjoyed connecting with people
Looking ahead to 2023, some are bracing for a potential recession. Pest control operators are asking themselves the question, ‘How this will affect our family, customers, and industry at large?’ With the war in Ukraine enduring and a global recession potentially emerging, I think back on the Great Depression and World War II.
My grandfather, the Pest Management Professional Hall of Famer Truly Wheatfield Nolen (Class of 2006) started his business during the Great Depression. In those early years, he had every type of home service one could imagine — everything from painting walls to flushing toilets for the wealthy! Only one service prevailed during the hardest of America’s economic times, however: pest control.
One of the many reasons we love the pest control industry is its sustainability. Although I am profoundly more optimistic for 2023 than events almost a century ago, regardless of what is thrown our way, I firmly believe Truly Nolen and our entire industry is due for a great year. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year!