Nominations open for 2023 David Cooksey PestVet of the Year Award


January 26, 2023

NPMANominations are now open for the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) PestVets Council 2023 David Cooksey PestVet of the Year Award.

The award was was created to honor a veteran who has helped strengthen the role of pest management. Award winners are to be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the industry and to the communities they serve.

The evaluation process will consider the nominee’s leadership and involvement in community volunteer activities, and their contributions to the pest control industry, their company, and to other veterans.

Minimum qualifications include:

  • Must be an honorably discharged (DD214) Veteran of the U.S. Military
  • Must be employed by an NPMA member company

Details on the award and directions for submission can be found at Nominations close on Feb. 15, 2023.

The recipient will be honored at the NPMA’s 2023 Legislative Day, which takes place March 22-24 in Washington, D.C. Early-bird pricing for Legislative Day 2023 ends on Feb. 21. Full details are available at

The award was named after the late Col. David Cooksey, retired from the U.S. Air Force (USAF), who died May 14, 2021, from complications following a routine surgical procedure. Before it was sold to Northwest Exterminating, a Rollins company, in January 2021, Cooksey was CFO of McCall Service. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm was purchased in the 1950s by his father, J. Bryan Cooksey Jr., and today is still led by third-generation members of the Cooksey family. Dave’s brothers Bryan and John are still considered brand ambassadors for the company.

At the time of his death, Cooksey was vice president of the Florida Pest Management Association, and would have assumed the role of President in January 2023. He also taught a class on family business at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, and was active in his local Rotary Club.

Cooksey joined the USAF in July 1985, and per his obituary in 2021:

He graduated from the Academy May 31, 1989, with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Government. As a Second Lieutenant, he was an Intelligence and Communications Officer at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. David was part of the initial cadre of forces that deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm to repel the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. While deployed, David prepared the infrastructure to support the deployment of over 500,000 troops to the region. Dave was vital to the detection and warning of incoming missile attacks on troops, and providing the intelligence to support the location and destruction of Iraqi missile launchers. David also served in Operation Enduring Freedom and spent significant time in Combined Joint Operations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Djibouti. In 1995, after completing his MBA at the University of South Carolina, Dave separated from the USAF to work at McCall Service…

As a direct result of the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, Dave felt again called to the military and he joined the USAF Reserve as an aircraft maintenance officer. The flexibility of the Reserves allowed David to continue working at McCall Service, while dedicating time to also be in the Air Force. Initially assigned to Charleston Air Force Base, Dave ultimately was the Operations Officer for the organization, and was responsible for ensuring the base’s aircraft were fully operational, safe and ready to fly. In 2010, David transferred to Patrick AFB in Florida, where he rose through the ranks to become the base’s Deputy Group Commander. Dave was promoted to Colonel, and led the deployment of his unit to Djibouti. In Djibouti they were responsible for counterterrorism missions against Isis and Boko Haram terrorists. After an extremely distinguished career in the service of his country, Dave retired from the reserves in 2017.


About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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