PMP Hall of Famer receives PCOC Lifetime Achievement Award

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June 20, 2024

Dr. Vernard Lewis

Dr. Vernard Lewis

Dr. Vernard Lewis, a Pest Management Professional (PMP) Hall of Famer (Class of 2016), has been named the 2024 Harvey Logan Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient by the Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC). The award was named in honor of the late Harvey Logan, who served as PCOC’s executive VP from 1983 until his retirement in 2007.

Now Professor Emeritus of Cooperative Extension for the University of California-Berkeley, Dr. Lewis has been known for inspiring students, colleagues and pest management professionals (PMPs) for more than four decades. Dr. Lewis graduated from UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources in 1975 with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural sciences. He earned his master of science degree in 1979, and completed his doctorate in entomology in 1989. Dr. Lewis joined UC Berkeley as a Professor of Cooperative Extension in 1991 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.

As an internationally recognized expert on urban pests, Dr. Lewis has published more than 150 papers and delivered more than 700 presentations on termites, bed bugs and cockroaches. He is probably best known, however, for his termite research, which largely occurred in a 400-square-foot structure at UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station designed to test alternative pest control methods.

Dr. Lewis has also been instrumental in supporting PCOC’s Termite Academy, which has been hosted at the UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station since 2018.

In a PCOC news release, Past President (2009-2010) Lee Whitmore provided this overview on Dr. Lewis’ selection:

Vernard has been an unparalleled champion for our industry for decades. His research has been instrumental in protecting the consumer public by ensuring industry professionals communicate accurately about pest control technologies and processes. His collaboration and research have enhanced the effectiveness of various treatment technologies through meticulous yet fair evaluation, benefiting both professionals and consumers alike. However, perhaps his most significant contribution lies in his efforts to encourage diversity and inclusivity within the field of entomology. By serving as a mentor and inspiration to minority individuals and women, Dr. Lewis has helped to address the historical underrepresentation of these groups in the field. In doing so, he has not only opened doors for countless aspiring entomologists and pest control professionals, but has also enriched the industry with diverse perspectives and talents.

About PCOC

Based in Sacramento, Calif., the Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit association dedicated to protecting people, property and the food supply through environmental stewardship and advocacy. PCOC has served the business and educational needs of pest management professionals in California for more than 80 years. Currently, the PCOC represents the interests of more than 700 members who help generate more than $3.4 billion worth of pest management economic activity in the Golden State. The PCOC estimates that its members account for more than 80 percent of the state’s total volume of pest control business.

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About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at hgooch@northcoastmedia.net or 330-321-9754.

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