Minorities in the Pest Control Industry Have Inaugural Meeting at Pest World 2005

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More than forty members of National Pest Management Association met to form Miniorities in Pest Management in Nashviile, Tennessee. The group wants to bring diversity to the pest control industry and spotlight the accomplishments of minority members.

More than forty minority members of NPMA had their first meeting of Minorities in Pest Management (MPM) during Pest World 2005.

Modeled after the successful Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM)group, several pest professionals wanted to continue the trend of growing the industry by attracting the best and the brightest from all backgrounds, including minorities.

"As diverse as our country has become, we need to see leaders in our industry that reflect the diversity of the pest management consumer base," said Genma Stringer Holmes of Holmes Pest Control in Hermitage, Tenn., who helped host the group during their stay in Nashville. "Many times I have heard others state it's a good idea but nothing would come out of the idea. After meeting with everyone, I asked Bob Kunst of Fischer Environmental Services in Mandeville, La., for his input. (Bob Kunst is also past president of NPMA.) We went from talking to actually putting a plan of action together."

According to Holmes, MPM's mission is for the advancement and education of minorities in the pest control industry. The group's goal is be proactive in stressing the importance of the pest industry to all cultures and will teach business and consumer ethics as well. MPM will rely heavily on diversity of thought from regulatory officials, distributors, chemists, entomologists, risk analysts and PMPs for advice and guidance, Holmes added.

Many of the members of MPM have years of industry experience as well as backgrounds in other fields. Robert Dixon of Dixon Termite and Pest Management has over 30 plus years in the business. Cleveland Dixon of Holiday Termite and Pest Control worked for the company that he now owns. Learning and networking with one another and having an understanding of working and owning a company as a minority, will attract minorities from every corner of the globe. Calls and emails regarding interest of the group have come from around the world.

Darrell Garner of Grand Central Exterminating asked the general membership at Pest World 2005 to support the forming of the committee.

"We are not trying to start anything separate from national," Garner says. "This will only enhance an already great organization."

Some members of the inaugural meeting were: Ola Phipps of Lady Bug Exterminating in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Genma Stringer Holmes of Holmes Pest Control in Hermitage, Tennessee; Tanya Sanders of Holiday Termite and Pest Control in Springfield, VA; Robert Dixon of Dixon’s Termite and Pest Management Washington, D.C.; Lennie J. Carter of Carter Termite and Pest Management LLC in Sicklerville, NJ; Eric Roberts, Ernest Pennyman, and Charles Walker of Precise Pest Control in Cleveland Heights, Ohio; Buz Jones and Carlton E. Dean in Norfolk, VA; and Cleveland Dixon of Holiday Termite and Pest Control in Springfield, VA.

MPM’s next goal is to meet with NPMA for further development of the committee. In the meantime, the group has already initiated a website that will help increase business opportunities for companies looking to partner with minorities in the pest control industry. The website will also serve as a marketing vehicle for minorities in the industry to highlight accomplishments and milestones of minority members. For more information about the MPM contact Genma Stringer Holmes @615-391-5708.

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