Pest Management Professional (PMP) magazine is pleased to announce its 21st class of Hall of Fame inductees. The PMP Hall of Fame was created in 1996, with its first class inducted in 1997, to recognize the many leaders and pioneers — both contemporary and from generations past — in the professional pest management industry.
This year, the Hall of Fame nominating committee chose five inductees, as follows:
Dr. John Klotz, urban entomology specialist emeritus of the University of California-Riverside. In addition to teaching and mentoring students who have risen through the ranks of the professional pest management industry, Dr. Klotz has conducted invaluable research on ant control over his storied career. Although he now resides in Arizona with his wife, Jennifer, enjoying retirement, he is still a go-to presenter who most recently spoke last May at the jointly held National Conference on Urban Entomology and Invasive Fire Ant Conference in Albuquerque, N.M.
Ed Martin is one of two posthumous inductees this year — although his name was near the top of the list of possible honorees for many years beforehand. Before his death in 2016 at age 80, Martin was a longtime advocate for professional pest management training (especially in termites) for his home state of Louisiana. In 1962, Martin bought New Orleans-based Terminix Service Co., becoming the youngest Terminix licensee in the nation. He built-up the company for more than 50 years.
Roland Rhodes is one of two posthumous inductees this year — although like Ed Martin, he has been on the short list of honoree possibilities for many years. He retired from Rhodes Chemical on his 88th birthday in June 2015, passing away less than six weeks later. He and his wife, Winona, had founded the company in 1962. In addition to being a premier industry distributor to pest professionals throughout the Midwest, Rhodes was an advocate for industry education. He and Winona established an endowment program at Purdue University, and provided scholarships for the University of Illinois, University of Missouri, Kansas State University, University of Nebraska and Iowa State University to honor Fred Clute, one of their first employees.
Entomologist Chuck Steinmetz has been a fixture in the pest management industry since his career began at Orkin in 1961. He is perhaps best remembered for his leadership and 1982 sale of All America Termite and Pest Control, at the time the largest privately owned pest management company in the nation with 125 locations. He is also known for his emphasis on industry education — which included a $5 million endowment program at his alma mater, the University of Florida. Currently, Steinmetz is a partner in Safer Home Services, where he is known as the “inventor of once-a-year-pest control.”
Billy Tesh is the owner of both Greensboro, N.C.-based Pest Management Systems Inc., as well as crawlspace insulation and encapsulation product supplier Crawlspace Depot. Tesh got started in the industry at the tender age of 14 — thanks to a technician gig with his uncle’s firm, Tesh Pest Control — and has been active on the national and state levels for both industry advocacy and best business practices. Tesh also is well known for his philanthropy, which includes Habitat for Humanity, the Autism Society of North Carolina, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Operation Smile, USO-NC, and the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, just to name a few.
These five outstanding professionals will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a black-tie, invitation-only event in Baltimore Oct. 23, the night before the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) annual PestWorld conference. In addition, biographical plaques of each will join other PMP Hall of Famers on the walls of Purdue University’s Smith Hall.
Please join us in congratulating our 21st class of the PMP Hall of Fame. You’ll learn more about these five titans of industry as the months progress. If you have memories and stories to share about any of them, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. As for the 20 previous classes of PMP Hall of Famers, you can read about their lives and industry contributions at PMPHallofFame.net.
We’re currently accepting nominations for the Class of 2018 and beyond. You may nominate a pest management professional of any walk of life — business owner, technician, researcher, manufacturer, etc. — at https://pmphalloffame.com/nominate-someone.
Our PMP Hall of Fame event would not be possible without the generous contributions of our sponsors: BASF Pest Control Solutions, Bug Off Pest Control Center, Control Solutions Inc. (CSI), J.T. Eaton & Co., Kness Manufacturing, MGK, Oldham Chemicals Co., Purdue University, Rockwell Labs Ltd, ServicePro and WorkWave.