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Business development manager for central California
Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Florida
What do you do for Douglas Products?
I serve fumigators in central California.
I grew up in the Florida Panhandle. My first job after college was with Microsoft as a certified systems engineer. A regional manager with Terminix and I were at the same convention center, though for different meetings, and we struck up a conversation where he said they were looking for people. After I decided to leave Microsoft, I called him and was hired for their management training program.
Your start in pest management?
My training program was 10 months long. I did every job at that Terminix branch location. Then, I took over my own branch in California. I was promoted to regional manager and was based in Hawaii for five years. When Terminix created a major center, I transferred to Escondido, California, and later, after they acquired Antimite, I was the operations manager. My last job, prior to joining Douglas Products, was with Liphatech where I ran their western district, which spanned 11 states plus western Canada.
Joining Douglas Products?
Douglas Products gave me the opportunity to manage a smaller sales geography. That allows me to spend more time with my family and, professionally, it lets me increase my interaction with customers. I love helping customers. And the opportunity with Douglas Products was a good fit because I already reside in California and am experienced in working with highly regulated pesticides.
I trained and managed structural fumigation crews in Hawaii for five years. I hold Branch 1, 2 and 3 licenses in California and am a qualified applicator on the agricultural side. I also managed fumigations for seed corn with ProFume® gas fumigant while in Hawaii.
I am active in Pest Control Operators of California and San Diego is my home chapter. I serve on the PCOC fumigation enforcement committee. I have been a presenter at PestEd multiple years, and, when I was in Hawaii, I served on the association’s board of directors.
Favorite part of the job? Enjoy most?
Doing training. All my jobs have involved education. I think I can speak with fumigators at a practical level because I have done it and can share anecdotal experiences they can relate to.
Challenging part of the job?
Building credibility and gaining trust with my customers. That takes time.
Opportunities in the fumigation industry?
There are huge opportunities for Branch 3 companies when their new salespeople learn about fumigation. It’s always harder to sell something to a homeowner if you don’t understand it well. For example, I had some water damage at my home one time and when the insurance adjuster came out I had some questions. But he could not answer my questions and said I would need to talk to the contractor. That’s a disconnect. When I was managing fumigation, I made my salespeople spend three days on the fumigation truck. Recently, I trained a Branch 1 company with Branch 3 salespeople attending. It was great to be able to share things like our Fumigation Facts website, and the salespeople thought, “Wow, this is great!”
The bed bug opportunity also benefits from seeing things from the customer’s perspective. Fumigators can be desensitized about what they do all the time, but to the homeowner it can be scary, especially if it’s their first-ever fumigation. It can be confusing to the customer anytime Branch 1 assumes that Branch 2 took care of the customer training, only to find out differently when they show up to do the fumigation.
Changes you’ve seen in the industry?
Regulations change and sometimes that means people with good intentions create unintended consequences. Our industry needs to be better ambassadors to help the public to understand what we do and why it is important.
How do you like to relax?
I used to mountain bike, but my wife and I serve as unpaid Uber drivers for our four kids — ages 10, 11, 15 and 17. They are all involved in sports — football, baseball, volleyball and water ball.
What might surprise people?
I ran with the bulls when living in the Azores. My dad was career Air Force, so we lived in a lot of places. I was in a total of 18 different schools growing up. I hated it as a kid, but as an adult it has helped me make friends anywhere plus be open-minded about different cultures.