When Donna George joined our staff in 2015 as the PR & Marketing Manager, she didn't waste any time getting involved with our professional industry organization. At her first meeting of the Greater Houston Pest Control Association at the end of 2015, she answered a membership call for a Communication Director position on the Board of Directors.
"I can't think of a better way to get to know the industry than to get involved," said George.
She has become an active participant in all association activities. She even spearheaded the organization of a scholarship open to membership employees and immediate families. The first $1,000 scholarship was presented at the June 2018 meeting.
Donna upped her game in 2017 as she stepped into the role of Vice President for the organization. Quality programming and growing the membership has been her focus. So far the organization has seen a year of engaging speakers and growing attendance.
One of her favorite quotes, "The world is run by those who show up."
When it comes to knowing bugs, Bob McQueen, co-owner of Richmond-based Integrated Pest Management, Inc., can’t seem to get enough. He recently earned his Associate Certified Entomologist, ACE, certification from the Entomological Society of America.
The training was conducted by Ph.D.s in entomology; the scientific study of bugs. McQueen described the training and testing as grueling.
He said, “What made the training grueling was the sheer number of insects that we’re threatened by every day and understanding the differences between all of the different pests.”
McQueen is a firm believer in the old adage “Knowledge is Power,” so reaching beyond the Continuing Education Units required by the State of Texas each year for his license is no surprise to those who know him. He will share his expanded knowledge with his staff, improving their skills in proper insect identification, inspection procedures, monitoring and more progressive control measures.
He explained that pest control is much more than just killing bugs. “Pests cannot be controlled until you understand their biology, needs and natural behaviors. Once you understand those things you can create an environment that is inhospitable for unwanted pests.”
McQueen added, “The most important thing for an Associate Certified Entomologist, or a Board Certified Entomologist, is the code of conduct in how we treat our customers, how we go about controlling the pests that we deal with, and our responsibility as guardians of the environment. I’m striving to offer my customers the very best possible service.”
Do what you promise; it seems like a simple enough concept. For long-time friends and business partners, Frank Comstive and Bob McQueen, it is a principle that launched and has sustained Richmond-based Integrated Pest Management, Inc. since 1984.
When Frank and Bob first teamed up it was as a temporary sales team for another small Houston-based pest control company. Their enthusiasm and natural ability to connect with potential customers proved to be a winning combination. In good faith they successfully established new business relationships and sold the company’s services.
However, they soon learned that their employer could not fulfill the promises he had made to them or the new customers. It was then that the pair had the vision and determination to turn a bad situation into an entrepreneurial opportunity. They not only chose to service those new customers themselves, but ultimately took ownership of the business.
There was no shortage of challenges for the new partners. At a time when the failing local economy of 1984 saw countless business closings and unprecedented foreclosures they powered through that first year in business. Even with an annual income that barely reached $10,000 they strongly believed their most pressing issue was their lack of industry knowledge.
Bob said that from the very beginning they understood that educating themselves was vital to their survival as a company. They sought out experts working in entomology, scholars at Texas A & M University and professional trade associations such as the Greater Houston Pest Control Association.
“With that knowledge in hand, we saw an opportunity to provide a common sense approach to pest control problems. By understanding the biology and behavior of the insects we were trying to control we realized that chemicals alone are not the best answer to solving pest problems,” he added.
They became involved in the National Pest Management Association, the Texas Pest Control Association, and the Greater Houston Pest Control Association. Bob went on to serve as president of both the local and state associations. They found encouragement, a willingness to share knowledge and enduring friendships through those professional associations.
Today that eagerness to share knowledge can be seen in each customer interaction. It is a philosophy instilled in each employee. The partnership, and the friendship, between Frank and Bob has endured many hardships over the years. Through it all they consider each other, and their staff members, family. Well, some of them actually are family. Bob is proud to point out that there are now three generations of McQueens working for the company. Visitors to their retail store are likely to be greeted by his son Jeff McQueen.
Frank said that the challenges faced in the early days of Integrated Pest Management, Inc. helped to strengthen their commitment to service.
“We show up when we promise, do what we say, and protect your home, family and pets from pests the same way we would our own families,” he said.
Bob added, “We’ve been doing what we promise for over thirty years and plan on doing exactly the same for at least another thirty years.”
Integrated Pest Management, Inc. is located at 1118 Highway 90A, Richmond, TX, 77406. For more information call (281) 341-1761.