Thursday, February 23, 2017

Get to Know Willet Hossfeld, New ESA Certification Programs Manager

In mid-February, the Entomological Society of America welcomed its newest staff member, Willet Hossfeld, certifications program manager. Willet will play a lead role in the facilitation and growth of the ESA Board Certified Entomologist and Associate Certified Entomologist programs, so he’s a person that current and future BCEs and ACEs should get to know. Learn more about Willet in the Q&A below.

Where are you coming to ESA from?

Prior to joining ESA, I was with the National Association of Home Builders, where I worked on growing the federation’s membership, before which I was with the Consumer Technology Association, where I oversaw the SmartHome and Vehicle Technology divisions and worked on educational and promotional campaigns. I’ve worked in the nonprofit and association sector for about four years now and have grown to appreciate all the effort and resources that volunteers put back into their industries.

How will your association management background serve the ACE and BCE programs?

While at the Consumer Technology Association, I oversaw the Mobile Electronics Certified Professionals (MECP) Program, and I have experience in overseeing maintenance-of-certification programs with medical specialty societies. Through this work, I gained an appreciation for the importance of certification: both to differentiate oneself from the competition and peers, as well as demonstrate to clients a dedication to providing the best service possible. I look forward to taking these previous experiences and working to build on the success of both programs. I am very excited about the potential for ACE’s and BCE’s growth.

What is your experience with certification in your own life?

I grew up in a very much DIY house—the thought being that you could trust your own work better than that of someone who wasn’t inherently invested in the job. When my wife and I bought our house, though, there were a number of jobs that needed to be addressed before we could move in that were well outside of the scope of my capabilities. We wanted to ensure that things were done right. Since I had worked with a voluntary certification program (MECP), I knew that people who seek those certifications do so to gain a deeper knowledge of their field and understand the root cause of an issue, rather than just the surface. The contractors that we used for HVAC repair, mold remediation, and more all had additional certifications in their field, something that I sought out. They all took the time not just to tell me what was going to be fixed and how much it would cost but also to explain what was causing the issue, how to prevent it from reoccurring in the future, and why they chose the course of action that they did. Giving me that extra information allowed me to investigate and understand better. The extra step that these contractors provided gave me peace of mind that they were indeed invested in providing the best service possible.  

How will you begin to learn about entomology, pest management, and related science?

I got to tour the Smithsonian’s entomology collection on my second day on the job, and I learned so much from that. I have also been reading back-issues of the various entomology journals and Googling everything I can to learn more about insects and their role in our environment. When it comes to pest management, I am trying to organize a ride along with one our ACE certified PMPs to understand the day-to-day of the job. I think this will be a great opportunity to get a strong understanding of how being an ACE helps PMPs do their job better. 

What did you think of the Smithsonian tour?

This was probably the coolest ‘second day on the job’ activity I have ever gotten to experience. The tour at the Smithsonian was amazing. Seeing all of the work that goes into maintaining their collection of 35 million verified specimens and getting to see some of them up-close definitely sparked an interest in me, and I am eager to learn more about the field of entomology and learn more about what our members do.

What’s one more interesting or unique thing about you that you want to share?

I always have a hard time with these kinds of questions; I always feel a little uncomfortable talking about myself. I’ve travelled extensively throughout South America and am relatively fluent in Spanish, and I can speak a little bit of Brazilian Portuguese. In 2007, I co-organized a nonprofit to educate people on alternative fuel vehicles. A few friends and I converted a 1959 Mercedes Diesel to run on waste vegetable oil and competed in La Carrera Pan Americana, a vintage car race through Mexico. Our plan had been to collect waste oil from local restaurants and hotels to fuel the car and compete (very slowly) in the race. Unfortunately, our support truck broke down and we were not able to finish. One day, we hope to return and complete the race, proving the viability of waste oil as a fuel. When I’m not at work, I enjoy cooking, sailing, and spending as much time outside as possible.


Please join us in welcoming Willet to ESA, and feel free to contact him at or 240-696-3769.

Friday, February 17, 2017

ACE and BCE certified since mid-January 2017

Please help us congratulate the latest to earn their ACE, ACE-International, and BCE certification. The programs continue to grow with great strength. These professionals can now wear the ACE, ACE-I, and BCE designations with pride. If you would like to join their ranks, find more information on the programs through the links above.

New ACEs:
  • Mr. Bernard Albert Buttone, Jr, ACE, (Triangle Pest Control), Holly Springs, NC  USA.  Certified on 1/20/2017
  • Mr. Anthony R. Iverson, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), West Valley City, UT  USA.  Certified on 1/24/2017
  • Mr. James Eugene Chittick, Jr, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), West Valley City, UT  USA.  Certified on 1/24/2017
  • Mr. Bradley K. Scott, ACE, (Dayton's Pest Control), Knoxville, TN  USA.  Certified on 2/3/2017
New ACE-Internationals:
  • Mr. Mwandacha Maganga, ACE-I, (Abell Pest Control), Aldergrove, BC  Canada.  Certified on 1/24/2017
  • Mr. Julian Compton, ACE-I, (Cannon Services), Markham, ON  Canada.  Certified on 1/28/2017
New BCEs:
  • Dr. Vernard R. Lewis, BCE, (University of California - Berkeley), Berkeley, CA  USA.  Certified on 1/20/2017
  • Mr. Jesse T. Hoteling, BCE, (Rentokil NA), Scottsdale, AZ  USA.  Certified on 1/23/2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Estimating the size of the pest control workforce in the United States

I've been frustrated over the years by the lack of hard numbers on estimates on the size of the US workforce for pest control. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there were 74,100 pest control workers in 2014 (link). This seems low to me, based on some analysis of the PCT Top 100 list.

The 2016 list (which recorded 2015 sales) showed total revenue of $6.3 billion for the top 100 North American firms. The list also includes numbers of employees. Nearly a quarter (24) of those on the list did not list employee counts. However, using annual revenue divided by employee counts, we find that the average employee = $111,273 in revenue. NOTE: this does not mean that if you hire someone new you'll earn another $111,273, I only use this as a means to estimate the number of employees for those firms that don't list it on the PCT list. For example, if a firm lists sales of $49,000,000 (Company 17 on the list) and we know that the average revenue per employee is $111,273, then we can estimate that Company 17 employs 440 people. This is imperfect, but serves as a useful tool nonetheless.

Using this formula, we see that in 2015 that there approximately 57,098 individuals employed by the top 100 firms, or about 77% of the total in the full marketplace, according to BLS. By some estimates, the U.S. business sector for pest control operations includes about 20,000 firms. So even if every other firm not on the PCT list was a single owner-operator (which we KNOW) is not true, then the BLS number is off by over 2,500 people.

I know we're basing this on some estimates, so it's possible that my analysis (below) could be flawed, but this should highlight that we need more data.

Is it time for a new and complete pest control marketplace survey?

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Year-end totals for 2016

Here at ESA HQ we have closed out 2016 and finalized our record keeping. And though we reported on the "state of the certification programs" during the Business Meeting a few weeks ago, I wanted to give everyone a sense of how we finished the year in terms of ACE and BCE certified individuals.

Let's review the BCE program first.  I'm pleased to report that we had another solid year of growth - ending the year with 472 BCEs, a full 20 more than we had on the books at the end of 2015 (growth of 4%). Of those, 385 were full BCEs, 10 were Interns, 77 were Emeritus. BCE has grown annually since 2012. 

ACE's growth was even stronger than last year. We recorded 118 more ACEs than we had when 2015 closed out, finishing the year at 1,018. That is a growth rate of 13%! On average, since the program was introduced in 2004, the program has grown every year at an average growth rate of 46% (full disclosure - some of those early years had huge percentage increases, but were less stellar in terms of overall numbers - 2004 had 14 ACEs and 2005 had 45 ACEs, a 165% jump). But, of note, ACE has grown every year.

Included in the numbers above for ACE are 14 ACE-International individuals. ACE-I was introduced in October 2014, but we did not have our first applicant pass until February 2015. We finished 2015 with a total of 5 ACE-I's and our 2016 total of 14 is thus 9 more than the year before, or a jump of about 180% (see what I mean about percentage increases!). 

Also of interest, we had 10 people who hold both the ACE and BCE!

We hope that you continue to maintain your ACE and BCE. These certification programs help to build the professionalism of the industry and showcase our professionalism for the world. 

Wear your ACE and BCE logos with pride!  If you need a copy of the logo for your website, business cards, or email signature, please contact or

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New ACEs and BCEs (through Jan 10, 2017)

Happy New Year ... make yourself a resolution to get your ACE, ACE-International, or BCE this year, just like these folks did:

New BCEs:

  • Ms. Laura Ellen Hammon, BCE, (not provided), San Jose, CA  USA.  Certified on 12/13/2016
  • Dr. Michael T. Bentley, BCE, (National Pest Management Association), Fairfax, VA  USA.  Certified on 12/30/2016

New ACE Internationals:

  • Mr. Sambasiva Rao Malyala, ACE-I, (Abell Pest Control), Etobicoke, ON  Canada.  Certified on 11/30/2016
  • Mr. Steven R. Graff, ACE-I, (Abell Pest Control), Etobicoke, ON  Canada.  Certified on 12/21/2016

New ACEs:

  • Mr. Jay Charles Newell, ACE, (Copesan Services Inc), Menomonee Falls, WI  USA.  Certified on 11/22/2016
  • Mr. Adam Warrix, ACE, (Varment Gaurd), Columbus, OH  USA.  Certified on 11/29/2016
  • Mr. Daniel J Foard, ACE, (Pestmaster Services), Saint Augustine, FL  USA.  Certified on 11/29/2016
  • Mr. Gregory Richard McMillon, ACE, (Batzner Pest Control), New Berlin, WI  USA.  Certified on 12/1/2016
  • Mr. Daniel Elton Stawicki, ACE, (Batzner Pest Control), New Berlin, WI  USA.  Certified on 12/1/2016
  • Mr. Jason D. Ganas, ACE, (Batzner Pest Control), Waukesha, WI  USA.  Certified on 12/1/2016
  • Mr. Christian M. Blake, ACE, (Rentokil North America), Lebanon, TN  USA.  Certified on 12/5/2016
  • Mr. Ryan Scott Cocking, ACE, (Patton Termite and Pest), Wichita, KS  USA.  Certified on 12/6/2016
  • Mr. Timothy Alan Dahl, ACE, (Patton Termite and Pest), Wichita, KS  USA.  Certified on 12/6/2016
  • Mr. Gabriel Aguillon, ACE, (Bob Jenkins Pest & Lawn Service), San Antonio, TX  USA.  Certified on 12/7/2016
  • Mr. Clinton T Hester, ACE, (Stark Exterminators), Birmingham, AL  USA.  Certified on 12/14/2016
  • Mr. James Steven Dvorak, ACE, (ABC Home and Commercial Services), Lewisville, TX  USA.  Certified on 12/23/2016
  • Ms. Shelby Guilfoyle, ACE, (Advanced Services), Augusta, GA  USA.  Certified on 1/10/2017
  • Mr. Kevin Hudson, ACE, (Advanced Services Inc.), Augusta, GA  USA.  Certified on 1/10/2017
  • Ms. Dena B. Thomas, ACE, (Advanced Services, Inc.), Augusta, GA  USA.  Certified on 1/10/2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 ESACC Business Meeting

On Wednesday the 21st of December, the ESA Certification Corporation hosted its second-annual virtual business meeting. As we posted on this blog last year for the 2015 Business Meeting, the annual meeting switched from a live meeting held in conjunction with the ESA Annual Meeting to this format in an effort to boost its reach, attendance, and staying power (by virtue of a recorded webinar).

We had 56 people register for the webinar and 31 who actually attended it. While this is a slight decrease from last year's 37 attendees, it remains a strong improvement over previous in-person meetings.

Dr. Zia Siddiqi, BCE (2017 Chair of the Certification Board (CB)) presided over the meeting with additional commentary provided by Forrest St. Aubin, BCE-Emeritus (2016 Chair of the CB).

The webinar is live on the ESA YouTube channel and can also be accessed by clicking on the video below. Selected questions that were submitted to the webinar that we were unable to answer during the session are also addressed below the video.

Questions and comments submitted during the webinar that were not addressed during the live event:

Question:  Is there an ACE award application online? If so, where do I find it?
The ACE Award site is on the ESA Awards site. It can be found here:

Question:  Will hiring a new certification manager affect our relationship with Chris Stelzig?
Yes, but only to the extent that the new manager will take over the daily operations of the program. Stelzig will continue to manage the program and oversee all activities, including attending some meetings, but the new manager will soon become a familiar face at many pest management conferences and meetings in the United States and around the world.

Question:  RE nominating persons for an ACE Award -- It might be a good idea to involve the editorial staffs of Pest Control Technology (PCT) Magazine and PMP magazine, as well as appropriate NPMA faculty/staff members, to help promote the choice and submittal of ACE-credentialed co-worker and colleague names within the structural pest management industry.
Agreed!  In the past we have used our social media platforms, our industry partners (like NPMA) and ESA's regular communication vehicles like eNews to distribute announcements. All ACEs and BCEs are encouraged to watch their inboxes for the awards announcements and distribute to their networks.

Question Maybe ESA can explore a special registration option for ACE professionals who would like to attend Annual Meeting or Branch Meetings for continuing education without being ESA members. 
Actually, ACEs already enjoy a discounted rate to attend the ESA Annual Meeting. It is not quite as steep of a discount as ESA members enjoy, but ... hey, it's an ESA membership meeting, what do you expect?

Question:  I suggest that serious consideration be given to having webinars in specific areas that could also serve as educational resources for ACE and BCE. There are a lot of members who are academics and may have good material that could be presented online.
Thank you for the suggestion. We have investigated this option in the past and would still consider it for future expansion and resources that we can offer to applicants.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New ACEs and BCEs - including our 1,000th ACE

The ACE program crossed a milestone this month when the 1,000th person for the year earned his ACE. This is not the 1,000th person to ever earn the ACE, but the Rudy Ayala pushed our overall count of ACEs over 1,000 for the first time when he passed his exam on November 16 (the event was covered in the EntomologyToday blog). Please help us to celebrate all of the new ACEs and BCEs who passed their exams since mid-September.

New BCEs:
  • Mr. Paul M. Zarebicki, BCE, (State of Delaware, Division of Fish and Wildlife), Milford, DE  USA.  Certified on 9/15/2016
  • Mr. Wei Leong Chong, BCE, (Ikari Services PTE Ltd.), Singapore,   Singapore.  Certified on 10/10/2016
New ACEs:
  • Ms. Corinne Down, ACE-I, (Abell Pest Control), Cochrane, AB  Canada.  Certified on 10/24/2016
  • Mr. Juan Jose Higueros, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), Anaheim, CA  USA.  Certified on 9/16/2016
  • Mr. William E. Reardon, ACE, (Royal Pest Solutions), West Chester, PA  USA.  Certified on 9/30/2016
  • Mr. Michael James Cook, ACE, (Ecolab), Mukwonago, WI  USA.  Certified on 9/30/2016
  • Mr. John Young, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/5/2016
  • Mr. Matthew J Wise, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/5/2016
  • Mr. Michael Biando, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/5/2016
  • Mr. Todd Kirk, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/5/2016
  • Mr. Tom Dunn, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/5/2016
  • Mr. Jason Pugh, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/5/2016
  • Mr. Jimmie D. McIntyre, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/5/2016
  • Mr. Brian Keith Doyle, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/5/2016
  • Mr. Dennis Ahchin, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/5/2016
  • Mr. Lance Van Zant, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/5/2016
  • Mr. Micheal D. Dirks, ACE, (Dirks Pest Management Specialist), Royersford, PA  USA.  Certified on 10/6/2016
  • Mr. Rock T Thweatt, ACE, (Roberts Termite and Pest Control, Inc), Austin, TX  USA.  Certified on 10/19/2016
  • Mr. Thomas L Wright, ACE, (Pest Pro Academy), Carrollton, TX  USA.  Certified on 10/19/2016
  • Mr. William Jay Beems, ACE, (Ecolab), Bel Aire, KS  USA.  Certified on 10/25/2016
  • Mr. Robert David Lockwood, ACE, (Rentokil/Ehrlich), Milford, CT  USA.  Certified on 10/29/2016
  • Mr. Jeffrey Ryan Schmidt, ACE, (Copesan Services Inc.), Menomonee Falls, WI  USA.  Certified on 11/7/2016
  • Mr. Nicholas Brian Fowler, ACE, (Applied Pest Management Inc), Vallejo, CA  USA.  Certified on 11/9/2016
  • Mr. Bobby Mullins, ACE, (Terminix), Charleston, WV  USA.  Certified on 11/11/2016
  • Mr. Rudy Ayala, ACE, (Spearhead Pest Control), Ventura, CA USA. Certified on 11/16/2016