NPMA Hosts First Virtual PestWorld!
Our first-ever virtual PestWorld has come to a close, marking yet another successful conference! While the format was different than years past, over 2,000 participants gained knowledge and skills, networked with their peers, and stopped by our interactive exhibit hall to visit with industry suppliers nearly 50,000 times!
Let’s take a look back at the outstanding experience we had:
PestWorld 2020 Opening Ceremony
The Opening Ceremony started PestWorld 2020 off with a message from NPMA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Stumpf.
Stumpf talked about industry's experiences in 2020, and how NPMA has worked hard to help the pest management industry move forward through the pandemic. Pest management was deemed essential, and has persevered through the busy season, with some companies even launching disinfection services to clients. Stumpf also discussed the need for skilled labor in the industry, which prompted the creation of the NPMA Workforce Initiative, launched at last year’s PestWorld. A video was shown on this effort, which includes a separate website, job board and social media accounts. Stumpf thanked the NPMA staff, sponsors and attendees for making the shift to a virtual PestWorld, which was a huge undertaking.
Kick-off Entertainment Featuring Songwriters Barry Dean and Luke Laird
This duo has an impressive background - Dean had a Grammy nomination and has topped the charts with number one singles, and Laird co-wrote many songs with Dean and has also written over 20 number one Billboard singles. They performed “Heartache Medication,” “Take a Back Road” and “Diamond Rings”—it was great to get a taste of Nashville from these amazing artists. Thank you to Bayer for sponsoring.
Virtual Networking Opportunities
Each morning, PestWorld attendees had the opportunity to join the PestWorld Roundtables sponsored by AMVAC, breakfast with PWIPM sponsored by ServicePro, and various Coffee Chats to mingle with fellow attendees and ease into the day with casual conversations.
During the annual In the Mix reception, attendees not only got to mix and mingle with NPMA’s Interest Groups, but they also got to learn how to barbeque the best West-Tennessee style baby back ribs first-hand from Pit Master Carey Bringle, live from the world famous Peg Leg Porker in Nashville, Tennessee. Thank you to Coreva, FMC, ServicePro and Target Specialty Products for sponsoring this fun event.
Opening General Session & Keynote Presentation featuring Leon Logothetis
The Opening General Session began with the presentation of the 2020-2021 Board of Directors, a passing of the gavel from Past President Chris Gorecki to President Scott Steckel, and an opening address from President Scott Steckel.
Then we heard from keynote speaker Leon Logothetis, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience. Logothetis spoke about kindness, and how every single person can share the concept of kindness, and of making people feel they have value.
Logothetis shared his background and journey—he decided to try to travel from Times Square to the Hollywood sign relying entirely on the kindness of others, and then later attempted a motorcycle trip around the world. In his travels, he discovered the good in other people—a homeless man named Tony taught him that kindness is free, and true wealth isn't what's in our wallets, but what's in our hearts. He said that every day, you get to choose how you change the world through your actions. Logothetis gave the audience a challenge – for the next five days, treat people with the utmost of respect and kindness, and see how your world changes.
Industry Awards & Keynote Presentation featuring Ben Nemtin
The Industry Awards & General Session started with Justin McCauley, NPMA President-Elect, giving a message about the Pest Management Foundation, followed by the presentation of the 2020 Industry Awards. Click here to see the previous article on award recipients.
Then we heard from our keynote speaker, Ben Nemtin, sponsored by Syngenta. Nemtin shared the story of how a simple bucket list changed his life forever. Nemtin started as a rugby player from Canada—Nemtin put pressure on himself to succeed in the World Cup, which caused anxiety and depression, and ultimately caused him to drop out of school and be dropped by the rugby team.
To help, he only surrounded himself with people who inspired him. These people pushed him ultimately to ask the question, “What do you want to do before you die?” He and these friends created a bucket list of goals, large and small. They decided to take a road trip to work on the list, filming their progress along the way, and as they crossed things off their list, they’d help others with their bucket list items. As they helped others, people started offering to helping them, and they were able to achieve their goals
Nemtin also talked about the importance of mental health and resiliance in times of uncertainty, and shared resources. He gave his resiliancy tool kit, which included the following habits: 1. Be grateful, 2. Exercise regularly, 3. Practice mindfulness, 4. Detox when necessary, 5. Connect with others when you need help, 6. Have a purpose, 7. Help others and 8. Spend time in nature.
Nemtin's talk was an uplifting story of overcoming fear and chasing your dreams.
PestWorld Popstar Closed out PestWorld 2020
On the final day, we closed out another successful PestWorld with a new event, PestWorld Popstar, sponsored by MGK.
Given that the original PestWorld destination this year was set for Nashville, showcasing the talents of our members was a fitting way to conclude this year's convention. The event began with The Voice contestant Kirk Jay—his soft soul songs were incredible. Then, the three finalists performed: Leana Thaqi, ServicePro; Russ Ives, Rose Pest Solutions; and Matt Hamblin, Smart Pest AZ. What a great show—thanks to all involved!