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ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. — After patiently tolerating two years of Zoom meetings brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 50 product suppliers and other industry stakeholders traveled to the “Sunshine State” in late April to meet meet face to face at the UPFDA Spring Conference, where a comprehensive strategic plan for the 54-year-old organization was unveiled.

(Click on the following screen for a slideshow of the event)

The productive two-day event featured a well-attended Board meeting, a celebratory cocktail and jam-packed educational sessions with presentations by Steve Good of Good Strategies, Kemp Anderson of Kemp Anderson Consulting and Jeff Braun of Primera Inc.

The meeting was a well-deserved respite for those who experienced the disruption of the last two UPFDA Spring Conferences, one canceled in 2020 and the other held remotely in 2021 due to health issues related to the pandemic. Yet even this year’s meeting couldn’t completely avoid the continued impact of the pandemic with Braun giving his well-received presentation via Zoom “out of an abundance of caution” when he was exposed to the virus shortly before the event. .

Kicking off the board meeting on the first day of the conference, UPFDA President Tom Forshaw said: “I know we have done a lot in the Zoom meetings over the past two years, but nothing replaces meeting in person. sets. This is one of the reasons we are so excited about this meeting.

And that enthusiasm was matched by UPFDA Executive Director Andrea Coron and Associate Director Kristin Coron, as well as the staff at the historic Don CeSar Hotel, a Mediterranean-style resort affectionately known as the “Pink Palace”. It rolled out the red carpet for UPFDA attendees as it has for generations of visitors to the Gulf Coast since opening its doors in 1929 at the height of the Great Gatsby era before fall into disrepair following the Great Depression.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Don CeSar was saved from the wrecking ball and reopened as a full-service resort in 1973, gaining renewed fame when it was featured in the movie ‘Once Upon a Time in America’. with Robert De Niro and James Woods, as well as the MTV documentary “Southern Accents” which included a rooftop performance by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

Just like the Don CeSar, which has had its fair share of ups and downs in its storied history, UPFDA members and their association have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but that does not mean that the organization was not working diligently behind the scenes to address its future. In fact, during the pandemic shutdown, the UPFDA embarked on an ambitious strategic planning process, the results of which were unveiled by committee chairperson Jackie Angulo on the second day of the conference.

The year-long process, facilitated by industry consultant Mark DiNunzio of MarketPoint Solutions, resulted in a streamlined committee structure, a long-term strategic plan, and updated mission and vision statements.

The new committee structure includes an Executive Committee led by Tom Forshaw of Forshaw Inc.; an internal committee overseen by Karen Furgiuele of Gardex Chemicals; and an external committee chaired by Cisse Spragins of Rockwell Labs. Various sub-committees will perform important additional tasks for the UPFDA and its members. An overview of the three-tier committee structure appears below:

• Advocacy and Ethics

• Nomination

• Governance and statutes

• Strategic planning (ad hoc)

• Finance

• Membership

• Meetings and collaboration

• Connection

• Public relations

• Regulatory and governmental affairs

“The new structure was designed to support committee chairs and help transition new chairs so that the history of what each committee has done can be transferred more easily,” Forshaw said. In this way, the UPFDA hopes to “enhance transparency and flexibility, all with the aim of providing more benefits to our members and helping to sell the UPFDA to partners who are not yet members” .

Giving an overview of the strategic plan during the educational part of the spring conference, Angulo said the committee members wanted to be respectful of the UPFDA’s past while addressing the future of the association.

“The founders of our small group were able to create an organization where we could meet and discuss difficult topics and provide solutions that would benefit the industry,” she said. As a vice president of a third generation company herself (Superior Angran), Angulo said she has been attending UPFDA events since she was a child.

“When I was young, people were always good and well-meaning, constantly teaching me the great lessons of life,” she said. “Now that I’m older and wiser, I understand that people only shared these very personal experiences and lessons because they believed in what they were doing and wanted to pass it on. It is in this spirit that we want to move this organization forward.

While serving on the Strategic Planning Committee with fellow committee members Donna Giacalone, The Bug Stop; Debra Logue, BASF; Rick McDonald, receiver; Scott Riley, MGK; and Forshaw, Angulo said, “I learned to see the beauty in the process of change. I am confident that the UPFDA is strongly positioned to serve our industry members.

Yet despite all that has been accomplished in the past year, Angulo said the committee’s work is not done. “Overall, we believe this process will continue to add more value to the organization. Each year, the strategic thinking process will continue as annual plans are constantly refined for the betterment of the UPFDA. »

Following Angulo on the program, a series of high profile speakers addressed the current and future state of the pest control industry, providing insights on how to survive during one of the most volatile times in history. of the structural pest control industry.

Good’s session, “Design, Build and Execute a Winning Strategy”, couldn’t have been more timely given the multiple challenges facing the industry, from supply chain issues to an inflationary economy and recruitment. of employees to regulatory issues.

“Every organization needs some type of strategic plan,” he said. “Every business needs a growth strategy.”

Good, a graduate of the University of Memphis with a degree in economics, added, “It’s all about strategy, structure and people…but you can’t start with people. You have to start with the strategy. Then you put the right people in the right places to execute your strategy.

Anderson’s session took a look at the past, present and future of the structural pest control industry, which has not only survived but thrived during the pandemic thanks to business acumen and creativity of PMPs, product suppliers and other industry stakeholders.

Anderson, who holds an MBA in finance and operations management from Rollins College’s Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business, echoed Good’s comments, urging UPFDA members to take a strategic interest in businesses in their clients.

“You need to be more strategic today and you need to help PMPs be more strategic today than in the past,” he said, as the industry is a fleet- and route-based business that is under enormous inflationary pressure due to soaring fuel prices. , labor and vehicle replacement costs. “And we are still recovering from what happened in the second quarter” of 2020, when the pandemic caused many closures and closures of businesses. “It’s hard to imagine that there isn’t a recession on the horizon,” he said.

Jeff Braun, CEO of Primera, a member-owned cooperative of independent distributors serving the pest control, turf and ornamental markets, followed Anderson on the program. In his high-energy session titled, “Positive Connection in a Seemingly Always Connected World,” Braun shared valuable insights on how to build and connect world-class teams that transform organizations.

“The links are reciprocal,” he said. “There has to be benefits for both (parties),” citing the work of Dr. Brene Brown, research professor, author and podcast host, who describes connection as “the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued: when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.

“True positive connection gives more than it receives,” observed Braun, guiding participants through an exercise in which they created their own “personal connection blueprint.”

To complete the educational part of the program, Good presented a second presentation titled “How Suppliers Can Help PMPs Achieve Their Goals”.

In other conference association news:

• Casey Prewitt of Neogen was elected to the UPFDA Board of Directors, replacing Tom Wharton of FMC, who has taken up a new position at FMC.

• Shardra Cropchem Limited has been approved as the latest UPFDA member company.

• Patrick Lynch of Bell Laboratories has been chosen to represent the UPFDA on the NPMA Board of Directors, succeeding Tom Forshaw.

Corporate sponsors of the UPFDA Spring Conference included Bell Laboratories, Superior Angran, Catchmaster, Nisus, PCT and Forshaw.

To learn more about UPFDA or to become a member, visit www.upfda.com or contact Executive Director Andrea Coron at 540-681-2114.

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UPFDA unveils new logo and industry PR campaign

The public relations committee has been busy over the past year, with the association’s new logo and a public relations campaign touting the benefits of UPFDA membership unveiled at the spring conference.

New UPFDA logo

The new logo features a contemporary typeface and the tagline: “Suppliers of Industry Solutions”.

The centerpiece of the PR campaign is a series of announcements featuring UPFDA members outlining why they and their businesses benefit from UPFDA membership. The series of five commercials features Cisse Spragins, Rockwell Labs; Tom Forshaw, Forshaw, Inc.; Berry Cothern, Syngenta; Jackie Angulo, Superior Angran; and Karen Furgiuele, Gardex Chemicals. Advertisements will appear in industry trade publications throughout the coming year.

“Thank you to each of the UPFDA members who have been kind enough to appear in the advertisements and share their comments on why they value the UPFDA,” said committee chairman Dan Moreland.