Unintentional Culture Leads to Intentional Success

ct pest solutionsNPMA Member Spotlight:

King Jones III
CEO

CT Pest Solutions LLC
Naugatuck, CT

It’s not every day you find someone with 22 years in the business at the ripe age of 40. But then there is King Jones III, who started as a Terminix technician at the age of 18. Spending time both in the field and as a compliance administrator, King also went back to school and earned his business degree, while absorbing all he could about the pest control industry. After 14 years with Terminix, King took the leap and ventured out on his own, founding CT Pest Solutions LLC out of Naugatuck, CT. For the first year, he was running purely on “adrenaline and caffeine” but as the business took off, he added his first technician after a year, and ultimately grew to six technicians, turning it into a family business and adding his wife to his office team.

turning it into a family businessUnintentionally, he realized that as he developed his business, he was also creating a unique company culture. “It’s about what you do to support not only your customers, but your employees as well. Culture is not just the plaque on the wall. It’s when you say what you do and do what you say. Being authentic and hearing your employees say, ‘he’s not just my boss, he’s a person—a good person.’”

King was further surprised when he found that the culture he had established was attracting potential employees who were coming from larger, more stable and higher-paying roles. “It’s natural for people to want to be part of something larger than themselves.”

With his business growing, King also turned to opportunities for his own personal growth and applied to be part of NPMA’s Executive Leadership Program (ELP). King credits a long-time colleague, and ultimately his ELP mentor, Emilio Polce of EcoChoice Termite & Pest Control, LLC, in giving him the nudge he needed to make the leap and apply to ELP. “I was hesitant and didn’t think I was ready to get involved, but Emilio has great vision to see in people what they don’t see in themselves.”adding his wife to his office team

King is also giving back to the industry that has provided so much to him for the last 22 years, becoming active not only in NPMA, but also with his state group, the Connecticut Pest Control Association. Joining their board just five years ago, he now leads their membership committee and is on his way to serving as President next year. He also acknowledges that his role in leadership allows other potential entrepreneurs, particularly those from underrepresented populations, to see what is possible. “If you’re not inclusive, you’re exclusive. Every industry needs diverse voices, ideas and thoughts.”

Where does King see his company headed? While he doesn’t have the 5-year business plan tacked up to the wall, he knows he wants to continue building on the culture he’s established. “When my employees are happy and part of the team, they go above and beyond for our customers. We’re growing through referrals from our current customers who see the good things we’re doing, and that’s greater than any marketing budget.”

BY JENNIFER JOHNSON, CAE, NPMA VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS