PCOC - Winter 2015 - (Page 27)
The Hitmen Termite and Pest Control, Inc.
Mike English excels as a business leader,
puts employees first
How did your company get started and what have been your
roles in the business?
The Hitmen Termite Co. was originally started in 1978 as a
family-owned small termite company. In 1993, John Merritt and
Robert Fouts purchased the business from the original owners. A
year later, I was hired by John and Robby to join the company and
start the General Pest Control division. I started as the only technician/service manager and quickly grew the division by more than
a route a year. Within a few years of starting with The Hitmen, I
became a partner in the company and in 2013 Robby decided to
partially retire and sell his portion to John and me.
After about 10 years working in the field, The Hitmen had grown
so much that it required us to begin hiring service managers to take
over the field operations and I became the General Manager of the
Pest Control Division. Over the past 21 years John has managed
the WDO (Termite) division and I have managed the General Pest
Control Division and together we have managed to grow the company
to more than 100 of the best employees in the industry.
What is your background, and how did you first get involved
in the pest control industry? What keeps you motivated after
all these years?
While going to high school in Truckee, California, I worked for
a Shell service station and quickly became the manager. The owner
of the station was from the Bay Area and would visit the station
frequently. This man spent countless hours teaching me how to
manage the business from many angles. He taught me the value of
customer service, banking, how to manage labor as well as how to
identify and build great quality employees. At 17 years old I was
managing a business that was grossing over a million dollars a year
as well as managing approximately 10 employees. This experience
turned out to be invaluable to me and my future career.
Once I finished high school, I decided to move back to the Bay
Area to go to Santa Rosa Junior College and to start searching
out a career. I applied to the CHP as well as a local police department trying to follow my father's path as a police officer. While
going through the long, drawn out process I happened to find
employment at at a pest control company in the area. The company was Sure Kill owned by Mel Lewis and the local office was
managed By Sam Lunde. Once I was hired, trained and started
as a pest control technician, I knew this was the career path I was
going to follow. I worked for Sure Kill for about 10 years before
going to The Hitmen to really get my career moving. After a few
years or so at Hitmen, I hired Sam Lunde as a technician. In fact,
Sam just retired from The Hitmen after working for me for over
What keeps me motivated is being able to provide a great career
to a lot of people that may have not had the opportunity otherwise.
I love teaching them how to solve pest problems and providing great
quality customer service. I also love to see how proud they are to
work for a great local company.
You've been around for more than 35 years! What
achievements are you most proud of accomplishing with
In both 2014 and 2015, one of our employees nominated The
Hitmen for The North Bay Business Journal's "Best Places to Work
in the North Bay" award. We won the award both years based on
employee surveys done by the Business Journal. I feel this is a great
accomplishment for a company of our size and shows that we really
do take good care of our employees.
How did you become involved in PCOC and what do you gain
from being a member?
The Hitmen was a member of PCOC when I started. I began going
to a few meetings around 1998 and then became involved in the
leadership of the local district. I served as Vice Chair and Chairman
in our district as well as became a director and attended several of
www.pcoc.org / Winter 2015
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PCOC - Winter 2015
Bird Management: Best Strategies and Biggest Challenges
Finding an SEO Company That Will Make — Not Break — Your Business in 2016
Insurance Complying with the Global Harmonized System Hazard Communication Standard of 2012
Membership Pays! Jim Steed, Neighborly Pest Management
State Capitol Report And That’s a Wrap
Building a Sales Culture in Your Business Everyone’s in Sales
Firm Profile The Hitmen Termite and Pest Control, Inc.
Index to Advertisers
PCOC - Winter 2015