Departments - Industry News

July 19, 2012

Arrow Acquires Al Hoffer’s Melbourne (Fla.) Business

ATLANTA, Ga.  – Atlanta-based Arrow Exterminators announced the acquisition of Al Hoffer’s Termite, Pest and Lawn business located in Melbourne, Fla.  Hoffer’s is a full service company, specializing in residential and commercial pest control, termite control, wildlife control and lawn and ornamental services.

“We made a strategic decision to focus on our future growth opportunities in South Florida and were looking for a home for our Melbourne, Florida business,” said Al Hoffer, owner.  “At Al Hoffer’s Termite, Pest and Lawn, we strive for exemplary customer service and are passionate about how our customers and our employees are treated. The family values and similar culture we share with Arrow Exterminators will make this transition seamless for our employees and our customers.”

“We are looking forward to serving Al Hoffer’s customers and making a home for the employees in our Melbourne, Florida office,” said Emily Thomas Kendrick, CEO and president of Arrow Exterminators. “Hoffer’s commitment to their customers, family values and passion for customer service as well as their full service offerings is a perfect fit with us.”


Valent announces Legacy Tree Project two-year results

Two years after launching the Legacy Tree Project to increase awareness about the emerald ash borer (EAB), Valent Professional Products has announced that Safari Insecticide is effectively protecting more than 1,100 ash trees from EAB in seven participating Chicagoland communities.

In May 2012, an assessment of ash trees treated with Safari in the Legacy Tree Project shows a survival rate of over 95 percent, and that treated trees are thriving. By contrast, most nearby untreated ash trees are heavily infested or have died.

“We’re pretty tough when assessing the crown health of a tree. Anything with more than 20-percent crown death, we’re removing,” said Jim Bell, parks superintendent for the City of Elgin. “I don’t think we’ve lost more than 5 percent of our Legacy Tree Project trees. It’s been a very successful program.”

The results in Elgin are consistent with those in other cities across Chicagoland.

“It’s now very apparent that Safari is working – even in larger trees,” said Dr. Joe Chamberlin, regional field development manager for Valent Professional Products.

There are two different EAB treatment strategies. The first is long-term treatment to preserve ash trees for their remaining service life. The second is temporary treatment to stage tree removal. Staging removal spreads out the financial burdens associated with removal and replanting and avoids the significant public safety issues associated with standing dead trees.

The difference between ash trees treated with Safari and those left untreated is particularly stark in places like Naperville, a suburb southwest of Chicago, according to M. Skeet, a certified arborist working in the Naperville office of The Care of Trees.

“You can literally stand in the middle of a road, look at one side and see dead ash trees, and then look at the other side and see Legacy Tree Project ash trees alive and looking good,” said Skeet, who will oversee Legacy Tree Project applications in Naperville this spring.


Lush Lawn announces new lawn care franchise concept

Lush Lawn Franchising, the franchisor and licensor of Lush Lawn, has announced its new franchise concept, Lush Lawn Lawn Care, Tree Care and Pest Control, which it is preparing to roll out this year.

While Lush Lawn will be offering franchises in a number of states, its initial development focus is targeted for the Midwest, specifically Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Lush Lawn is currently seeking individual franchisees, area developers and investors. The company is currently accepting inquiries from interested parties.

Lush Lawn is a lawn and tree care as well as perimeter pest control service that will primarily target upscale residential homeowners and commercial property owners where appearance and service reliability are the priority. Franchisees will also be offering other value added supplemental services such as grub control, organic lawn care, aeration, seeding and other services.

At the franchisee level, the value proposition will be offering larger territories therefore allowing for greater single unit growth potential, utilizing contemporary marketing and selling programs tied to technology – not antiquated models and attention to detail at the customer level to improve customer loyalty. The concept is designed to work out the home or in nominal commercial space.

Aaron Samson, Lush Lawn and president and CEO, points to success that the operating prototype has achieved in the Southeastern Michigan despite the substantial headwinds of the Michigan economy.

“The most critical success factors are; one, caring about the franchisees and their ability to make money and, two, making absolutely certain the unit owners embrace a quality and service first approach.” Samson said. “We know the lawn care business and we understand how to acquire and take care of customers.”


AccuWeather predicts average to above average snowfall long range meteorologists, headed by Paul Pastelok, are projecting an El Niño this winter, the company reported. However, the key is the strength of the feature.

“Based on what the patterns we are already seeing over the Pacific Ocean, we believe that an El Niño is beginning to set up and we may have a weak El Niño signature by late in the summer,” Pastelok said.

How strong the El Niño becomes seems to have an interesting outcome for snowfall for the northern United States.Pastelok’s crew is projecting a weak to moderate El Niño for this coming winter.

According to a study done by Ralph Fato, during a “weak” El Niño, many winters have brought above-normal snowfall for cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford and Chicago. However during strong El Niño winters, snowfall trends to well-below average.

During a weak El Niño, there is generally a balance between southern warmth and northern chill, resulting in ample energy and moisture for storms.

Climbing the ladder:

Hires, promotions and career advancements

LebanonTurf announced three sales and product management appointments. Vic Swann has been named national sales manager, Joe Sandock territory sales manager and Christopher Gray product manager.

Swann will lead the LebanonTurf sales team in North America with an emphasis on the continued growth of the traditional and bionutritional categories as well as development of distributor relationships. Prior to joining LebanonTurf, Swann was sales manager at Astra Resources in Vero Beach, Fla., and director of North America sales for Aquatrols in Paulsboro, N.J. He assumes the position held by Tom Wentz, who will retire later this year.

As territory sales manager, Sandock will develop and implement sales and service strategies and programs for distributors and customers. Sandock was residential client services sales manager for AA Tex Lawn and is the former owner of Planters Lawn & Landscape. Both businesses are based in Charlotte, N.C.Gray’s responsibilities as product manager include Identifying new fertilizer products and managing existing fertilizer product offerings. Gray was business development manager for Indianapolis-based Precise Path Robotics.

Mustard Products and Technologies has hired Jay McCord as US turf market development manager to lead the launch of MustGro Invest Biological Nematicide. This natural product is manufactured from 100 percent mustard seed meal that is applied directly to the soil and used to control plant parasitic nematodes including: root knot, lance, stubby root and sting.

McCord has more than 25 years of experience in the turfgrass industry and has been focused in the biological nematicide business for the past five years. After completing his formal education at State University of NY in Alfred and the Ohio State University in Columbus majoring in landscape development and ornamental horticulture, McCord started his turf career with Nutri-Turf, Inc. (a subsidiary of Anheuser Busch) as marketing manager of the sod farms divisions.

During a strong El Niño, the storm track sets up in such a way to allow warm air to overwhelm the Midwest and Northeast; therefore, storms tend to favor rain rather than snow.


NJLCA now offers a health benefits plan

The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association has joined the Benefits Trust and Association Master Trust (AMT).

With more than 9,000 participants from 14 member associations, AMT can tap into the same benefit plans that larger employers enjoy. NJLCA and AMT save members money by providing self funded group benefit plans without outside broker commissions or shareholders demanding profits, the association said.

Plus, AMT contracts with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and the Delta Dental Plan of New Jersey to provide members with access to one of the largest health and dental provider networks in the state; all at the lowest cost possible, the association said.

To receive a quote and see how NJLCA Benefits Trust and AMT can help you regain your health plan balance, call AMT at (973) 379-1090 ext. 229 or email


Irrigation Association achieves industry first

The Irrigation Association Certification Board announced that the Certified Irrigation Contractor program has officially earned national accreditation, making it the only accredited certification program in the irrigation industry. The CIC designation is one of seven offered through IA’s Select Certified program.

The certification board has been working diligently since mid-2009 on the accreditation process and first submitted their application to the National Commission of Certifying Agencies in September 2011 the association said.

Certification programs that receive NCCA accreditation demonstrate compliance with the NCCA’s Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs, which were the first standards for professional certification programs developed by the certification industry.

The IACB’s process began by performing a task analysis for the irrigation contractor job. The analysis involved surveys and an irrigation contractor focus group designed to assess the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the job correctly. Based on data they received from the focus group and surveys, the board developed the exam content outline.

“All of today’s professionals benefit from the high standards of knowledge, experience and professionalism required by the Select Certified program,” says Tom Wyatt, a former IACB board chair who has been involved in the process.


NEI Holidngs continues acquisiton spree

NEI Holdings in Danbury, Conn., has completed one of its largest acquisitions to date.

New England Irrigation has acquired the accounts and certain personnel of Oasis Irrigation, Easton, Mass., adding 800 customers to NEI’s portfolio.

This is NEI’s eighth acquisition since 2005, and the company is still looking for merger opportunities.

“Strengthening our presence in markets that we already service, along with organic growth and growth through acquisition, not only creates tremendous opportunities for our people, but it is fundamental in continuing to drive our business plan in becoming the number one irrigation service provider of the North East,” says Eric Zima, owner of NEI.

“We are currently speaking with a number of other high quality organizations regarding possible future mergers with NEI.”


In our May issue we listed Weed Man as being headquartered in Oshawa.  This is actually the location of the master franchisee for the USA, Turf Holdings.  The company’s world headquarters is in Mississauga, Ontario.