River City Six – Kevin Meyer
Meet Kevin Meyer, the operations manager at Presto-X (www.prestox.com).
Tell us a little about your business.
Our industry is pest control, but I consider the largest aspect of our front line employees’ job to be customer service. I appreciate working for a company with the mission of Protecting People. Enhancing Lives. Our business is about building relationships. My position allows me the privilege to get out and visit customers and work with my specialists. The largest segment of our business is commercial and industrial. A large portion of those are national companies, but all of us on the Omaha pest team live in our local communities. I oversee one specialist near Denison, IA, one near Red Oak, IA and another 11 in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area.
How did you get started in the business?
I started in the pest control industry in 2000 in sales. At the time, Presto-X was still family-owned. I came from the auto repair industry. I had been painting cars and wanted to change professions. I don’t think anyone starts out saying, “I want to be in pest control when I grow up.” I had not considered the industry before, but this change proved to be a position that provided me and my family with more opportunities. I had grown up in Omaha but had never learned about how many interesting industries there are and how much history was here until selling and performing services in pest control.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
In 2011 when I passed the test to be called an Associate Certified Entomologist (or, A.C.E.) through the National Pest Management Association. I had been promoted into the position of technical services manager, and I was part of the division responsible for the training and development of individuals and products within the U.S. My responsibilities took me all over the Midwest to support offices and troubleshoot difficult pest issues. The title of A.C.E. added an amount of credibility to my ideas and suggestions to customers that I had not had time to build a relationship with or had interactions with before.
Who inspires you?
My inspiration does not come from one person but is rather fueled by people performing as their best selves. People doing good, just for the sake of being good to each other. None of us are perfect but we can all help. And, when we’re honest, we all need help sometimes.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
There is one piece of advice that I remember my dad giving me: “There is always more than one side to a story. Take the time to listen to as many as possible before you judge someone.” In essence, be quiet, listen, and don’t jump to conclusions. I will admit that it did not have much impact on me at the time but it has stuck with me. I find it applicable in both my professional and personal life. It causes me to ask more questions and, in doing so, helps me to remain calm through those critical conversations where emotions can rise.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I first read it back in high school and was truly intrigued with the themes of strategy, perseverance, and revenge. There is one quote that kind of stuck with me: “Hatred is blind and anger deaf.”
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Mouth of the South. I find it unique and have liked everything I’ve tried.