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The 87th Annual Purdue Pest Management Conference
Holly Fletcher-Timmons, Purdue University

Another successful event took place on campus from January 9 - 11, 2023. The program included a virtual component for the third year. Attendance numbers were the highest they have been in over 10 years with a total of 605 participants, 193 of which were virtual-only attendees. The program included 24 presentations, with 4 additional business presentations. The virtual program included 16 recorded presentations with live question and answer sessions. 
87th Annual Purdue Pest Management Conference Group Photo (January 2023)
Photo: Tom Campbell
IPMA Business Workshop

The Indiana Pest Management Association sponsored the Business Workshop sessions that took place at 8am each morning of the on-site program featuring Angela Persinger of Rose Pest Solutions of Northridge, Illinois, Jen Jackson of Jackson Pest Management out of Leo, Indiana, and Cassie Krejci of Terminix of College Station, Texas. The Workshop concluded with a one hour panel session with the three speakers. Members of IPMA served as moderators for the sessions. Twenty-six attendees participated in the workshop sessions.
Monday On Campus

Monday began with a dynamic presentation on Truck Safety by Fred Whitford of Purdue Pesticide Programs. The presentation addressed how to respond to spills and emergencies and was one of the top-rated presentations of the program. This was followed by a presentation by Cassie Krejci of Terminix, covering pesticide formulations. Cassie also served on the 2023 Industry Planning Committee.

Opening Ceremonies were conducted by Carrie Campbell of Hatfield Pest Control, the Chair of the Industry Planning Committee. Carrie recognized the 2023 Planning Committee and our 15 generous sponsors. She also paid tribute to two of our long-time conference attendees who passed away in 2022. Both Pete Markham and Gene White participated as speakers and contributors to the Purdue Conference for many years. Mark VanderWerp of Rose Pest Solutions (Troy, Michigan) treated us with a Year in Review update as well. The Opening was followed by our Keynote presentation given by Coby Schal of North Carolina State University. Talks on Ants (Ron Harrison, Orkin), When is a Pest, a Pest? (Mark VanderWerp), and Rodents (Bobby Corrigan) followed.
The Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall Grand Opening Reception ended the day in the South Ballroom of the Purdue Memorial Union where thirty-six industry vendors had booths set up. Hor d'oeuvres and refreshments were served.
The Virtual Program

The virtual program launched on Tuesday at 8am. The program offered 16 presentations over the course of 4 days, with 4 presentations each day. Most of the presentations were recorded in advance of the event with 5 being live recorded during the conference and added to the virtual platform. Each presentation was followed by a question and answer session with the speaker(s) of the talks and a moderator. The virtual platform included an exhibit hall where exhibitors and sponsors could set up online booths to showcase their company and products. The platform remained available for attendees to access and view presentations in and on-demand format to receive credits through the 20th of January. This format made it possible for onsite attendees to see presentations that were presented concurrently on campus.
Tuesday's Activities

Tuesday on campus, the day opened with a presentation on Bats by Zach Ewerts of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Leo Reed of the Office of the Indiana State Chemist and Jim Fredericks of NPMA made a presentation directly following on regulatory updates and state reciprocity. In the afternoon, concurrent sessions took place featuring wood destroying organisms and fumigation. The exhibit hall was open during the day with complimentary boxed lunches and refreshments for attendees. Lab Tours returned after two years on hiatus due to Covid. Attendees were able to sign up for guided tours of the Smith building where they visited the Entomology Bug Barn with Chris Wirth, and the Urban labs with Weilin Sun and Drs. Buzckowski and Gondhalekar. As in years past, the lab tours were a resounding success with ample numbers of glowing reviews from attendees. 
Wrapping up on Wednesday

Wednesday began with a talk on Electronic Pest Monitoring by Kevin Thorn of Pleasant Grove, Utah, which was followed by the first talk in our food plant session by Dominique Sauvage of Terminix. Dominique presented a second talk in the session which was then finished up with Pat Hottel of McCloud Services (a Terminix company) on Flies in Restaurants. The second two talks in the food plant session ran concurrent to a Bed Bug session, which featured Richard Cooper of Yardly, Pennsylvania, and a panel of experts that included Dr. Cooper, Paul Bello, Nina Jenkins, and Alan Feuer. This session and panel were moderated by Pete Schopen, a member of the 2023 Industry Planning Committee from McHenry, Illinois. 
Closing Ceremonies

The conference closed with a short presentation by Drs. Barry Pittendrigh and John Medendorp of the Purdue Urban Center. They recognized our sponsors and presented attendance anniversary awards and certificates to our 10 and 25 year anniversaries, of which there were four of each. Twenty-seven attendees with over 25 years of attendance who were registered for the conference were also recognized. The Robert O. and Norma Y. Williams Pest Control Conference Award Scholarship was announced for the student who made the greatest contribution to the conference operations. The award went to two students for their excellent support - Monste Robles Gil and Mathew Neidmann.
Dr. Barry Pittendrigh, Urban Center Director; Carrie Campbell, Conference Planning Committee Chair; Dr. John Medendorp, Urban Center Deputy Director
Photo: John Obermeyer
25 Year Anniversaries - Hallie Taylor and Leo Reed
Photo: John Obermeyer
WIlliams Conference Scholarship Winners: Mathew Neidmann and Montse Robles Gil
Photo: John Obermeyer
Anniversary Recognitions

10 Years
  • Megan Abraham – Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources
  • Brian Beidle – Steritech
  • Dave Ramsey - Copesan
  • Greg Shawn – Castle Inspections

25 Years

  • Judy Dold – Rose Pest Solutions
  • Kathy Heinsohn – American Pest
  • Leo Reed – Office of the Indiana State Chemist
  • Hallie Taylor – Taylor Pest Management

Over 25 Years (and counting!)

  • Bill Blue  26 years
  • Susan Dolce  27 years
  • Tim Freels  27 years
  • Todd Brown  28 years
  • Kevin Connelly   28 years
  • Ben Hicks  29 years
  • Donnie Knight  29 years
  • Steve Smith  30 years
  • George Saxton  33 years
  • Paul Petri  33 years
  • George Saxton  33 years
  • Patricia Hottel  34 years
  • Tim Baietto  36 years
  • Ralph Hall  36 years
  • Kevin Puetz  37 years
  • Mark “Shep” Sheperdigian  37 years
  • Tim Kaforke  39 years
  • Joe Popham  40 years
  • Jeff McGovern  41 years
  • Dale Fietzek  42 years
  • Lizbe Knote  42 years
  • Mike Corbitt  43 years
  • Bobby Corrigan  46 years
  • Greg Long  48 years
  • Dave Mueller  48 years
  • Gary Bennett  54 years
  • Robert Dold, Sr.  58 years

The group Professional Women in Integrated Pest Management (PWIPM) held a breakfast meeting during the conference. This group will be holding meetings at future events and would like to invite any who would like to attend. Look for their meeting announcement in next year's program!
Special Thanks and Looking Ahead

We would like to thank all our speakers for their contributions, especially those who put in extra time to produce pre-recordings of their presentations. We would also like to recognize our moderators who have had a boost in their responsibilities with the integration of the Whova app. Thanks to those who participated in our training sessions and helped keep the program on track and the speakers on time. A big thank you to John Obermeyer of the Entomology Department for serving as our photographer!

Finally to the students who worked for us - we couldn't do it without you! You have our most sincere gratitude for your contribution!

The Industry Planning Committee for the 2024 Conference has been assembled and will meet this March to construct the program for next year.

Congratulations to our Scholarship Recipients!

Recognizing our Sponsors

Donate to the Urban Center

Holly Fletcher-Timmons
Newsletter Editor

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