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Business Observer Tuesday, Sep. 27, 2016 5 years ago

Chairman retakes CEO role at fast-growth firm

George Pickhardt has been leader at Sarasota-based Environmental Pest Service for 44 years.

Sarasota-based Environmental Pest Service, one of the fastest-growing termite and pest control firms in the country, has changed CEOs.

George Pickhardt, chairman of the company who has been leader there for 44 years, was appointed interim CEO. He replaces Joe Finney, a former top executive at Sears Automotive Group, who was named CEO of EPS in early 2014. Finney, a significant driver of EPS's growth and success the past few years, according to a release, will remain on the firm's board. The company is searching for a permanent CEO, the release adds.

“I want to thank Joe Finney for his efforts and leadership,” Pickhardt says in a release. “He has laid the groundwork that will benefit our customers and company into the future.”

EPS has been on a grow-by-acquisition strategy for six years. The company had $45.7 million in revenues in 2015, up 30.2% from $35.1 million in 2014. The company was ranked No. 19 on Pest Control Technology magazine's 2016 “Top 100” list of the nation's largest pest control firms, according to the release. EPS operates four brands: Arrow Environmental Services in west and central Florida; Bug Out Service in north Florida and southwest Georgia; Skyline Pest Solutions in metro Atlanta; and State Pest Control in central North Carolina.

In addition to the CEO changes, EPS named Michael Rolman vice president of sales and operations. He was most recently sales director for the northern U.S. and international divisions for Terminix. The company also announced that Rob Swartz, executive chairman of EPS's Board, will lead a new operating committee to help drive overall company strategies going forward. He will work with CFO Dave Bradford; Vice President of Human Resources Karen Madden; Rolman; and the company's regional vice presidents.

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