Team Member Spotlight: Kyle Phillips
Let Me Tell You About Kyle
By Karen Carpenter, COO
We recently celebrated Kyle’s eleventh anniversary at EPM, and I’m thrilled to share this story of our journey together. Kyle was the first hire that I was involved with, and as I look back on the last 11 years, I am so grateful for the influence he has had on who and what EPM is today.
Back then, I didn’t really know anything about the pest control business, I was just helping Jason answer phones and schedule service calls. At the time, EPM had a lot of residential clients and I didn’t fully understand – or appreciate – how long it really takes to service a customer the right way.
In those early days, Kyle was (and still is) a loving, attentive single dad, who had to be off by 5 p.m. so he could pick up his kids from daycare. On this particular day, I had loaded up his schedule and he called me around 3 p.m. to say, “I still have three more stops to make. I can either do all of them really fast to get them done, or you could reschedule one and I could do the remaining two really well. It’s up to you, Karen.”
I get teary-eyed even today thinking about that trajectory-changing call from Kyle. In that moment, I had to decide who EPM was going to be. Were we going to be the company that rushed through jobs to maximize the technicians’ schedules? Or were we going to be the company that did each and every job the right way – so that those customers for whom we did perform service wouldn’t have to call us back a few weeks later because we didn’t take care of the problem the first time around?
So, I decided that I would call that one customer to let her know we would have to reschedule. I explained that we didn’t want to rush through her service – that when we arrived, we wanted to give her and her home our full attention and care. Although inconvenienced by the last-minute schedule change, she appreciated our desire to do our best work for her.
I appreciate that Kyle left it up to me to make that decision. I also appreciate that it was Kyle’s own high standards – for seeing to every detail and doing right by each of our customers – that forced me to make that decision that day.
Since then, our company has grown exponentially. We have dozens of team members now, and collectively, we treat thousands of units each month. But even through all that growth, we have stayed true to Kyle’s unwavering commitment to give every job our absolute best.
Kyle’s dedication to EPM cannot be overstated. He relocated to Northeast Ohio last year (in the heat of the pandemic) so we could be certain that this new market would receive the same high standard of service that he set here in Central Ohio. We are extremely grateful to Kyle for all that he has done – and continues to do – for EPM.
What EPM Means to Me
By Kyle Phillips, Technical Director and Certified Pest Management Professional
Before I came to EPM, I was working at a furniture factory. One day, I got a call from a friend who said they knew about this company who was looking to hire a pest control technician. I didn’t know anything about that type of work, but I was eager to get out of the factory, so I applied for the job. My “interview” consisted of me accompanying Jason for the day doing termite treatments for a big property management company. We hung out the whole day, talking about a variety of things, and I guess I did well enough that he offered me the job.
Now, it’s almost 11 years later and the changes in the company are like night and day. At the beginning, I was the only employee for quite a while. Now we have a few dozen technicians and the company just continues to grow. That we’ve grown like this is really a testament to the kind of people Jason and Karen are. They get new customers and hold on to them forever because they really care about the relationship. And they treat us employees the same way. They care about each of us as individual people and they have always treated me like a member of their family.
I really enjoy that I get to be on my own each day, doing and seeing so many different things. And I especially enjoy interacting with our customers. That’s my favorite part of working here. I have a lot of great stories about our customers, but one in particular comes to mind.
I have a property I regularly service that is a community of senior citizens. Many of them are on fixed incomes and have to be careful about managing expenses. This one lady was on our list for bedbug treatment. Part of the treatment process is for the customer to bag up all their bedding and clothing and get everything laundered to prevent bringing any bedbug eggs or larvae back into the unit after it has been treated.
When I arrived at her place to do the service, she was really upset because she didn’t have the money to do the laundry, and she thought I wasn’t going to do the treatment. So, I calmed her down, helped her bag up her things and gave her a few dollars so she could take everything to the laundry room. She was crying and reluctant to take the money, but I assured her everything would be okay and that I was absolutely going to do the treatment. As she was heading to the laundry room, she thanked me and mentioned how grateful she was that someone was willing to do that for her.
I guess I believe that if someone can do something so small that can make such a big difference for someone else, why wouldn’t you? And that’s what Jason and Karen do for us. Working at EPM has literally changed my life. As a single dad, I’m able to provide for my kids and live a good life. I have been able to keep them in a great community, and in great surroundings, because of EPM, and I never take that for granted. And mostly I’m grateful that I have a career here. It’s not just a job; I feel like I’m part of something much more than that.
I have two boys: Landon, who is 13, and Charles, who is 8. They’re doing great. My oldest is a straight A student and my youngest, who also does well academically, was recently chosen to serve as a role model through a special program called Guys With Ties. Landon is playing lacrosse and Charles plays baseball. In my spare time, if I’m not at their games, I love to travel with them.
I’m blessed to be in the role that I’m in. Jason and Karen have given me the opportunity to grow every single year – like they do for all their employees – and
I can’t imagine working for anybody else.