Let Me Tell You About Brandon
By Karen Carpenter, COO
Brandon came to work as a technician for EPM in 2012, right out of high school. Looking back over the last nine years, I’m so proud of how much he has grown – as a person and as a leader – and love that we have gotten to work together so closely all this time.
Today, as EPM’s General Manager, he is responsible for managing a very large (and growing) group of pest control technicians. In this position, it’s so helpful that he’s walked in the technicians’ shoes. He knows what each aspect of each job entails and how to uphold our very high standards for service. In fact, he was trained by our own Kyle Phillips, who really set the standard for how we all service our clients today.
Brandon is one of the hardest, most dedicated workers I know. Most days he’s the first one here and the last one to leave and does whatever it takes to help our technicians be successful. He continues to be a great partner to me in my role as COO – he will readily do whatever I ask of him, and always with the utmost enthusiasm and respect. And his technicians admire and respect him as well. He’ll never ask them to do something that he hasn’t done or isn’t willing to do himself.
Like with any employee, there have been (literal) bumps in the road. I remember one time early in his career, when he was still working in the field. He was driving to his next service call and hadn’t properly secured an enormous ladder to his truck. He was driving down I-270 and it flew off and hit another car. Of course, he was devastated and refers to that lesson as he coaches his employees today. I learned from that incident as well, and always take a little extra care when following a truck with big equipment strapped to the back.
Brandon understands the value of empathy. He’ll often come into my office to bounce around ideas for dealing with a sticky people problem. I’m all about finding win-win solutions, so I’ll ask him what he wants the final result to be, then together we’ll come up with a plan that makes everyone feel good about the outcome. In those moments, we literally finish each other’s sentences and I love working with him this way.
I know I speak for the entire team when I say that EPM wouldn’t be the company that it is without my partner in empathy, Brandon Carpenter.
What EPM Means to Me
By Brandon Carpenter, General Manager
When I graduated high school, I didn’t know what I was going to do, but knew that college wasn’t for me, I began working for EPM – my dad’s company – thinking it would be a temporary job until I figured out what I wanted to do long-term. I enjoy learning new things so got excited about expanding my knowledge of the pest control industry. Within the first few months, I got my pest control license, trapping license and termite certification, and before I knew it, I had decided to settle in and build a career at EPM.
I started out as a Pest Control Technician and within a couple of years, grew into the Senior Technician role. Then, about five and a half years into my career here, I took on the General Manager position. As you might know, I have never received special treatment because I’m the owner’s son. I have always had to prove myself every step of the way and my responsibilities have continued to change as the company has grown. All that change has been challenging but I love it because I’ve learned to be very versatile. I have worn a lot of hats and had a lot of titles at EPM over the years, and that’s probably what I enjoy most about being here.
It’s the same for our technicians. As the company grows, they also get the opportunity to grow. It’s my passion to help each person build a career at EPM. I’ve created many new positions, including an assistant general manager, several field trainers, onboarding specialists and I’ve even helped Karen create a few positions here in the office. I believe strongly in promoting people from within, so whenever we have an opening, I always look to fill the job from among our current employees before looking outside.
Karen has been a big help to me as I develop as a leader. From her I’ve learned that people have different styles of communication – love languages, so to speak – and I have to figure out how to communicate with each person using their language. She helps me figure out how to connect with each individual employee more deeply and how to lead them more effectively.
I’ve also learned how important it is to have the right people on the bus sitting in the right seats. And that starts with the interview. Honestly, I don’t care as much about their pest control experience as I do about whether their core values are aligned with EPM’s core values. We can teach a new employee about pest control, but it’s much harder to teach someone to be compassionate or thorough or a problem solver. We’re a people-first company (I’ve learned a lot about that from Karen), so in order to be successful here, our employees have to genuinely care about the people – our customers – they are serving.
I have to admit that I work a lot; but it’s because I just love what I do. Through our employees, I get to positively impact the lives of thousands of people every month. EPM isn’t a pest control company – it’s a problem-solving company. Every day, the work I do protects people’s homes, helps people sleep at night, and ensures babies grow up healthy.
In those rare moments when I’m not working, I can be found in the outdoors with my wife, Erin, and our dog-child, Rosie. I’ll be the guy on a jet ski or bike, or on a run through the neighborhood. Or you just might find me happily sitting on the porch with Rosie by my side while Erin reads a book.
I grew up watching my dad, Jason, work Mondays through Sundays, sunup to sundown. I realize now that I developed my strong work ethic because of his example. I’ll always be grateful for what he has shown me, and for his vision for what EPM has become. Without him, I – and EPM – would not be where we are today.