Let Me Tell You About Michael McKibben
By Karen Carpenter, COO
I know you’re not supposed to have favorites. Not when it comes to your kids, and certainly not when it comes to your employees. But I do have a favorite story about how one of our employees ended up coming to work for us and about how he found his way into the role he is in now.
Because we were (and still are) growing, we were actively looking for pest management technicians to add to our team. So when one of our technicians mentioned that his neighbor, Michael, was out of work, I said I’d love to talk to him. He assured me that while Michael didn’t have pest management experience, he was a good guy and great with people. Hey, that was enough for me, so we gave him a shot that fateful day back in 2015.
Over the next two years, Michael was a top-notch pest management technician at EPM, but for a variety of reasons, he decided to take a job (at a different company) that would allow him to work from home. Even then, he continued to help us out on weekends, and remained a valued member of the EPM family. After a few months at the other company, he asked if he could come back to EPM full-time. Of course, we were happy to have him and he returned to his technician role. A few months later, we had a property management coordinator position open up in the office so together we decided he should give that a try. Because of his ability to put himself in our customers’ shoes, he excelled in this role, just as he had as a pest management technician. In this position, Michael was becoming a natural liaison between the field team and our property management clients. A year or so after that, when we solidified our new General Manager role (which Brandon Carpenter was promoted to), Michael became our newly created Assistant General Manager. And this is where Michael really hit his stride. He quickly became an indispensible partner to Brandon, to the technicians out in the field, and to the customer service team in the office. In fact, he was so effective in that role that we recently promoted Michael to General Manager, as Brandon moves into an even more elevated role.
Michael is wonderful – everyone loves working with him. But probably one of the most endearing things about him is that he constantly lets us know how grateful he is to be here. And we’re grateful, too, for that guy with no experience who we took a chance on six years ago. I love telling this story about Michael because it goes to show how everyone – employees, customers, and an entire company – will benefit when people with the “right stuff” are simply given the opportunity to take on new challenges.
What EPM Means to Me
By Michael McKibben, General Manager
I was recently promoted to the General Manager, after serving as the Assistant General Manager for the past two years. Even though “Manager” is in my official title, I feel like I’m really the Fire Captain. About half of my time is spent communicating with our pest management technicians, while the other half is spent working with our property management specialists here in the office. On top of that, I help resolve scheduling challenges and give guidance to the field techs about specific treatments. I’m constantly putting out fires, which is just the way I like it.
I guess you would say that I grew into my current position organically. I had a skill set that would translate into helping out in the office, even more than being out in the field as a technician, so they gave me that opportunity. I had no experience in this line of work when I started at EPM back in August of 2015. I got to where I am today by just always saying “yes” to anything that was asked of me. My motto is “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” I’m a former athlete, so I’m very competitive and I always want to do things the right way.
Even now in my management role, I maintain my licensing because I feel it’s important to stay informed of the latest pest management technologies and solutions. It’s just one more example of how EPM’s sole focus is on great customer service and we all will do whatever it takes to solve our customers’ problems. I love that about EPM because it frees me up to be who I am – which happens to be a person who likes to go the extra mile. Most people who work here understand that that is our culture. And it’s something to be lauded and praised: that we go above and beyond. That’s why we’ve grown like we have. When I started here 6 years ago, I was the 7th technician to be hired; now we have 32 pest management technicians out there helping people live happier and healthier lives. And that is all because of our culture of exceptional customer service.
Before EPM, I’ve never been in a place that would allow me to gain all the information I wanted, which is great, because I am a naturally curious person. I got my pest control license very quickly. Then I got my trapping license quickly. And then within a year or two, I got my termite license. I’m very appreciative of the responsibility EPM has given me and it only makes me want to work harder. I feed off the fact that they trust me and they appreciate how hard I work.
Working here has given me the opportunity to be the best version of myself in every aspect of my life. Looking back, I can’t believe how much my life has changed. I just got married in September. I have gone from being a struggling single father to being a happily married man with a lot of security in my life.
My wife likes to remind me that she is responsible for at least an eighth of my good ideas for EPM! We are both in management jobs at our respective companies, so we give each other tips for dealing with management challenges and juggling a wide range of responsibilities. When we’re not sharing work tips, we focus on our new life together. My son, my wife and I enjoy riding bikes and hiking and being out in nature together. And now that things have opened up a bit, we’re starting to go to concerts again. And I’m an avid record collector. I can easily spend hours just chilling out looking through old records…which seems to provide a nice balance to my Fire Captain duties!