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Letter from the President
Gerry Wegner
August 1, 2009


Believe it or not, this president's two-year term is drawing to a close. I will pass the gavel to our president elect, Cisse Spragins of Rockwell Laboratories, during our fraternity's general membership breakfast meeting at NPMA's PestWorld 2009 Las Vegas event in October. As you might expect, some of the projects initiated during my term will continue on during Cisse's presidency; just as certain major projects begun by immediate past president, Eric Smith, remain works in progress. I would like to take this opportunity to review our progress over the past two years and then look into the future a bit.

The fund-raising efforts of our Scholarship Committee have met with some success both nationally and at regional levels. However, much remains to be done towards reaching out to pest management professionals, past recipients of PCW scholarships and other advocates of our industry who have the means and desire to contribute significantly to the scholarship endowment. The silent auction held at the PCW booth in the exhibit hall at the Annual Purdue Pest Management Conferences continues to be our most popular fund-raising event. As a result of all efforts, including generous yearly contributions from Copesan and Vern Toblan's investment strategies, our fraternity was able to award three $2000 scholarships this year. Hopefully, we will continue offering high-level scholarships annually to as many worthy entomology students as possible.

Dale Baker of J.T. Eaton and his IT guru, Larry McCloskey, are now hosting our website (www.pichiomega.org), following a transition facilitated by our previous webmaster, Bob Geltz. Mr. McCloskey has given our website a splendid technological facelift, and at no cost to PCW, thanks to the Baker family and J.T. Eaton. I'm sure that I speak for all of us when I extend a great big Thank You to Bob Geltz for his years of service in hosting our website.

Eric Smith continues to gather and organize information from interviews, archived letters, articles, photos and other materials for inclusion in the 50 Year History of Pi Chi Omega. Kim Kelley-Tunis, Stuart Mitchell and I number among those who have committed to assist Eric with this monumental (for us) undertaking.

As you may recall from my last letter, my personal project, modest by comparison to Eric's, is a guideline to our members who are pest management business owners and want to give back to their communities by donating their professional services where the need is great. This is a How-to approach to pest management for PMPs seeking to help the impoverished elderly, the disabled and those who depend on federal housing assistance programs, living in Section 8 housing ranging from single family residences to multiple-unit housing complexes. I will post this guideline on the fraternity website for members to use and modify as they see fit. The other important way that members can make a big difference towards improving the quality of life and even saving lives, is to contribute generously to: Heifer International (www.heifer.org) to provide honey bee hives and livestock to needy families as a means of making a living, Nothing But Nets (www.nothingbutnets.net) and Soft Power Health (www.softpowerhealth.org) as a way to help fight malaria in Uganda and other African republics by providing mosquito netting and meds to those who are at great risk of contracting this deadly disease from mosquitoes.

Finally, I want to express my thanks to all who served on the board in committees and as directors during my tenure as president. Things just don't get done without the expertise and efforts of a team working together. I am especially grateful to executive director, Vern Toblan, for his wise counsel and energy, despite recent health issues, and past president, Eric Smith, for his guidance and generosity of expended time and talent. I will continue to assist the fraternity in whatever ways I am able, in order to help accomplish the goals that have been set; and I am confident that all of you will do likewise.


Gerry Wegner