AEPMA president Vasili Tsoutouras reflects on another successful Rapid Solutions conference. 

Spring is around the corner and with that the anticipation of another busy season that I am sure we are all looking forward to. Winter is often a time to review our operations, implement new processes or procedures, and research trends. There is no better way to do all of this than attending industry conferences.

The Rapid Solutions Risk Management Conference on the Gold Coast was an absolute winner this year and if you didn’t attend you missed out. The presentations from the speakers were inspiring and informative, the exhibition hall had everything you could imagine to spark ideas, and the functions were perfect to catch up with friends you haven’t seen since the last industry gathering, or to meet new people. In my experience the friendships you build at these conferences are the most valuable thing I take away, the conversations I have with our fellow industry colleagues drive me to be better in my business and also in my role within AEPMA.

The announcement of the winners of Pest Manager of the Year was held at the Gala Dinner at the conference and was a brilliant way to honour the hard work of our industry leaders. It truly is exciting to see the joy in the eyes and words of these people. I have already had contact with the overall winners, Pestec as well as Quality Pest & Weed Solutions, with Pestec already sharing positive feedback from a potential large customer as a direct result of winning the award. Once again, congratulation to all the state and national winners, I hope the results Pestec shared with me happen for you all. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank BASF for their terrific support of the award through sponsorship and contribution to the judging process. The nominations for the 2016 award will open late this year and will no doubt be bigger and better than ever.

In the last report I mentioned the largest challenge we are all facing is training, and based on discussion we had at the conference this still rings true. At a board level we have been discussing this issue and the actions we can take to improve this for the industry as a whole. The first step in this process will be to form a working party for the creation of a Code of Practice for Training. During this process the working party and board will be engaging with all industry stakeholders to ensure we find the right balance and best practices so we all have the tools to overcome our greatest challenge. Most importantly and unashamedly this CoP will be geared towards helping the most important stakeholder in the industry, you the pest manager.

I also mentioned in the last report that the CoP for Whole of Building Termite Management in New Construction will soon be released for public comment. I can confirm that this is in its last stages of draft with the working party and will be available for all to comment within weeks. Also we have received the first draft of the CoP for Termite Management in Existing Buildings from the author and at the next board meeting we will be forming a working party to begin the process of reviewing and producing a final draft for comment. Both CoPs will be an excellent asset to the industry, and I for one am very excited.

The biggest announcement I have is that we have been selected to hold the FAOPMA Conference for 2016. Every time we have held the international conference it has been a massive success and I have no doubt that this one will be the biggest and best industry conference ever held in Australia. The conference will be held at Sea World on the Gold Coast.

It promises to be an excellent venue not only for the conference itself, but a chance for us to bring our families and enjoy our time together. The planning for this conference is well underway with our major sponsors already being announced, and the exhibition hall almost sold out. We have also launched a conference website – be sure to check it out, the speakers and program will be finalised over the next few months.

I look forward to reporting our progress in the next issue on all of the happenings at AEPMA.

Until next time, I wish you all the best and trust all is going well within your business.

Vasili Tsoutouras, National President, AEPMA

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