Continued – Challenges of Working in Colorado, Becoming a Certified Instructor & Board Member with NWCOA
Starting our business in Colorado was NOT (and still isn’t) easy. We found great challenges to the transition to Colorado and starting up here. These included working at altitudes sometimes in access of 11k feet. Our service range is between 6400 and over 11000 feet! Entirely different species, life cycle differences, animal behavioral differences made every day a learning opportunity. It continues to amaze me the incredible weather and ecosystem differences, terrain differences in that service range. I am having to learn how to adapt to new creatures I have never serviced before, in a land vastly different from the one I have come from. In Illinois, 90% of our business was bats and raccoon. The other 10% was woodchuck, tree squirrels, ground squirrels and mice with an occasional insect treatment. Here we have so many different species to learn and adapt controls to.
Heck, even bats behave differently! Here in Colorado, Big Brown Bats do not hibernate in structures over winter. In Illinois we would get calls all winter for bats in the home that were inside the attic and came down after being awakened from hibernation. Here, the same species behaves entirely different. Here in Colorado, bats are being tracked to overwintering sites that have amazed biologists. They are being radio tagged and confirmed to be hibernating in talus slopes (rock that’s fallen on high elevation mountain areas). These bats are actually using blankets of snow and ice to “shelter” them inside these rock crevices. Amazing.
Marketing and the general operation of our business model has also changed dramatically. Here in Colorado we are finding that customers are actually still using phonebooks! Internet access for some is slow or limited, so this may be partially to blame for this. In Illinois we terminated our phone book advertising several years ago. Here, we are bringing it back.
In early 2019 I was approached by NWCOA to help them tweak an existing training course (Bat Standards Certification Course) and help create a new course (Professional Bat Mgmt Pro Certification) which is the second part of the certification program. This new course is the first course offered of its kind. It’s a intensive two day, hands on class, that’s designed to give operators real-world situational understanding of structural bat management procedures. I then helped teach the course in Minneapolis Minnesota. I am now a Certified NWCOA Instructor for both classes. Since then, I have been nominated, then elected to the Board of Directors as the At-Large Director Position. Even before my term began, I have been actively involved with NWCOA and participated in board meetings and attended the Strategic Planning Retreat held in Pensacola Florida in December of 2019. NWCOA is an amazing organization that is dedicated to the wildlife damage management industry. NWCOA helps develop training and standardizes it to consistently stay on top of best management practices for our industry. They help regulators understand the importance of standardizing training and development of laws regulating our industry in a responsible and common sense way. I’m excited to be a part of this great organization.
I look forward to what comes next in this adventure. Growing this business and expanding our operations into other parts of Colorado are next…your all caught up! We are so excited to service Colorado and look forward to helping folks fix their wildlife and pest issues!