Founder and president of National Exterminating, the late Jim Hegwood, had the dream to start his own pest control company. He enjoyed helping people, liked managing a business, and had extensive experience in the pest control industry.
After his family would frequently move every few years for his previous career, he decided to make the leap of faith. The Hegwood’s had extended family in Warner Robins, and being very family-oriented, Jim decided to start National Exterminating in July 1974 when Jim’s son, Roger, was finishing UGA.
A Family Affair
Jim’s wife, Sarah, was secretary in the tiny office building that was National Exterminating’s first location. After Roger graduated from the University of Georgia, he wasted no time joining his dad, who was known around the office as “Mr. Jim,” and mother, in the family business. Roger walked across the stage to get his degree on a Friday and that next Monday, he was in the National Exterminating office getting to work. The two Hegwood men worked side-by-side for decades and are proud to have built a company that still upholds the same values it was founded on in 1974.
Roger’s daughter, Hilary Hegwood, worked at National Exterminating on and off during summers in college. Hilary began expressing interest in the family business after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and her MBA in Business Management from Piedmont College. Roger said that if she passed the Mosquito Control License test for the company, she’d be hired. This shows how serious the family is about their commitment to each other as well as offering the best service possible.
In 2013, Hilary joined as CFO of Marketing and now holds the title Vice President, with Roger as President. Today, Hilary and Roger run the business together and are committed to continuing the legacy of their family.
How We’ve Grown
Since 1974, National Exterminating’s service area has expanded immensely. Our technicians now serve much of the Middle Georgia area including Warner Robins, Macon, and surrounding areas within a 50-75-mile radius.
Gene Ussery started with National Exterminating in the termite department and after only two years he was promoted, holding a pest control route for five years. During this time Gene mastered the technical aspects of the job as well as began his experience in customer service. He got to know his customers and took care of their needs.
He then moved into sales for 14 years and served as Sales Manager for a portion of that time. Speaking to his commitment to the company, he stepped in to fill the Service Manager position while honing in on his management skills. Receiving one more promotion, Gene was named the new General Manager.
Gene remains hands-on when needed and believes some things just cannot be accomplished while sitting behind a desk. He’s a team player, hard worker, and happily steps up to cover anything that needs to be done.
Tammy Etheridge’s story with National Exterminating begins long before she became a part of the team. Tammy’s father, John Padgett, served as General Manager for over 30 years, so she knew the kind of business she was getting into before even being hired!
Tammy started with National Exterminating on June 15, 1992 and was quickly promoted to Office Manager in 1993. Tammy remains dedicated to serving our customers well and keeping our office running as it shines through in everything she does. She will help anyone with anything – she is a great person to have on our team! Her favorite part about working at National Exterminating is the family atmosphere we have created for our team. We are all one big family, and we treat you like family.
Tammy loves going to the baseball and softball field to cheer on her grandkids as they do what they love.