On a continuous basis, IABC highlights one of its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Genma Holmes, owner of Holmes Pest Control and CEO of GSH Media Group. Holmes has been an IABC member for more than a year.
IABC: What is your background?
HOLMES: I am an exterminator and radio producer.
IABC: How did you get started in your business?
HOLMES: I fell into both careers by accident. Not one was part of a planned decision…both were opportunities that I took a chance on.
IABC: What is your current position and business affiliation? How long have your been in this role?
HOLMES: I am the owner of Holmes Pest Control and CEO of GSH Media Group. I have been with HPC 23 years and GSH Media Group for 11 years.
IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?
HOLMES: As a female in the pest control industry, it is still a big deal to owners and operators – – even after 20-plus years in the business. However, the fact that I wear a Santa suit several months out of the year keeps my competitors on their toes…year round (smile).
IABC: If you could describe yourself in three (3) words, what would it be?
HOLMES: Risktaker, visionary, determined.
IABC: Tell something about yourself people would be surprised to learn.
HOLMES: I LOVE classical music.
IABC: What lesson(s) have you learned along the way that you believe has made you a better communications professional?
HOLMES: I am willing to think outside-of-the-box. If you want to reach potential customers as well as listeners, you have to try new things. My goal is to mold them into not only becoming a customer/client, but a “raving fan” who will share my message with the masses.
IABC: What makes an effective communications leader?
HOLMES: You have to be willing to listen to what is being said and to be discerning of a message that may be unspoken. Oftentimes, the key is what someone is not sharing with you.
IABC: What do you feel is the greatest benefit of IABC?
HOLMES: The organization allows me to hear from key influencers who are willing to teach, and not just promote.
IABC: What prompted you to join IABC?
HOLMES: K. Dawn Rutledge… I initially contacted Dawn about IABC, and she encouraged me to look at the bigger picture. The bigger picture has always been a national client base or local trendsetters with substance who have national and international influence. She has shown me how, by her actions, to focus on building strong relationships with a few versus networking with the multitude. During my very first IABC meeting in January 2013, I left the meeting with six new customers. I was hooked at “Hello, I need your pest control service.”