Jason Blackburn is a third-generation owner of the Delta Pest and Termite Company headquartered in Burke County, but he’s not set in doing things the way they’ve always been done.
“For the first time in 40 years, we optimized all of our routes,” he said from his spacious office on Millen Highway in Waynesboro. (see photo above)
That’s not only a tall order, but a big deal since his grandfather Jimmie and grandmother Frankie founded the company in December, 1963. Frankie is alive and ensures Delta is run with the same values and integrity going back nearly 60 years ago. Jason’s father, Rickie, assumed the reins in 1989 until Jason became CEO in April 2018.
Covid forced major changes in operations beginning two years ago, due to supply chain issues and rising gas prices.
The routes of his technician staff often crisscrossed each other over a 150-mile radius from Augusta to Brunswick, with several communities in between. Now customers are grouped geographically and because of loyalty to the Delta brand, the transition was smooth in 2021.
“No one canceled,” said Robert Lively, one of Delta’s managers. “Our guys called all of their customers and made the handoff to new technicians.”
Blackburn made other changes to help his team. “We’ve upgraded our equipment in new trucks to make it easier for the team to work in colder weather.”
He’s also shopped insurance, switched customers to automatic drafts and even purchased chemicals one year in advance to combat higher prices – while doing his best to hold off on price increases.
In the midst of the pandemic, Blackburn bought a local home inspection company, hired two people and added that service to other unique ones like wildlife removal, termite and moisture control and removing those pesky carpenter bees that like to eat wood in the spring and summer.
Shane Ide, a key manager and salesman who’s been with Delta for 13 years, sees Jason following in his father’s footsteps in how he cares for his employees.
“Mr. Rickie (Jason’s dad) laid the foundation,” Ide said. “He was very intentional how he treated his employees and so is Jason.”
“When they come to work for us, they usually stay a long time, in some cases 30 years,” said Blackburn.
It’s that employee and customer loyalty that keeps Delta flying high in growth mode.
Publisher’s Note: Delta is a supporter of Augusta Business Daily through its partnership on our newsletter and website. You can visit them at Deltatpc.com.