Scott McNeely says there’s no secret formula to his company’s success. “We work hard and play hard, genuinely care about our customers and employees, pay everyone as much as we can, outfit them with the best equipment we can, and always try to be fair. Everything else just falls into place.”
Shortly after Frank Fowler walked into his empty office on his first day with USDA APHIS in 1989, his phone rang. It was Scott McNeely, then technical director for Wilson Pest Control in Winston-Salem, N.C. McNeely was looking for a different department, and Fowler admitted he wasn’t quite sure where to transfer him. McNeely asked, “How long have you been working at the USDA?”
“Thirty minutes,” Fowler replied.
The two talked for a bit, and within a week, Fowler received a letter from McNeely introducing him to the area’s best duck-hunting lakes. The biologist and entomologist went on to become fast friends, frequently hunting, fishing and comparing notes about their career aspirations.
That’s the kind of person Scott McNeely is: the guy who reaches out to welcome you, openly shares everything he knows and follows through with friendship and support.
“When we first met, Scott confirmed what I kept observing during my visits to North Carolina: that Southern hospitality is alive and well,” says North Carolina State University Department of Entomology Distinguished Professor Coby Schal, who met McNeely in 1993, prior to joining the faculty at NC State. “As I got to know him better, I was delighted to discover that he was also incredibly enthusiastic about building NC State’s urban entomology program.”
Indeed, enthusiasm shows up in whatever McNeely sets his mind to do — whether building his business, participating in research projects, developing his employees or supporting industry efforts. He has, over the past three-plus decades, become widely respected for his wildlife and entomological expertise, as well as the business acumen that has put his company, McNeely Pest Control, on an enviable growth trajectory. His company moved up nine notches in the PCT Top 100 this year, and its momentum continues.
McNeely says there’s no secret formula to his company’s success. “We work hard and play hard, genuinely care about our customers and employees, pay everyone as much as we can, outfit them with the best equipment we can, and always try to be fair. Everything else just falls into place,” he says, pointing out the strong influence of Christian beliefs, faith and principles on his company’s culture. “We encourage employees to take care of their families, to have good work-life balance and to enjoy the work they do,” he says. “We treat our clients with great respect, too. Remembering to ‘do unto others’ is an important pa
rt of building relationships.” Fowler, who became a partner in McNeely Pest in its second year in business, credits McNeely’s knowledge and attitude as well. “I can’t think of anyone I’d rather be in business with,” he says. “I never doubt Scott’s knowledge or integrity. He’s smart, consistent and resourceful, always focused on seeing solutions rather than obstacles.”
McNeely and Fowler are also focused on the future. Believing that every person should have the opportunity for upward mobility and growth, and that the next generation has the potential to take the business to even greater heights, they have built an infrastructure that supports employee development and a management team that represents the millennial generation.