SPOTLIGHT ON: Meet HGAR’s 2015 Affiliate of the Year
Mary Prenon | December 2015
When Patsy Sposato of Parkway Pest Services heard his named called for “Affiliate of the Year” at HGAR’s Annual Meeting this year, he was stunned. “It was a big surprise, to say the least,” he said. “I am so honored and still have so many people congratulating me.”
Sposato, who has been involved with the Association for “too many years to remember,” has been a partner of Parkway Pest Services for 42 years. Parkway, a third generation family-owned and operated business, is headquartered in New Hyde Park and has been servicing the New York Mero area since 1932. The company is licensed in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and is a full service pest control firm.
“I guess as a kid, I liked bugs,” Sposato admitted. Born and raised in White Plains, Sposato later earned a B.A. from Iona College in New Rochelle and is an Associate Certified Entomologist. He is also a member of the Entomology Society of America.
It was 1973 when Sposato first joined Parkway, and later assisted with its expansion throughout Long Island, Westchester, the five boroughs of New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut. He was instrumental in getting the Parkway Green Shield certified by the IPM Institute of North America and Quality Pro certified by the National Pest Management Association.
“Pest control has changed dramatically over the years,” said Sposato, whose company deals with everything from tiny crawling creatures to wildlife critters. “Parkway recognizes the delicate balance between people, pests and the environment and that’s why we take the necessary time to identify the target, track its location, and use the least toxic method to get rid of the problem.”
One thing that surprised Sposato was the return of the bedbug problem. “We thought that was over in the 1940s, and I think we were all caught off guard when bedbugs resurfaced,” he said. “I think (it resurfaced) because society is so much more transient now, with lots of travel to so many different places.” Parkway will also use dogs to help sniff out these pests in both residential and commercial spaces.
When traveling, Sposato recommends people initially put their suitcases in the bathtub and then look around to make sure everything is bedbug-free. “If they get into your clothes, then they’re going to be traveling with you,” he added.
Over the years, Sposato’s involvement with the Association has grown, mainly, he admits, through personal networking. “I’m a grass roots kind of guy,” he said. He definitely prefers meeting people and talking instead of emailing. “I could be a dinosaur, but I love that personal involvement.”
In addition to his involvement with HGAR, Sposato is also the sponsor liaison to the Women’s Council of Realtors and holds membership in various other organizations including the National and New York State Pest Management Associations, New York State Superintendents of Schools Building and Grounds, Business Network International, Lions Club International, and the New York State Order Sons of Italy in America. He has chaired the Valhalla Ambulance Corps and has been president of the Valhalla International Fund.
Sposato and his wife, Clara, live in Valhalla and have two grown sons, Lawrence and Domenic. They also have four grandchildren – Luke, Andrew, Jessica and Daniel. When he’s not fighting pests, he enjoys music, reading, sports and living in the Hudson Valley.
Still, Sposato looks forward to going to work. “Every day is different, and I’m always meeting new people,” he said. “People’s reactions are always different too. Some are running out of the house at the first sight of a mouse, while others might just keep it as a pet!”
Photo Caption: HGAR Presents Affiliate of the Year Award at the HGAR 2015 Member Day, Richard O’Donnell, Patsy Sposato, Drew Kessler, Sharlene Forman