When she was 8 years old, Michelle Senner learned how to make pots of coffee in the office of her father’s business. At age 11, she began drafting profit and loss statements for the company. At 20, she finally earned her own employee identification number.
Now, at 43, Senner sits on Truly Nolen Pest Control’s board of directors and co-owns one of the largest family-owned pest control companies in the world.
For 19 years, Senner has served on Truly Nolen’s executive team, guiding their philanthropy, administration and special projects.
Senner’s grandfather founded the pest control business during the Great Depression in Florida in 1938. Her father brought the business to Arizona in 1955. Now headquartered in Tucson, Truly Nolen now has over 100 offices nationally and 275 locations outside the U.S.
Senner’s current title—which she jokes would probably be shorter in German—is the director of operational administrative support and special projects at Truly Nolen.
In 2017, Senner won first place for executive leader at a large company at Tucson Local Media’s fifth annual Executive Excellence Awards ceremony. Although we aren’t hosting the awards ceremony this year, we caught up with the pest control executive to learn how her leadership skills have guided the company throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Senner’s changed her title of director of public relations and philanthropy since she won the award, but maintains a robust leadership position in the company. She now oversees the behind-the-scenes administrative tasks of the business, as well as how Truly Nolen uses and processes data.
While many businesses have experienced devastating financial losses from the spread of COVID-19, the pest business director says Truly Nolen is thriving. They’re currently hiring 75 positions, and are “growing organically,” Senner says.
“Our company is over 80 years old, it’s still family-owned and family-run, but we’ve been in the process of replumbing the organization so we can really grow and be smart,” Senner said. “We’ve been in this mindset for the past two years, actually pre-COVID. When COVID hit, because we’d already done a lot of work technology-wise and infrastructure wise, it was very easy for us.”