FAIRFAX, Va. — Gene Harrington, vice president of government affairs, National Pest Management Association, has left the association after a 20-year tenure. Harrington departed the association for another career opportunity on Feb. 27.
Harrington left NPMA to become the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s Director of State Advocacy for State Government Affairs, Food and Agriculture. Leaving NPMA was bittersweet, Harrington told PCT. “NPMA is a first-class organization that represents a fantastic industry and that’s what makes it doubly hard to leave,” he said. “I’ve certainly made a lot of friends and have an incredible amount of respect and admiration for the professional pest management industry. It’s been like a second home. The job I’m leaving for was one of those proverbial offers I couldn’t refuse.”
Harrington, a University of Maryland graduate, came to NPMA in 1994 after serving as a legislative consultant for Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.). While at NPMA, he was promoted to director and then vice president of government affairs.
During the past 20 years, Harrington and NPMA CEO Bob Rosenberg have worked with legislators and regulators to make sure the pest control industry’s voice was heard on Capitol Hill. “We appreciate Gene’s countless contributions to NPMA over the past two decades,” said Rosenberg. “Gene played an integral role in elevating NPMA’s public policy program during his time at NPMA, helping the organization score significant legislative and regulatory victories at both the federal and state levels.”
Looking back at his NPMA tenure, Harrington said a couple successes stuck out to him:
(1) NPMA’s role in getting language included in the 2014 Farm Bill that protected the industry’s uses of sulfuryl fluoride, a popular fumigant used to control a variety of pests;
and (2) working with Arizona PMPs and Arizona lawmakers while the state transitioned the agency that oversaw structural pest control.
“When you reflect on your career, the one thing you realize is that it’s not the successes that you’ve had with issues and projects, but it’s the people,” Harrington said. “It’s always fun to win, but what stands out is the quality of people I got to deal with, and that was the case with those two issues.”
Rosenberg told PCT that he, along with Andrew Bray (new director of regulatory affairs), Andy Architect (chief industry relations officer) and Jim Fredericks (vice president, technical and regulatory affairs), all have experience with legislative and regulatory issues, and this group will handle those responsibilities during the transition.