Advanced Services is a cutting edge, termite and pest control company founded in 1986 by Jeff Annis, which serves Augusta, Georgia and the surrounding area. All of their services are designed around serving the needs of their growing customer base while minimizing their impact on the environment.
Prior to starting with Advanced, Dena Thomas worked for several years as an assistant regional sales manager for a large wholesale oil company in Michigan. In 1995 she joined the Advanced team and performed all of the job functions including pest control, termite inspections and control measures. She is now President of the enterprise.
Advanced Services and their team have been awarded the BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics in 2010 and 2014,
Dena is married to Bo Thomas, who also works at Advanced Services as VP of Operations. They have 2 children, Cecilia is 13 and Conner is 11. She enjoys gardening, homesteading, chickens and DIY projects. Famous phrase to husband Bo, “we can do it in a weekend”.
Q&A with Dena Thomas
What are you passionate about, in regards to your business?
I absolutely love helping people grow and develop both personally and professionally. I love watching them grow into leaders in ways that they didn’t know they had the capacity to do. In the work that we do, I want our customers to feel like we went 10% farther than we were expected to. Giving 110% instead of 99% is extremely important to me.
What is the most valuable leadership lesson you have learned?
Listen with a view to completely understand. You must have a clear understanding of what the other person is trying to tell you, before you begin to coach or advise. By listening to understand, you will be able to get to the real core of the issue and it is usually not what you thought it was. If you are NOT listening well, you will try to solve a problem that is not really the issue at all and that is frustrating for everyone. Team members need to be listened to and respond when they know that you have really heard what they were trying to tell you and then you can work together to find solutions. It’s always about a “Win-Win” to me.
If you could give the 20-year-old you any piece of advice, what would it be?
It’s easy to be singularly focused on what you are going to “be” and put blinders on to any other possibilities in life. Keep an open view of what life might have in store for you. The possibilities are endless and by being open you relieve yourself of the pressure of only being/doing one thing. Look for things that you are passionate about and find a way to incorporate that into the work that you do. At 40, you should be able to look back and be able to say that you were happy about the paths you took — even if a path only taught you about something that you didn’t want to do. Life is way too short to be stuck doing something you hate to do every day, even if you make great money.