“Anytime you can help people and make a living, that’s a good thing.” - Marc Heflin
My great grandfather, John Heflin, Sr, was born in 1917 into a poor family in Louisiana. He had an abusive, alcoholic father and at least 8 brothers and sisters. Most days he didn’t know where his meals were coming from or if there were going to be any at all. He never went to college and he basically raised himself and his siblings, but he managed to accomplish things that others deemed impossible.
John decided to travel up to Arkansas with only a gourd as a suitcase. He had endlessly been trying to find work when he was hired at Terminix in 1938. He slowly made his way up in the branch he worked in, now located in Hot Springs Village, until he became the manager and made astonishing waves in the pest control industry.
Prior to my great-grandfather, JJ, termite control and pest control were separate entities you couldn’t purchase or get treated together, which was a major hassle. His branch of Terminix was the first to offer both termite and pest control in the whole industry. He eventually was given the opportunity to
buy ownership of different branches of Terminix, and he jumped at the chance.
As the years went on, the branches of Terminix under JJ’s control had great statistics in customer retention, which goes hand-and-hand with customer satisfaction. JJ’s son, Johnny (who is my grandfather), even joined the business, along with his two sons Marc, my dad, and Jay. Johnny would get to the office early and leave late. “You can’t ask your employees to come early and leave late if you aren't willing to do it.” My whole family was dedicated to building Terminix.
Tragedy struck when JJ died May 1st, 1999, the day I was born. Terminix was already trying to buy back ownership so my family decided to sell all of their ownership except the branch in Hot Springs Village. When they sold everything, they had to sign a 10-year non compete because Terminix was scared that they wouldn’t keep their customers after a 5-year non compete because of the loyalty so many people had towards my family.
During those 10 years, my family started another business called Bird and Bear Companies. B&B Co. was a medical supply company, even though my family knew very little about this particular industry.
My thought process as to why they created this company led me to believe that they wanted to help people by selling and transporting medical supplies and machines, but they were really just waiting for the ten year non compete to run out, which it did in 2009.
In 2009, Legacy was established by founders Marc Heflin, Jay Heflin, Chris Maloch, and Juan Carlos Perez. Even though these men are the founders, they still crawl under houses, evaluate houses, and do other things many CEOs wouldn’t dream of.
Even though I don’t necessarily see myself becoming a fourth generation pest management professional, my family’s story has led me to have an interest in business because it can change lives.
John Heflin, Sr. grew up poor with abusive parents and no foreseeable future until he took things into his own hands. Since he never knew if and what he was going to eat growing up, he gave to the Food Bank because he never wanted anyone else to have to feel that pain. He used his success in business to help others, and that is truly inspiring.