Service Industry Executive Harvey L. Massey Speaks at Florida Southern on Business Leadership

LAKELAND (April 11, 2019) – The Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College today welcomed Harvey L. Massey, Chairman and CEO of Massey Services, Inc., to give an executive lecture on the topic of “Leadership Lessons” during a luncheon event in the George W. Jenkins Field House on the FSC campus.

Mr. Massey is an industry leader with more than 55 years of experience in the service business, having started his career in 1963 and being steadily promoted to management and executive positions with Orkin Pest Control and Terminix International.

In 1985, Mr. Massey bought an Orlando-based extermination company, renaming it Massey Services, Inc. in 1987. Under his leadership, Massey Services, Inc. has grown to become the largest privately held family company in the industry. Mr. Massey’s company “has been blessed with 34 years of profitable growth,” he added.

“Mr. Massey represents the essence of success in our Free Enterprise system,” said Dr. James W. Fenton, Jr., dean of the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise. “He is the epitome of a successful entrepreneur who grew a weak business to become the fifth largest pest control company in the nation. You could not ask for a better role model for our students than what Harvey Massey represents. We were fortunate enough today to have him on our campus, lending his insights and executive experience to our students and the public at the luncheon.”

The business Mr. Massey bought was 55 years old, having been founded in 1930, and had just four offices in central Florida. “The two years before I purchased the business, 1983 and 1984, the company did not make money; it lost money,” Mr. Massey said. “To date, we have expanded from four service centers to 142 service centers in seven states, and are running approximately 1,900 vehicles a day servicing 600,000 customers.”

To explain his company’s success, Mr. Massey said, “Above all, we believe in outstanding quality service, from our people and from our company overall. First-class quality service is still, and always has been, non-negotiable with us.” Speaking to a large audience of business students, faculty members, and friends of the College, Mr. Massey also stressed, “There isn’t any such thing as a permanent business model, because you and I never stop changing. Our wants, needs, and expectations never stop changing.”

During his presentation, Mr. Massey shared two inspirational ideas from statesman Winston Churchill that have guided his personal approach to business. On the topic of philanthropy and giving, Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” In concluding his talk, Mr. Massey also reminded his audience, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that truly counts.”


About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private college in Florida. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio; is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 30 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked among the Top 20 Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report; named a Top Baccalaureate College by Washington Monthly; and included in The Princeton Review’s 384 Best Colleges, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018, and Forbes magazine’s America’s Top Colleges Guide. The College is committed to the development of the whole student through vibrant student life programs that prepare graduates to make a positive, consequential impact on society. FSC is conveniently located within an hour’s drive of both Orlando and Tampa. FSC is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012. Named the “Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation” for two consecutive years by The Princeton Review and one of the nation’s “Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture” by Architectural Digest, Florida Southern is an internationally-recognized place of beauty and academic excellence.


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