This year, Discover announced plans to open a new Chicago-based customer care center in the Chatham neighborhood. This center is located at 86th Street and Cottage Grove, the former site of Target. Once the customer care center is operational, it will provide 1,000 full-time jobs by the end of the year. The full-time employees will get a competitive hourly rate, paid time off, and benefits. By coming to the Chatham neighborhood, Discover promised to do more in the community. As a result, the Discover Care Center awarded a black-owned pest control business a multi-year contract. R.B. Pest solutions is a black-owned, 2nd generation pest control service that provides solutions to residential and commercial customers. Robiar Smith, the founder, spent many years as a professor teaching I.T. courses before entering the pest management business.
Discover came into the community to partner with businesses in Chatham. R.B. Pest Solutions completed a walk-through of the facility and submitted a bid for the contract. They won the contract for the facility located at 86th and Cottage Grove. Ms. Robiar noted, “This is a perfect match” between the R.B. Pest Solutions and the Discover Care Center. The R.B. Pest Solutions team is fully capable of handling a facility the size of the Discover Care Center.
Securing this type of opportunity for her business has many benefits:
- This is a multi-year partnership that will have a significant impact on the community. This partnership will create jobs, provide more training, and help build stronger relationships within the community.
- This type of opportunity allows for R.B. Pest Solutions to hire more people to keep up with new business demands.
- She hopes this type of partnership has a significant impact on the business community.
Robiar hopes this opportunity will send a message to both large and small businesses that this type of partnership is vital for the community. Most small businesses want someone to give them a chance to “sit at the table” and express their expertise in their given industry.
Besides servicing the residents and commercial businesses, Robiar gives back to the community. During the summer of 2020, she went live on social media. She discussed how she would protect her retail store during the riots by boarding up the windows. She offered to help any other businesses that needed help as well. The pandemic has slowed down her in-person charitable activities, but she hopes that will pick back up soon. She donates her time and money to help those in need. She has such a significant presence in the community that people often reach out to her for help. They know they can count on her!
Robiar is aware of the lack of representation in the pest control industry. Not only is the industry dominated by men, but there are fewer people of color. She is passionate about networking and bringing other minorities into the pest control industry. This year Mrs. Smith teamed up with the National Pest Management Association and the Illinois Pest Association of Chicago to launch a local chapter. In addition, she helped launch the first chapter in Illinois of the Professional Women in Pest Management organization. She hopes this organization will bring more awareness to this overlooked profession.
R.B. Pest Solutions has many happy customers and referrals due to its effective pest control solutions, excellent customer service, and industry knowledge. The company utilizes eco-friendly pest control solutions for both residential and commercial customers. These solutions are pet and people friendly especially considering most of their clientele includes residential homes, daycare centers, restaurants, and hospitals.
R.B. Pest Solutions is happy to announce a new product. They are introducing a mattress pad cover that is waterproof, allergy-resistant and helps to prevent bed bugs. You can buy the mattress pad covers online or in the retail store for the moment. But, she hopes to expand the offering into the larger box stores and online retailers soon.
Robiar and her team intend to promote pest control as a viable trade. Robiar’s father, Michael Benton, educated her by sharing his 42 years of experience in the pest control industry. The company’s name is a combination of Robiar’s and her father’s initials. Robiar’s mission is to give the industry a facelift with the help of a younger, innovative crew. This company also has a retail store located at 8243 S Cottage Grove, which sets them apart from their competition. The retail store and hotline allow them to service more people considering that pest management is essential.
For more information on R.B. Pest Solutions, please check out www. rbpestsolutions and social media @r.b.pestsolutions.
Theresa Horton is a contributing writer for the Chicago Defender. Find her on social media @passionateresources.