Meet the Staff
Passion for pest-control was inculcated early in Ravi’s life. Born the middle son of a quality assurance officer, protecting food, property, and health was his natural calling. With his father, insect collection hikes and hunts is where he learnt about insect life and the micro-environments they like to inhabit. Ravi can still remember being 10-12 years old, bending over a slow-moving stream and finding pebble-encased larvae that developed into dragonflies.
His mom taught English as a second language at high schools in New Delhi, India. She gave him the love of history and poetry. His mother was the founder of the “culture” of American Pest Management. She is the one that seared in our minds that APM is a family, providing exemplary customer service by offering useful information, quality work, and a positive experience.
Ravi’s parents sent he and his two brothers to top-rated schools in India, so they would learn to be self-reliable and self-determined — qualities deemed to be essential in any leader. They never hesitated from self-sacrifice for the sake of a better future. Ravi says that is why his father never hesitated to give up his comfortable, secure life in India to forge better opportunities in USA for his family.
After graduating with a BS in marketing it took 10 years to return to Kansas State University and earn a master’s in entomology. To build a great organization one must build a great team.
Elaine, Ravi’s wife and partner, sets the standards for honesty and integrity. Travis, his esteemed vice-president is the keeper of ethics and productivity. The rest of the family all devoted to polish and shine, making the entire team look good.
Jesse, his son, has grown into his own as a software consultant, spreading his knowledge and skills with clients from Cape Cod to Honolulu. They share a love of baseball, reading, and podcasts — and who can forget Game of Thrones. They are both passionate about history and travel.
His daughter, Amanda, is kicking it in New York City, studying to be a doctor of physical therapy. Ravi says if he looks especially dapper, it is very likely that she picked out his clothes that day. She is his fashion consultant and guide. Amanda is the one who introduced him to the ultimate fashion statement, Coco, a designer dog.
Coco is the walking partner that is obedient (most of the time), disciplined (some of the time), huggable and cuddly (all the time). The duo is in training, walking 7 to 10 miles a day in preparation to walk across Ireland … and maybe even New Zealand. someday … and maybe even climbing a mountain or two in Colorado.
Elaine Sachdeva, wife of owner/CEO, Ravi Sachdeva, is an officer in the corporation. She graduated from Manhattan Area Technical College in 1991. She and her husband have a son and daughter. She enjoys spending time with her family and their dog, Coco. She also enjoys tailgating at Kansas State football games, watching football and baseball, reading, and doing crafts.
VP, Associate Certified Entomologist, Master Technician
If you ask his mom, she’d say Travis’ pest control career started when he was 3-years-old, after he was attacked by a colony of ants. He earned his first job in the pest control field as a self-described gofer for a termite crew in Concordia, KS when he was 14 years old.
He is a 1999 graduate of Kansas State University, and has worked in the pest control industry for more than 25 years. He has traveled to Haiti twice with NPMA’s Help Haiti Mission, has served as president, among other board positions on the Kansas Pest Control Association, and is currently serving on the technical, marketing, and leadership development committees with the National Pest Management Association. If you want to find Travis outside of work you will find him watching his children in a theatre or orchestra performance, at almost any K-State sporting event, or a Major League Baseball Stadium around the country. He has a goal to visit and watch a baseball game at every venue in the country.
If you ask his friends and co-workers, he’s “just Doug” (only his mom calls him Douglas when he is in trouble). After many stops in his career path: working while going to Evergreen High School (in Colorado) as a short order cook, and becoming a landscape assistant, he graduated high school in 1990 and enlisted in the United States Army. After eight years, he became a corrections officer for the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Department, then a ground line foreman for Osmose utility services.
In September of 2002, Doug found American Pest Management and a new family that he plans on being part of for years to come. When Doug is not “working” he enjoys cooking, shooting, fishing/hunting, and watching his kids, Dallas, Hunter, and Liliauna, participate in their activities with his wife, Kennetta.
Jane Shirack is the office manager at American Pest Management. Her children, grandchildren, and family are her life. Growing up with 8 siblings, there was always someone to be adventurous with on the farm. Jane is a tomboy and enjoyed outdoorsy activities throughout childhood. She fished, built her own playhouse without Pinterest, walked barefoot in the mud and creek, (do crawdad’s pinch until the sun goes down?) she jumped in the hay, threw eggs at the pig, rode horses, swam in the horse tank and played with dolls – a little. As a teenager, Jane continued her love for being outdoors and plowed terrace channels, swathed hay, disked and plowed the family farm ground before there were air-conditioned tractors. Biology, dissecting a frog, raising mice, birds and snakes exposed her to nature and prepared her for the world of pest control. She pestered stink bugs to see if they really stink! She still fishes, kayaks, feeds the birds, gardens and loves to spoil her horses. Even though she prefers outdoors, she has always worked indoors professionally and held office positions in accounting, payroll and management. There weren’t any electronics mentioned in her childhood, but she did have a record player! She loves music, math, science, organizing things and creating spreadsheets. She has always lived in Kansas and is a Chiefs, Royals and Wildcats fan.
Executive Sales Associate
Kennetta started out with APM as a pest control technician, then moved to office manager. She has since worked her way to sales executive for a total of 12 years with the company. She is a Kansas State University graduate with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Finance.
She has three active kids who are involved with football, wrestling, and raising and showing sheep. When not at work, she can be found shuttling and observing these favorite activities.
Jon Ratliff has been a member of the American Pest Management team for five years. Jon is a father of four kids and has been married for 15 years. Outside of work he enjoys collecting records, hunting, and taking cruises through the Caribbean. He is also employed with the Clay Center Fire Department where he holds the rank of assistant chief. Jon looks forward to serving you and doing what he can to take care of your pest management needs.
Matt Moffett was born and raised in Manhattan. He has worked for American Pest Management for the last two and a half years. Every day at American Pest is different and exciting whether excluding bats out of houses or trapping wildlife. Every person’s problem is different and makes you think of inventive ways to fix the problem.
When he’s not out riding the world of pests, he’s usually playing or teaching guitar. Matt is also working toward an ornamental pest control certification.
Customer Service Representative
Katie Jo Wright is one of the many lovely voices you will here when you call into the east Manhattan office. She started out as a country girl growing up on her family ranch outside the little town of Lincoln, KS. She pursued her education at Cloud County Community College, graduating with an associate’s degree in feed management. She took the leap of faith and moved to the big city of Manhattan, where she attended K-State to finish up her college education.
She has worked many jobs in her life, all of which involved helping people. Working for American Pest Management is the first job she has had working from behind a desk. If you were to ask her folks, they would say, “Never in a million years would Katie work a desk job.” But to their surprise, she really enjoys her job.
Bio Coming Soon
Born in Concordia, Kansas in 1977, Darren moved to Manhattan in 1998 in order to attend K-State. Meanwhile, he began work in the restaurant industry in 1993, until he started with American Pest Management in of 2015. He earned his degree in business management in 2006.
Grant lives with his wife, Brandi, and their two children, Raef and Kyra, in Wamego, Kansas. He spends his time outside of work fishing, golfing, and attending the kids’ events.
As a pest control specialist, the most enjoyment Darren said he gets is client interaction and helping them with their concerns. Nothing gives him more satisfaction than to go for the follow-up and learning that the client has no issues.
Customer Service Representative
Savannah Saenz was born in South Carolina and brought to Kansas by the military. She graduated top of her high school class and went onto cosmetology school. For her, it has always been about helping people, as she began volunteering at a very young age. This meant customer service was an easy choice; she spent three years becoming a manager at a local restaurant while cutting hair on the side. Wanting to spend more time with her husband and less time smelling like a grease trap, she made her way to American Pest Management toward the end of March in 2016.
She loves the ongoing training that comes with pesky pests and critters, as it makes every day a new and fun challenge. Working for a pest company has made her brave enough to kill her own spiders … which was a long time coming! Savannah and her husband spend most of their time preparing to welcome their first child into the world. Amongst all the chaos that comes with that, it is too easy for her heart and dedication to remain with her amazing American Pest Family.
Customer Service Representative
Vicky Marstall currently serves as the front desk office assistant for American Pest Management. She is a 2002 graduate of Manhattan Area Technical College, where she obtained her associate’s degree in business and computer technology. Outside of work, Vicky enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and their dog. If she is not with the family, she enjoys reading, playing video games, or listening to music.
When Claudia knocks on your door, she’s not there to try and sell you cookies or do fundraising; she’s the newest face of American Pest Management’s technician team. While she may seem like she’s out of her league compared to other technicians, she has all the same expertise and knowledge as most of her counterparts … just in a fun-sized package. When she’s not busy killing bugs and catching critters, she works as a makeup artist at a haunted house in Junction City, KS. She turns ordinary people into things out of your worst nightmares with the power of makeup and prosthetics. Scary, weird, and creepy are her specialties so rest assured, no pest is too much for her to handle!
Melissa has been a technician at American Pest Management for almost four years. Before getting into the field, she owned an in-home daycare for eight years. She has two sons, Ian, 20, and Gage, 10.
After growing up in Fort Scott, KS, Melissa has been in Manhattan for the past decade.
Some people might say Melissa owns a farm, however, she will tell you she just loves animals. Her menagerie includes two dogs, two hamsters, two red-eared slider turtles, three bunnies, five ducks, and two chickens, with the hope for more, come spring. Melissa also loves being a mother and an aunt to her nieces and nephews.
Tech Supervisor/ Master Technician
Derek Winter has been a technician at American Pest Management since February of 2009. In June 2012 he became a supervisor. He earned is bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Kansas State University in December 2008. Throughout his career at American Pest Management he has earned the following awards: Tech of the year in 2014, Mastertech, and the UDA man award. Derek has been an assistant high school football coach for 16 years. When not at work, Derek enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters. He also enjoys attending Kansas State football games.
Joey grew up in Manhattan, Kansas, and received a diploma from the Manhattan Area Vocational-Technical School in marketing and management in 1987. After that, he decided to give college a try and earned his B.S. in social sciences from Kansas State University … in about the amount of time it takes most to earn doctorates. He moved on to attend the Johnson County Community College conductor training course, which lead to several railroad jobs. For seven years he lived his childhood dream as an engineer/conductor.
Joey connected with Travis Aggson a few years later which led him to a career in pest management.
The first several years Joe was a general technician for APM. As opportunities opened within the company, he grew from technician to supervisor, and from supervisor, to technical director.
Joey has earned the associate certified entomologist designation through the Entomological Society of America. To-date, there are only 14 ACEs in the state of Kansas, and two work for American Pest Management, Inc. Joey has also earned the master technician award through the Kansas Pest Control Association.
If you address him, he will answer to Joe, Joseph, or NJ (New Joe). He is a 2006 graduate of Barton County Community College and worked as a maintenance technician for 10 years prior to joining the American Pest Family. Two things to know about him are that you can find him at about every Kansas State Wildcat sporting event (he bleeds purple), and he has a big appetite … so if you hear stories about food consumption, most of them are true!
AJ Simpson is a man that comes from the small community of Abilene, Kansas. Growing up in a small town, there wasn’t much to do, so theater and golf are where most of his time was spent. By the age of 16, AJ had taken his love and interest in theater and acting to a new perspective and got involved in a local haunted house. This soon developed into a love for all things scary and spooky, as well as special effects. In 2010, graduation came along and he had yet to decide what career path he wanted to take on.
For the next five years, he spent his time learning a new trait in the electrical field, rewiring and remanufacturing electrical transformers. He has since joined the team and family that is American Pest Management. On the side, AJ has furthered his skills in special effects and character creation through online courses from Stan Winston’s school for character arts. He has also become the lead makeup artist for Zombie Toxin Haunted House in Junction City Kansas.
Bio coming soon
Joe Bissonnette has been a certified pest control technician with American Pest Management since 2014. He currently services the Junction City and surrounding areas. He has used his knowledge in the industry to achieve numerous company goals. Born and raised in Junction City, he graduated from high school in 2000. He is also a member of the Junction City Chamber of Commerce.
In his free time, Joe enjoys spending time outdoors with his friends and family at local events, fishing, and riding motorcycles. He also serves as the security manager for the scariest haunted house in Kansas, Zombie Toxin. If you’d like to learn more about Joe and what he does, you can find him in your area in the American Pest van with the shield of protection and huge scorpion.
Zachery Messick, a certified pest control technician, is a native of Arizona. He relocated to Manhattan in 2012 to maintain a relationship with his daughter and to be an active part of her life. Being a native of the desert, he is a firm believer that seasons are overrated, and misses being able to wear shorts and a t-shirt year-round.
Zach inherited a love for old cars after growing up in the garage and watching his father, an avid hot rodder and old car collector. Zach currently owns a 1964 Buick Skylark, but since moving to Kansas, the project has been on the back burner, getting attention as time and money permits. It’s his hope to be cruising the car shows with his daughter and passing along the hot rod culture.
Zach also enjoys golf, although he says he’s not very good. For Christmas this year, he bought his daughter her first set of clubs and is looking forward to spending time out on the golf course with her.
Kenny Taylor is from Fort Riley, Kansas, and has lived in the Manhattan/Ft. Riley area his entire life.
Kenny joined the American Pest Management team after 20+ years in roofing and has never looked back! His passion for wildlife and life outdoors keeps him busy and happy. Alongside marrying his high school sweetheart, Kenny enjoys fishing, four-wheeling, and riding his motorcycle.
Clay Center Regional Manager
Dave Gonser, Clay Center regional manager has served as the assistant fire chief for the Clay Center Rural Fire Department for the past 10 years. He has been a member of the department since graduating high school in 1980. He also assisted with the start up of the Clay Center Rescue Squad shortly after graduation.
Since starting his career in the pest control industry, he has enjoyed meeting new people and not just calling them clients, but friends and family. In the last 10 years he has watched younger children of his clients grow up to be great athletes and being involved in their communities.
Usually you will see Dave driving around in his pest truck, out to the new fire station that his department built recently, or at his grandchildrens’ school or sporting events.
Wichita Regional Manager
Lanny Brunton is currently the Wichita regional manager of American Pest Management. He has been certified by the Kansas Department of Agriculture for pest management since 2015. He was raised in Wichita and spent most of his weekends playing sports or hunting and fishing in Cowley County. He has since taken his passion for the outdoors and transferred it to hunting insects and wildlife control for a career. His work history includes aircraft manufacturing, before moving to pest management. He sits on the board of directors for the Apartment Association of Greater Wichita, a role he has held since 2016. Lanny enjoys road trips with his daughter and a leisurely round of golf on the weekends.
Bio coming soon
Bio coming soon
Customer Service Representative
The voice on the end of the phone line at APM’s Wichita branch belongs to Peggy Avilez. She loves talking with her clients, both old and new, and answering their questions; to her, they are more like friends than customers. She attacks her job with both enthusiasm and mirth as she loves her job. Not everyone can say that about their job and she takes pride in that.
She has enjoyed her new adventure at APM. So much so that she’s become a certified technician by the State of Kansas, a move she made to help further her career and to better relate to customers.
When Peggy isn’t answering phones, scheduling appointments, keeping her technicians in line, she can be found in her quilt/stained glass studio at home. She and her husband have turned their garage into a huge double-car hobby room where a 12-foot quilting machine is housed. She quilts for others as well as herself.
Peggy is a mother of three daughters and added another son and daughter when she married her husband, Don. Together they have a grandson and two granddaughters. They enjoy traveling, laughing, bowling, hiking, and playing with their grandchildren.
Certified Technician/Master Technician/Bed Bug Specialist
Starting with American Pest Management in a galaxy far, far away (well only about two hours away), Chad became the Junction City technician for AMP in early 2009. Troubleshooting along the way, he went to the Darkside … also known as the termite division. Bringing in oddities found at different sites, and identifying them, 18 months later there was still good in him, and he was picked to be one of the original bed bug team members.
More machine now than man, Chad moved to Wichita to bounty hunt bed bugs, collecting critters along the way. Balancing the force and proving the science and effectiveness Bed Bug Pro-active, he has conquered black widows, wolf spiders, and bed bugs — all without the use of carbonite. He has since graduated to tarantulas, a recent hobby, for which he’s already up to 9.