One Woman’s Heroic Journey to Save Her Child’s Life, and Yours
Shaken by the near death of her 4-year-old son, Tyson, when he suffered his first asthma attack, author Sue Fries journeys into understanding the breathing condition that affects tens of millions of Americans annually. Her research on asthma has yielded little-known causes and cures as well as tips for staying healthy. Also known as the Termite Lady, Fries is the Southern California–based owner of Ecola Services, an organic termite- and pest-control business, and is also a former director and chairwoman of the Pest Control Operators of California. She has a passion for educating the public on how to eliminate life-threatening allergens.
Kelli McKay talks to Sue about her new book “LEARNING TO BREATHE: One Woman’s Heroic Journey to Save Her Son’s Life, and Yours”
It’s not every day you see a woman in the pest control industry, let alone one running a successful termite and pest control company approaching its 30th Anniversary. Unless you meet Susan Fries, owner of ECOLA Services, a pest and termite control company dedicated to alternative treatments.
Fries (pronounced “freeze”) purchased Ecola in 2000, making it her passion and purpose to offer effective, but gentle alternative termite and pest treatments. “People need to know they have a choice on what methods to use on/in their home. There are powerful, effective, and healthier alternative methods available. Ecola will individualize the best solution to fit their needs and lifestyle. That gives the customer the opportunity to view their options and decide whether or not to tent their property,” Fries states. The “Termite Lady,” as she is known in the industry is not afraid to even get down and dirty and show up at a job fully prepared to do the termite work herself.
Prior to entering the industry, Susan worked at Max Factor Cosmetics and in jewelry sales in Canada. She even appeared on the day time show Days of Our Lives; more than a dozen commer- cials, and won a car for dancing on American Bandstand.
Before her venture into pest control, Susan had wanted to impact her world in a big way. Susan saw that opportunity in alternative termite and pest control early on. She became an advocate for “green” treatments when confronted with the importance of sustaining an alternative approach to pest control due to family health issues. Her son, Tyson battled chronic asthma that sent him to the hospital numerous times as a direct result of chemicals used and allergies not known until he was tested.
Fries is proud of the fact that Ecola cares and is motivated in her vision for the future to continue setting the standard for other companies in her quest to protect people’s health, their investments and the environment. By personally using less and less chemicals through modern technology, Susan hopes to minimize the use of chemicals worldwide and truly help with informing people of their indoor air quality and how it affects their health.
She is also aware of the importance of the pest control industry. “There would be a lot more sickness and death in the world without the work of the pest control industry and the chemicals used. However, at the same time, less is more as we need to know our options and be smart about our living environment.”
Running a company with more than 50 employees that serve from San Luis Obispo to San Diego isn’t always easy. Especially as a woman owner in a male dominated industry. “Many companies have given alternative treatments a bad name. There are many imposters and chemicals that are not truly alternative.”
Susan takes pride in her accomplishments: recipient of the 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, Best Green Exterminator from 2007-2012 by LA Magazine; 2010 Woman In Business award by Business Journal, and Business owner of the Year by the United Chamber of Commerce; and being featured on the History Channel’s Modern Marvels, KTLA News Channel and KCAL9, to name a few.
Yet, despite her successes, Susan knows that women and mothers face a lot of challenges in the working and corporate world and stresses the importance of being knowledgeable. “From my personal and business trials I’ve learned that you don’t know what you don’t know…and what you don’t know can hurt you. I’ve come to realize that the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.” When not working hard to lead the way in alternative treatments, Susan has been hosting a syndicated radio show since 2010 on KKLA 99.5 FM dedicated to inspiring and encouraging people. (The show airs on Saturdays and additional information can be found at www.suefries.com).
Ms. Fries is an avid competitive dancer and took 5th place in the U.S. Open Swing Dance Competition. She recently had a horse riding accident that shattered her leg, yet miraculously she is not only walking but able to dance competitively again.
Sue is also writing a book on the importance of indoor air quality and hopes to have it published in February. The book is titled “Learning How to Breathe”. If you’d like to learn more about alternative treatments and the importance of indoor air quality, please be sure to visit www.ecolater-mite.com or suefries.com
Recently I had the privilege to speak at the 5th Annual Faith at Work Conference at Concordia University. I was humbled and honored to be used by God to share with and encourage believers on the topic of faith at the workplace. I’ve included a few wisdom snippets for your enjoyment. ~
Learn more about Ecola and its services in this informative interview with Sue Fries
American Bandstand 1978
Dick Clark, Sue Fries, Jon Rosenman
We won a car each for the best dancing couple of the year. We were in a 8 week contest that was voted on by viewers who sent in postcards for their favorite couple.