WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Harvey L. Massey, chairman and CEO, Massey Services Inc., has been selected for membership in the prestigious organization. Mr. Massey joins 12 other accomplished business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor in 2016. Since its establishment in 1947, the Horatio Alger Award is annually bestowed upon recognized leaders who have succeeded, despite facing adversity, and who are committed to both philanthropy and higher education.
Mr. Massey was raised in the small town of Melville, LA. He grew up in a home of modest means and as a young boy, he worked at his grandfather's general store. His parents divorced when he was in high school, and Mr. Massey began running the family ice business part-time to support his mother, taking it on full-time after graduation. For Mr. Massey, college had never been presented as an option, but knowing that he did not want to continue with the family business, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Security Agency at 18. He continued to support his mother financially, sending her more than half of each paycheck. He supplemented this income by working various part-time jobs. His time in the military greatly influenced Mr. Massey, and he came away with the life-changing understanding that he wanted to manage people – and a business. He joined Orkin Exterminating Company in 1963 as a sales inspector and worked his way up to become the youngest Vice President in Orkin's history, overseeing the Midwest Region in Chicago. Five years later, Mr. Massey left Orkin to assume the position of senior vice president of Operations at Terminix. Under his leadership, annual revenue for Terminix grew from $40 million to over $100 million. In 1985, he purchased Walker Chemical and Exterminating Company in Orlando, FL, an established brand with fewer than 100 employees, which he later renamed it Massey Services. Today, Massey Services is the fifth largest pest management company in the industry and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015.
"Horatio Alger Association is proud to welcome Mr. Massey as a Member of the Association," said Byron Trott, president and CEO of Horatio Alger Association and 2011 Horatio Alger Award recipient. "From an early age, he understood the importance of taking initiative and serving as a leader. His values are aligned with the Association's mission and he will be an inspiration to our Scholars for years to come."
Mr. Massey has been recognized by the Orlando Business Journal as "Most Respected CEO," "Most Respected Businessman," and one of "Orlando's Most Influential Citizens" as well as the Orange County 2006 Citizen of the Year. He was named "Top 50 Most Powerful People" by Orlando Magazine, and in 2001 Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood proclaimed October 18th "Harvey L. Massey Day." Mr. Massey and his wife, Carol, have made significant contributions to the fields of education, arts and culture, including The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Orlando, Nemours Children's Hospital, Veteran's Memorial Park of Central Florida, Burnham Institute and Rollins College. Mr. Massey is a respected leader in the pest management industry, serving on many boards, including National Pest Management Association and Professional Pest Management Alliance. Mr. Massey was previously vice-chair of United Way and chairman of United Arts. In 2014, the Harvey and Carol Massey Foundation was established to further solidify Massey Services' long-term commitment to – and mission of – being a contributing member to the community and the industry.
In accepting this honor, Mr. Massey commented, "Like the Horatio Alger Association, I am a firm believer in the power and reality of the American Dream. Perseverance in the face of life's obstacles often enables one to achieve what they thought was not possible. As someone who has experienced both triumphs and challenges, I understand how important the Association's mission is in helping youth across this great country pursue their dreams. I look forward to contributing to this valuable mission."
Through its Members, Horatio Alger Association aims to educate young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system. To further this goal, the organization awards scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced numerous challenges, but have also displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming them. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $110 million to students in need. Scholarships are funded solely through the generosity of Association Members, Life Partners and friends.
Mr. Massey and the Member Class of 2016 will be officially welcomed into the organization during the 69th Annual Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C., from March 31-April 2, 2016. In addition to recognizing these tremendous leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also honor its 2016 National Scholarship recipients, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and learn from one another.
For more information about Horatio Alger Association and a full list of its Class of 2016, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity and pursue their dreams through higher education. Thanks to their generosity, the Association awards more than $11 million annually in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships across the United States and Canada and provides college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $110 million in college scholarships to more than 22,000 deserving young people. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
SOURCE Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.