photo of Genma Holmes courtesy of Genma Holmes
House had the honor and pleasure of sitting down to chat with Genma Holmes aka @bugsact and of GenmaSpeaks
We met through Social Media and have since become admirers of each others work and messages.
Thank you Genma, for being a spirited advocate for human beings, a genuine and compassionate friend, and an awesome BUG KILLER!!!
House: Genma, you are beautiful inside and out. My grandmother used to tell us "Pretty is as pretty does". What lessons were you given to balance your overall disposition?
Genma: Don't read your press. Life is short and one must live it to the fullest. I am a hard worker by nature. I am learning to slow down...some. Getting up at 4:30am instead of 4:00 is not so bad after all! All kidding aside, I kill roaches for a living. The job is not glamorous at all...I just make it look that way!
House: You often speak of your family's influence on you growing up, what was your most important or memorable message from their battles and plights?
Genma: My grandfather was the most humble person I knew. But he was very proud as well. He was humble that he was influential and well known but proud of being able to take of his family and provide my mother and aunt and uncle with an education against all odds. He only had a third grade education but was the most intellectual person I knew. Those opposites taught me that your weakness can be your strengths in life.
House: Entrepreneur, model, writer - I am interested in learning more about your passions! Madame C.J. Walker recipient, safe and effective pesticides, and socially conscious, please share with us your motivation.
Genma: I am motivated about being able to help and serve others. Deposit some in someone's life and watch how it blooms
House: You are also a parent. Describe how you instill value of life and love into your little people.
Genma: My little people are not so little anymore. My oldest is 24. My baby boy is 20 and my daughter, the youngest is 19. Now that my babies are not babies anymore, I am in a different phase of my life. Last year, was my first year not homeschooling and I literally was at a lost because I was so use to that structure that teaching gave me. It took me a minute to find myself after the kids were gone. Now I realize that the my babies are now teaching me about life. I have taught my kids the exact same things that were instilled in me; hard work never killed anyone, accept no one else's 'no' to your dreams and goals, treat the 'little' people like kings because they are and it is the right thing to do, and always do what is right when no one is looking. I don't expect them to be perfect because but I feel strongly they were taught right from wrong. I talk less and listen intently and pray more and more for them. Wisdom does come with age, I must admit. By the time my youngest left home, I was a different mother for sure.
House: Genuine, smart and sassy, you never back down from a challenge - nor do you flinch when it is time to do or say what is right, how do you stand firm with courage?
Genma: I believe that speaking truthly to power with respect. Recently, I shared my perspective to a CEO about an event that had very few minorities in attendance. The room grew quiet because I spoke up and shared that if you wanted more to be you would have made sure they were present. He did not take my observations or boldness very well. But what I noticed a few week later that he included more people of color in his marketing. Now, he is still pissed that I shared my point of view but when he starts to count his money, a year or two from now, he will just find, I spoke to truth to power and in love. I didn't attack him or his company. The lesson here is sometimes you have to just say it. That boldness has been tempered with grace. I did not always have grace with my courage.
House: What does Black History mean to you?
Genma: Black History is American History. Black History is everyone's history. We all reap from learning from individuals that have made this country great. I try not to regulate American History to one month out of the year. I believe in celebrating the contributions made thousands everyday of the year. I teach my history, my Black History, which is American History, everyday. I speak often about my grandfather. He marched, he protested, he served, he gave...not in February but everyday of his life until he took his last breath. When we don't know our history, we suffer as a people, a nation, as a country. The further we get away from our history; we are running from the lessons that were learned from that history. Lately our country is going in a direction that reminds me we are forgetting American History and substituting it for a type of history that all Americans know is not the country’s history. That is dangerous grounds for everyone to be walking on.
House: How does Genma move forward? What do you see for yourself and your projects in 6 months?
Genma: I have come full circle in my life. I am back working in the film industry, but behind the scenes. I have been working on a movie project for the last several months with good friend and film producer, Curt Hahn. I filmed all winter with him so that kept me busy. In the pest control industry, taking the hype of the bedbug frenzy and making sure more education on prevention is what people are learning. There is too much fear and not enough education. That is high on my list. And I am also working to to give two minority scholarships to students interested in the pest control industry in 2011. Several of us who were very active in Minorities in Pest Management from 2005-2010 have gone back to the drawing board and looking to put the organization with a foundation that focuses on scholarships. I have also am startling a PAC as well. Politicians pay closer attention to issues when PCAs are addressing the issues. Sad but true. They serve you better for some reason!
I am blessed. God has been good to me. I want to make sure I am giving back. I want flowers blooming in my yard from the seeds I have planted in others!