Dynamic Duo: Tudor & Wesley Vasile
The Vasile brothers couldn’t be more different: Wesley is a yogi who is happiest out in nature, while city-loving Tudor lives life in the fast lane. It’s their differences, though, that make this duo a force to be reckoned with. Syngenta chats to the co-owners of Trusted Pest Management to find out what it’s like working with family.
Tudor: Growing up, my father had his own pest control business. He’d talk about termites, cockroaches and spiders at the dinner table, and take me and my brother out on weekends to help him with jobs. When I finished school, I refused to work in pest control. Instead, I entered the corporate world after studying business at university.
In 2009, though, I was made redundant because of the GFC. I lost my job, my apartment and broke up with my girlfriend, so I moved back home. Dad said, “mate, why don’t you come work for me?” I thought it would be a good change of scenery, so I did. That’s when I started to see pest control as more than just walking around spraying pesticides all day. I saw it as an opportunity to find solutions to people’s problems. I found a passion for it.
Then I had a run-in with my father. I had big ideas about how we could take his business to a national level. Dad, content with not growing, sacked me. I went to work for my cousin, and soon an opportunity came to buy his business. When Wes and I started, we didn’t even have a van; I had to borrow my mum’s Holden Astra Coupe. I’d turn up to jobs with my ladders, drills and chemicals in mum’s car, and people would go, “where’s your truck?” I’d say, “oh, it just broke down the other day, I have the weekend family car until it gets fixed.” Now we’re an international business across Brisbane, Sydney and the Philippines, and we hope to one day be the biggest family-based, Australian-owned pest control business in the country.
Wes and I are yin and yang. My brother is a yoga instructor and borderline hippy who is one with the earth. He’s got humility and empathy; he really connects with all our staff and works with their strengths. He is also the Termite Whisperer and understands anything to do with pest control. I’ve been labelled as the accelerator of the business: the big vision thinker with the drive. I love being in the office. Having worked for corporates in the past, I develop our strategy, go out work on sales presentations and seek out new opportunities.
I think we have a great team dynamic: Wes is on the field while I’ll focus on behind the scenes. I want to take over the world tomorrow, whereas my brother grounds me back down to earth and says, “let’s just do this one step at a time”. I think my mindset complements him too, and pushes him out of his comfort zone.
Ten years ago, Wes and I started a charity called the Mental Awareness Foundation, which runs Australia’s largest Mental Health Walk. Two of Wes’ good friends took their lives in a three-month window, so that prompted us to do something and raise awareness about this important issue.
Making a difference is an awesome feeling, and I’m glad to be able to do that with my brother. I’m blessed to have him as a partner, both in business and in giving back to the community.
“We’re chalk and cheese, but that makes us stronger.”
Wesley: When my cousin started Trusted Pest Management in 2000, I remember falling in love with the name – how it stood for being someone you can trust. Twelve years later, my cousin wanted out of the business. Tudor had moved back to Brisbane from Sydney and was working for my cousin as a technician, while I had been working in my dad’s pest control business since 1999 and needed a change. Tudor said, “why don’t we take this opportunity?” so we took over the business.
I had mixed emotions at the time. I was sad to leave the family business because I was seeing mum and dad pretty much every day. But it was an exciting learning curve, starting something new and growing from just three people – me, Tudor and an accounts manager – to up to 30 staff worldwide. It’s been an incredible journey.
Becoming business partners has brought Tudor and I closer as brothers. We don’t always see eye to eye, but we care for each other and want the best for our business. I trust him 100 per cent. In 2014, I took off for six months to travel around the world. Tudor looked after the business, and he did such a wonderful job. I knew he would do the right thing – that if there was something wrong or a complaint, he would sort it out. My brother has a very unique way of connecting with people. It continues to surprise me how he can make people feel at ease without really knowing them.
As a duo, I’d say we’re good cop, bad cop. I’m diplomatic, while Tudor is a lot more direct. We may look and sound the same, but we’re chalk and cheese! My brother was the reason we expanded to Sydney two and a half years ago. Tudor just had itchy feet; he’s always enjoyed the big city life, the fast pace. If it wasn’t for his drive, we wouldn’t have gone the Sydney route and found our GM Matt, who has helped take our company to the next level. We would still be doing well, but we would be smaller.
Today I still work hands-on in the business. I love being outside, not stuck in front of a computer all day. To get a good work-life balance, I exercise in the morning, do yoga and meditate, try to eat a clean diet during the week, get out in nature by hiking and surfing. Mental health is a big issue for me, as I lost two mates to suicide ten years ago. I encourage everyone in this industry to care for their mental health. It will make you a better technician or business owner if you’re more grounded.
Dad – who we call the Godfather of pest control – is very proud of us. He never tells us directly, but we always hear from his customers how proud he is of us boys for creating an international business that’s bigger than what anyone would have dreamt back in 2012 when we started.
That’s what I’ve learnt from Tudor: that we can be bigger than what we are. His drive and his vision have taught me so much.
#doublethepower #dynamicduo #twobetterthanone #pestiepartnerships #celebratethepestie
Find Wes & Tudor at Trusted Pest Management in Queensland.
Story first seen in Professional Pest Manager magazine 2020.