Arrow Exterminators Celebrates 50th Anniversary of first yellow pages ad

John Wright had just graduated from Columbia High School in DeKalb County in 1973 when he started a job as a termite renewal inspector for Arrow Exterminators, where his father, A.D. “Butsy” Wright, and brother, Bill Wright, both worked.

“I had just finished high school and getting ready to go off to college [at Georgia Perimeter and two years later Georgia State],” he said. “I worked all summer and enjoyed it and made good money. When I started college, they asked me to come in and work on Saturdays or afternoons during the week. I worked three days a week during the year when school was in session and then worked full-time in the summer.

“The plan was when I got out of college, I would look for employment elsewhere. I put feelers out and did interviews and what they offered me was less than what I would make at Arrow, so I stayed.”

Today John Wright is now the Sandy Springs-based company’s vice president of sales, one of its longest-tenured employees and a testament to Arrow’s legacy as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

The company started in 1964 in the garage of co-founders James S. “Starkey” Thomas Sr. and his wife, Imogene “Jean” Thomas. Two months later it moved to the back room of a salon, patronized by Jean Thomas and owned by Raymond Morris, on Clairmont Road near DeKalb Peachtree Airport. Arrow then opened an office on Buford Highway in DeKalb County for seven years before moving to its current location in the late 1970s.

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