Photography by Green Street Studio
Interview by Jennifer Proe
SHAKER LIFE | SUMMER 2017 65
Who: Gary B. Caldwell
Where: Moreland Neighborhood
Business: Acme Exterminating Company on Lee Road.
Mission: To provide safe, competent, effective, and environmentally friendly pest
management services for homes and businesses throughout Northeast Ohio.
What I Love About My Work: I love getting to the root of problems and solving
them. While eliminating the infestation is the immediate concern, figuring out how
the problem arose in the first place, so it can be avoided in the future, is what I find
most satisfying. Our clients have enough on their plates without having to learn pest
biology and predict their behavior.
Personal Background: Gary’s parents, Robert and Martha Caldwell, established
Acme Exterminating in Cleveland in 1964. Gary worked in the business from a
young age, passing the exterminator’s licensing exam at 16. He attended Bowling
Green State University where he majored in economics before returning home to
join the family business. ¶ In 1981, the Caldwells relocated the business to its current
location in Shaker Heights. Gary moved his own family to Shaker in 1993, where his
four children attended the Shaker schools. He now has 10 grandchildren, one of whom
attends Shaker Middle School. Gary was the assistant track coach at Shaker Heights
High School for 11 seasons, with a few more at John F. Kennedy in Cleveland and at
Akron Buchtel High School. He still serves as a track and field official in his spare time.
On Working and Living in Shaker Heights: Says Gary, “I love the easy access to
fine dining, entertainment, and professional sporting events. I enjoy the community
arts events at the Shaker Heights Public Library and the Colonnade. I also enjoy the
patrons and conversations at Gimme Java on Lee Road. ¶ “I love the Shaker schools.
My first introduction was through former administrator Dr. James Paces, when I was
serving as the education committee chairman for a statewide professional association.
We developed an elementary level science curriculum that was eventually implemented
at Woodbury. I was invited to join the High School’s track and field coaching staff in
1992, and I’m happy to say that I’ve maintained cherished relationships with a host
of current and former coaches, faculty, staff, and students.” ¶ “I also like greeting, and
being greeted by, police officers in our community. Security was a factor in relocating
here, both personally and professionally. Twenty-three years later, I still feel safe – for
myself, my children and my grandkids.”
Acme Exterminating Company
3709 Lee Road, Shaker Heights, OH 44120