Massey Services’ founder Harvey L. Massey dies

January 25, 2023 -  By
Harvey Massey

Harvey Massey

Massey Services’ retired founder, chairman and community leader Harvey L. Massey died Jan. 24 at the age of 81. In 1985, after working for Orkin and Terminix, Massey purchased his own business Massey Services. In 1985, he moved to Orlando, Fla., and purchased a stagnant 50-year-old pest and termite company for $3.9 million. Under his leadership, the company grew to a $350 million business in 2023.

Massey Services, No. 26 on the 2022 LM150 list, also offers landscape services including aeration, custom-blended fertilizers and pH testing. The company also offers targeted weed, insect and disease control.

According to the news release, Massey “leaves a legacy of service, care, and accomplishments. He was a man known for his thoughtful leadership, drive and compassion. He was a mentor to many, a friend to all and a beloved husband, father and grandfather.”

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carol Massey; their three children: Angela Rignanese (husband Shane), Tony Massey (wife Jann) and Andrea Massey-Farrell (husband James); and 10 grandchildren.

When creating Massey Services, Massey, “wanted to be the best: to take care of customers and team members; to value relationships with vendors; to give back to our communities and the industry; and to challenge ourselves to find innovative solutions for our environment. He was immensely proud of Massey Services’ team members for their unending commitment and dedication to the company he created,” according to a release.

Harvey and Carol Massey, Photo provided by Massey Services

In 2018, Harvey and Carol Massey donated $3 million to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Fla. (Photo: Massey Services)

Total customer satisfaction was not just a slogan for Massey. In the early 1990s, he was the first in the industry to offer a money-back guarantee. He believed that if you told the customer you were going to do something, you did it; if not, they deserved their money back. He was accessible to any and all customers who contacted Massey Services with a concern and elected to keep his telephone number public.

In 2018, the Orlando Business Journal (OBJ) named Massey Services one of central Florida’s “Best Places to Work.” This marks the eighth time the company has received this honor.

“It is truly an honor for Massey Services to be recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in central Florida,” said Massey Services Chairman and CEO Harvey L. Massey. “I’m very proud of all our team members and thank them for their dedication and commitment to providing quality service.”

A philanthropist, Massey and Carol formed the Harvey and Carol Massey Foundation in 2014 to solidify their commitment to being contributing members of their community. When asked why philanthropy is important, he would reply, “Philanthropy, at its best, is about caring, sharing, and giving back. When you think about it, aren’t these the attributes and qualities we all respect and admire?” He believed Winston Churchill said it best, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. In other words, you can’t go through life with catcher’s mitts on both hands…sooner or later you have to throw something back.”

He also gave his time to the community and served on many boards including Board of Governors for Stetson University; Board of Directors of Pontifical Irish College of Rome, Italy; Board of Directors for Florida Citrus Sports; Orlando Chamber of Commerce Enterprise Fla.; and Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, to name a few.

In recognition for his contributions, Harvey received countless awards including Mennello Museum’s Distinguished service award, Laureate in Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, Orlando’s Most Influential Citizen, Economic Development Commission’s James B. Greene award, the H. Clifford Lee Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2016, he received the prestigious Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Award in Washington D.C.

A  memorial service will take place on Jan. 28 at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Winter Park, Fla. 

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