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Local business owner, staff invited to meet with President Trump


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IDAHO FALLS — When Tim Colling decided to give his employees a bonus late last year, he had no idea it would lead to a Washington, D.C., trip and a meeting with President Donald Trump.

But that’s exactly what is happening this week after Colling Pest Solutions received a phone call Wednesday from the White House.

“The phone rang and it was an unavailable number,” says Marquee Rasmuson, Colling Pest Solutions office manager. “The woman said she was calling from the White House, and we thought it was a scam. But as the call progressed, we realized it was true and we became really excited.”

The White House staffer invited Colling and his employees to meet with the president and attend an upcoming meeting called “American Workers for Tax Reform.” Other small businesses from across the country will also be in attendance discussing how the tax reform bill is benefiting their companies.

In December, Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot issued a challenge for Idaho companies to offer employee bonuses due to the tax bill. Colling Pest Solutions accepted the challenge and, in addition to providing one-time bonuses, announced their business would pay quarterly bonuses and 50 percent of employee child care expenses.


“After we announced we were accepting the VanderSloot challenge, The Washington Post and The Associated Press called to ask about our company,” Rasmuson says. “We didn’t think anything of it at the time, but that’s how the White House found out about us. The lady (from the White House) told us they were really impressed with our small family business story and that President Trump wanted to meet us.”

Six employees from Colling Pest Solutions left Sunday night for Washington. The company is paying for the trip and, if everything goes as scheduled, will meet with Trump Thursday afternoon in the Rose Garden.

“We feel very fortunate as a small company from east Idaho to tell our story to the nation,” Colling says. “We’re just very appreciative to Mr. VanderSloot for starting this whole thing, and I hope I’m able to tell President Trump about that.”

Colling continues, “We are just completely flabbergasted. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s awesome to be able to represent our east Idaho and the small businesses that are here.”