More than 90 representatives from Virginia electric cooperatives, utilities and contractors gathered at The Hidden Oaks in Chester, Va., on March 15 for Virginia 811’s general membership meeting.

The event featured a presentation by Alex House and Ricky Poe with Atmos Energy about how to put together a successful local damage-prevention committee meeting.

A best-practice panel discussion featured Scott Crawford, VA811 CEO, Scott Brown, Washington Gas,Steve Roark, Benchmark, and Dave Thompson, Henderson Inc.

One highlight of the event was lunch, which was cooked on site and provided by VMDAEC Associate Member S&N Communications. The S&N team smoked brisket, sausage, chicken and ribs, along with sides of green beans and macaroni and cheese outside.

“As always, it was great to see so many sincerely dedicated stakeholders coming together to further discussions about damage prevention,” says VA811 CEO Scott Crawford. “I appreciate all of the questions advanced — those questions and the related dialogue is what helps push an overall culture of continuous improvement and all of us helping to drive damages down closer to zero!”

The meeting also included Virginia 811 Contact Center updates, public awareness planning and a description of the cross-bore program at Columbia Gas by Adam Sayre. Updates to Code 60 were also discussed (see next page for description of changes as of Jan. 2).

–Report by Jim Robertson, Director of Marketing, VMDAEC.