CGA Announces Retired Astronaut Colonel Mike Mullane as Keynote of 2024 CGA Conference & Expo

Washington, DC (Feb. 9, 2024) – Common Ground Alliance (CGA) – the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities – today announced that retired U.S. Air Force Officer and former NASA astronaut Colonel Mike Mullane will be the keynote speaker at the 2024 CGA Conference & Expo in Colorado Springs, Colo., from April 14-18, 2024.

Col. Mullane retired from NASA and the Air Force in 1990 after completing three space missions aboard the shuttles Discovery and Atlantis as a member of the inaugural group of space shuttle astronauts. Following his retirement, Col. Mullane has become an acclaimed author and speaker, educating businesses, government and the public about his experiences as an astronaut and the importance of prioritizing safety in the face of outside pressures.

His keynote will delve into the risks of the normalization of deviance – a phenomenon in which teams repeatedly accept a lower standard of performance until that lower standard becomes the norm – and share how the damage prevention community can work together to break this dangerous pattern, secure critical infrastructure and save lives.

“Col. Mullane has a deeply personal understanding of how easy it is to accept lower standards when the worst-case scenario has not yet occurred,” said CGA President and CEO Sarah Magruder Lyle. “His unique perspective on risk and safety will inspire industry professionals from across the country to double down on our push to reduce damages to critical underground utilities by 50% in five years.”

The CGA Conference & Expo is the damage prevention industry’s premier event, bringing together more than a thousand damage prevention professionals for four days of focused collaboration designed to chart a path for Rising to the Challenge of Damage Prevention together. In addition to the dynamic keynote speaker, conference attendees will engage with educational, solutions-oriented programming, interactive breakout sessions and networking events with key industry decision-makers.

Registration for the 2024 conference is open now. For more information about the CGA Conference & Expo, visit

About CGA

CGA is a member-driven association of nearly 4,200 damage prevention professionals spanning every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the preeminent source of damage prevention data and information in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at

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