Monthly Update - December 2021

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2021 CGA Conference & Expo Recap     

Author: Sarah Magruder Lyle, CGA President and CEO

We were thrilled to welcome more than seven hundred damage prevention professionals from across the country in-person to the 2021 CGA Conference & Expo Oct. 12-15 in Orlando, Florida!

The conference kicked off with CGA working committee meetings, where members across CGA’s 16 stakeholder groups collaborated on the latest initiatives and ideas helping move damage prevention forward. Next, attendees packed the ballroom as Next Practices Advisory Committee members held a panel to discuss the “Pathways to Improving U.S. Damage Prevention Status Report”, which identifies and focuses the industry on the advancement of the most effective solutions to address critical damage prevention challenges.

The sold-out 36,000-square-foot expo floor featured seventy-six exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations and technology in damage prevention. The conference also included nearly fifty educational sessions and panels with more than seventy speakers.

Renowned speakers Kevin Brown and NFL legend Joe Theismann brought their inspiring messages to the luncheons on Wednesday and Thursday. Finally, we celebrated the end of a successful conference, and being able to finally be together again since the start of the pandemic, at a tailgate-themed Night of Networking event!

I want to thank everyone who attended and made the conference such a productive, educational, and engaging experience. Cross-industry collaboration is critical to moving our industry forward and reducing damages to underground utilities, and I hope your time at the conference left you inspired to Break New Ground!

We missed those who could not attend, but look forward to seeing all of you in just four months at the 2022 CGA Conference & Expo, April 4-8, 2022 in Anaheim, Calif.! Visit the conference website to register now and secure your spot today!

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More than 300 industry professionals attend 2021 Greater Chesapeake Damage Prevention Training Conference in Ocean City

Author: Matt Ruddo, Miss Utility/One Call Concepts

After making the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Greater Chesapeake Damage Prevention Training Conference (GCDPTC), title sponsors Miss Utility of Maryland/District One Call and Miss Utility of Delmarva were very excited to welcome back hundreds of damage prevention professionals to the 2021 GCDPTC, which took place in October at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City, Md.

The conference, which had more than 300 registrants, was the collaborative effort of partners across the Greater Chesapeake region, including 34 sponsor organizations and a sold-out exhibit hall of more than 40 exhibitors. Dr. Bertice Berry, a best-selling author and award-winning lecturer, kicked off the conference with a keynote that captivated and inspired attendees as they entered two days of informative training sessions, including demonstrations from New York 811 of its new Virtual Reality Excavator Simulator, which features cutting-edge 4D technology creating endless variations of real-world situations; updates from Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH), the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) and One Call Concepts, Inc.; and a Pandemic Panel with representatives from key stakeholder groups across Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C., who shared the unique challenges their organizations faced when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and how they overcame those obstacles to remain focused on and committed to damage prevention.

Attendees participated in the conference’s multiple networking events, including the annual cornhole and golf tournaments, as well as the first-ever "paint and sip" event – led by award-winning paint party service TC Studios – where attendees painted wine and beer glasses during a two-hour guided class while enjoying lunch and networking with other industry professionals.

The conference also honored some of the safest contractors in Maryland and Washington, D.C., for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 Dig Smart Awards, including: Anchor Construction Corporation, 2019-2020 Excellence Award Winner and 2020-2021 Washington, D.C. Winner; BF Joy, LLC, 2020-2021 Excellence Award Winner; Flippo Construction Company Inc., 2019-2020 Washington, D.C. Winner and 2020-2021 Maryland Winner; Gaines and Company, 2019-2020 Maryland Winner; and M Luis Construction Co., Inc., 2020-2021 Honorable Mention Recipient.

Through generous donations at the cornhole tournament and a 50/50 raffle, GCDPTC attendees and sponsors raised a total of $1,215 for Construction Angels, which provides assistance to families who have lost a loved one as a result of a work-related accident. The GCDPTC’s “$811 Dig for Cash” game – where two lucky attendees took home a combined more than $750 – closed out the conference during grand door prizes, making for a very memorable final day.

Save the date for next year’s conference! The GCDPTC will return to Ocean City, Md., from Oct. 25-28, 2022.

Here’s what you missed at the 2021 MWDPTC

Author: Mary Patricia Kindt, Indiana 811 and Kentucky 811

The highly anticipated 2021 Midwest Damage Prevention Training Conference, hosted by Indiana 811 and Kentucky 811 in idyllic French Lick Indiana, was a big success! After being held virtually last year, the event at the French Lick Resort welcomed nearly 600 Midwestern damage prevention industry stakeholders back together in person for a few fast-paced days of networking, education, and fun. During the sessions, subject matter experts from across North America presented on safety tips and best practices in the damage prevention industry, updates on relevant safety laws, current trends in the industry, and even how damage prevention practices are being improved from outer space.

A few highlights included the session How to Properly Manage Change and Create Innovation with John Brix, in which he discussed how to implement useful change into your life both on and off the job, as well as Successful Utility Coordination During Design = Successful Contractor Construction in reference to the launch of the Purple Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project with Sandra Jones, Kevin Hintz, and Theresa Mendoza, and Lone Worker Security: Staying Safe in a Violent World with Carol Dodgen.

Whether you’re looking for an educational session you missed, or to reference information from a session you attended and enjoyed, please visit the 2021 MWDPTC conference website, where several of the speakers’ presentations will be posted.

Also, be sure to save the date for the 2022 MWDPTC, which will take place from Nov. 9-11, 2022 at the French Lick Resort!

Say hello to the Utility Defenders: Five young superheroes on a mission to protect underground infrastructure!

Author: Dana Raidt, One Call Concepts

One Call Concepts, Inc. (OCC) recently announce the arrival of the Utility Defenders! OCC created this “groundbreaking” fictional group, which officially debuted at the 2021 CGA Conference & Expo in October, to help kids ages four to nine better understand safe digging—and to be aware of buried utilities in their homes, schools and neighborhoods.

Each Utility Defenders superhero character represents a different underground facility. With the help of Dispatcher Dora, they all work together to protect utilities, promote 811 and remind kids and adults alike to “Wait! Locate! Before you dig.” Follow the Utility Defenders on Facebook for kid-friendly underground utility damage prevention content.

Utility Defenders content helps kids:

  • Learn about their community’s utility infrastructure
  • Be empowered to spread the word about safe digging, and to remind grown-ups they know to call 811 (or file an online request) to have utilities located before any digging project
  • Understand how to “guard the yard” by becoming aware of utility marks
  • Engage with important mapping, science, math, spatial reasoning and color awareness concepts
  • Learn about careers in construction, utility and damage prevention-related trades

OCC invites all damage prevention stakeholders to partner with Utility Defenders to reach kids in their communities. Learn more and get involved at

Member Tools & Resources Feature Icon

Order CGA Best Practices Guide 18.0 online

Author: Erika Lee, CGA Vice President

The CGA Best Practices Guide 18.0 is available online and in print copies. This newest edition includes two new practices (2-19 and 6-19) and an addition to Appendix B: Uniform Color Code and Marking Guidelines, which reflects technology advancements being utilized in damage prevention. The Best Practices Guide is the preeminent and trusted resource for the industry, with more than 160 consensus-based practices that cover all phases of the safe digging process.

To view the Best Practices Guide 18.0 online and place your orders for hard copies of the guide, visit The Best Practices toolkit, including infographics, is available online to support members, stakeholders and the industry in using the manual and participating in the best practices process.

Data & Technology Data & Technology Icon

Download key takeaways from the 2020 DIRT Report

Author: Steve Blaney, DIRT Program Manager

To highlight the key takeaways from the 2020 DIRT Report, CGA recently published a data sheet featuring valuable takeaways that shed light on the persistent trends driving damages year after year. Some 2020 findings highlighted in the data sheet include the top damage root causes contributing to utility damages, the impact of Covid-19 on damage trends and recommendations for the industry to reduce damages moving forward.

Click here to download the DIRT Report data sheet, and share it within your organization and networks. To take a closer look at year-over-year DIRT data specific to your stakeholder group or geography, visit the DIRT Interactive Dashboard.

For questions about the DIRT Report, contact Steven Blaney at

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Register for CGA’s Sponsorship Summit webinar

Author: Khrysanne Kerr, VP of Marketing and Research   

Join us for the CGA Conference & Inhouse Marketing Summit on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 1:30 p.m. EST. Attendees will learn about exciting sponsorship opportunities to get your brand in front of CGA’s 1,800 members, including the 2022 CGA Conference & Expo, Food for Thought webinar series, CGAlert e-newsletter advertising, and more! Click here to register. For questions, contact Khrysanne Kerr at

Food for Thought webinar series returns in January

Author: Khrysanne Kerr, VP of Marketing and Research  

CGA is excited to be bringing back our Food for Thought webinar lunch series in 2022! We’ll be kicking things off with CGA member BOSS Solutions on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m. EST. BOSS Solutions’ Vishu Nayagam, Director of Engineering & Product Management, and Kristin Reed, Senior Support Engineer, will present “Seeing Is Believing: State of Virginia Improves Underground Utilities Location with Auto-Generated Manifest.” Learn how Virginia 811 is creating and using virtual underground facility mapping to equip excavators with better information and create continuous improvements in their processes, along with visibility into the effectiveness of locates and technicians. Click here to RSVP.

CGA will host January Committee Meetings virtually

Author: Erika Lee, CGA Vice President

We are looking forward to hosting virtual CGA Committee Meetings on Jan. 25-27, 2022. The meetings will be condensed and focus on facilitated roundtable discussions, key program updates and task team reports.

Tuesday, January 25

  • OCSI Committee - 10:30am-12:00pm Eastern
  • Data Reporting & Evaluation Committee – 1:30pm-3:00pm

Wednesday, January 26

  • Technology Committee – 10:30am-12:00pm
  • Best Practices Committee – 1:30pm-3:00pm

Thursday, January 27

  • Educational Programs Committee – 10:30am-12:00pm Eastern

Click here for details and to register to attend a meeting today.  If you’re interested in joining a committee, please reach out to CGA staff at

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