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Contractors and Locators Honored
for Commitment to Safe Digging

Miss Utility presents Maryland and Washington, D.C. excavators and utility locating technicians with 2006 Dig Smart Awards and Locator Achievement Awards

HANOVER, Md. – (April 10, 2007) – Miss Utility is proud to announce the winners of its annual Dig Smart Awards and Locator Achievement Awards. These awards honor the crucial people who have gone above and beyond to ensure the underground infrastructure of Maryland and Washington, D.C., remains damage free.

The Miss Utility Maryland/D.C. Damage Prevention Committee established the programs to recognize excavating companies that make strides to ensure workplace safety, and locators who have zero at-fault damages and exemplify outstanding safety practices.

Dig Smart Awards
The 2006 Dig Smart winners are NPL Construction Co. and Iacoboni Site Specialists, both of Baltimore. These two outstanding organizations were chosen from among hundreds of contractors across Maryland and the District of Columbia for these prestigious awards, which are determined after a review of the company’s damage prevention practices by other industry professionals.

NPL Construction Co., a first-time Dig Smart winner with 100 local employees, specializes in the installation, repair and replacement of gas and underground electric for BGE, and has also served the D.C. metro area and suburban Maryland since 1967.

Iacoboni Site Specialists, a family-owned-and-operated underground utilities contractor for nearly 75 years, has 135 employees and belongs to multiple national and regional trade organizations focusing on damage prevention. Iacoboni Site Specialists was the 2003 Maryland Dig Smart Awards Winner and won this year’s Dig Smart Award due to its excellent record in the District of Columbia.

The Dig Smart winning companies were invited to attend the awards banquet with 25 of their employees, and both received the Miss Utility “Silver Shovel” Award.

Locator Achievement Awards
Winners of the 2006 Locator Achievement Awards were determined from a group of locators, which were nominated by their respective supervisor for being damage-free in 2006. Ballots were sent to the excavating community where one winner was selected from seven different regions in Maryland. The regional winner with the most votes was honored as the 2006 Locator Achievement Awards overall winner.

This year’s winners and their respective coverage areas are:

  • Barry West of Havre De Grace, Md. (Region 1: Harford and Cecil counties) –18 years of service with Harford County Sewer and Water and a first-time nominee and first-time regional winner.
  • Dave Bronson of Laurel, Md. (Region 2: Washington, D.C.) – Six years of service as a locating technician with UtiliQuest and a first-time nominee and first-time regional winner.
  • Heather Fowkes of Severn, Md. (Region 3: Montgomery and Prince George’s counties) – More than 12 years of service as a locating technician at UtiliQuest and a 2004 Locator Achievement Awards regional winner.
  • Pierre Brown of Baltimore, Md. (Region 4: Baltimore County and Baltimore City) – Four years of service with OCC Locating Services, seven years as a locating technician, a 2005 Locator Achievement Awards nominee and first-time regional winner.
  • Ralph Violett of Dunkirk, Md. (Region 5: Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties) – 42 years of service at SMECO and a first-time nominee and first-time regional winner.
  • Randy Bowen of Winchester, Va. (Region 6: Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties) – Eight years of service as a locating technician with UtiliQuest and a first-time nominee and first-time regional winner.
  • Herman Wilson of Baltimore, Md. (Region 7: Anne Arundel and Howard counties) – Eight years of service as a locating technician with UtiliQuest, the 2005 Locator Achievement Awards overall winner and both a 2003 and 2004 regional winner. Herman Wilson was selected as the 2006 Locator Achievement Awards overall winner for the second year in a row.
  • The grand prize for the Locator of the Year, Herman Wilson, was $500 in cash, a $100 gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse, a Miss Utility-embroidered heavyweight work jacket, and a Miss Utility “Silver Hard Hat” award. The six other Locator Achievement Awards regional winners received $100 in cash, framed certificates, and Miss Utility-embroidered golf pullover jackets. Repeat nominees received a $25 Home Depot gift certificate and a framed certificate. Of the 2006 Locator Achievement Award regional winners, both Heather Fowkes (2004) and Herman Wilson (2003, 2004, 2005) are repeat regional winners.

    Awards Night
    All of the awards were presented at a dinner banquet at The Sheraton Hotel in Columbia on March 29, with Tom Hoff, founder of One Call Concepts, providing the keynote address. Mr. Hoff, who has four decades of experience in damage prevention, established One Call Concepts in 1982.

    One Call Concepts now serves 13 states, the District of Columbia and Alberta Province in Canada. Mr. Hoff lauded all attendees for their roles as unsung heroes in keeping our technology-driven area safe from outages.

    At this year’s awards, Kevin Woolbright of WSSC presented Governor Martin O’Malley’s proclamation of March 26-30, 2007 as Underground Excavation Safety Week. In an effort to promote safe-digging practices, the proclamation reminds citizens to contact Miss Utility before starting an outdoor project to prevent damages to underground facilities and property.

    “Throughout 2006, all of our winners – both from Dig Smart and Locator Achievement – have exemplified outstanding safe digging practices and taken necessary measures to ensure their working environment is as safe as possible for colleagues and residents of these communities,” said Wayne Gilmer, Maryland/D.C. Damage Prevention Committee Chairman. “We applaud these companies and individuals who have emerged as leaders in safe digging and thank them for their sincere efforts to prevent utility damage.”

    Solicitation for 2007 Dig Smart Award and Locator Achievement Award entries will begin this fall.

  • To view photos of the 2006 Locator Achievement Award winners, click here.


  • To view photos of the 2006 Dig Smart Award winners, click here.

  • To view photos of the 2006 Awards Banquet, click here.
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