Damage Prevention Hero – Claudette Campbell

Claudette Campbell

What those who know her best have to say about this true Damage Prevention Hero

Kathie Fournier, Emeritus CEO, Miss Dig

“Claudette and I are good friends that never hesitate to take an opportunity to have “girls” time that not only includes our chance to catch up about our personal lives, but always ends up in a discussion on how we can work to improve One Call and changes to the One Call industry.”

Annette Reburn, Executive Director, Alabama 811

“Claudette has been a mentor, cheerleader and mother-hen to many of the people in this industry, past and present. Her willingness to provide information, encouragement and support at the drop of a hat is an example we should all live by. She has made a great impact to this industry that will be remembered for years to come.”

Stephen Rieben, Senior Vice President One Call Operations, PelicanCorp

“Being a Connecticut Yankee, and living in the New York City / Boston corridor, I confess to sometimes having difficulty understanding Claudette. We don’t have accents up north (right!). Just think how much more you’d have accomplished, Claudette, if you didn’t take the time to speak in that slow Southern drawl … (just kidding!) As the song says, ‘Thanks for the memories,’ Claudette, and, from one pioneer to another, thanks also for your many contributions to our damage prevention industry!”

Scott Landes, President, Infrastructure Resources and Rhino Marking & Protection Systems

“Claudette may be retiring but neither she nor her impact will ever be forgotten. She has done an awesome job choosing and grooming the next generation to take over at Georgia811.”

Bill Boswell, General Counsel

“Knowing you has been one of my greatest joys, and our work (and play – mainly your shopping excursions) is something I treasure.”

“Claudette may be retiring but neither she nor her impact will ever be forgotten. She has done an awesome job choosing and grooming the next generation to take over at Georgia 811.”

Louis Panzer, Executive Director with NC811

“Claudette, you have seen me through being a young pup to now one of the One Call “digger dogs” who is leading by your example. You have helped me and countless others to learn and grow in this industry and I wish you all the best. I am not sure if you know the impact you have had on myself and others but I want you to know that your open heart, knowledge and friendship have made me a better person. Much love CiCi!”

Khrysanne Kerr, Vice President of Communications and Program Development, Common Ground Alliance

“Thank you for believing in a 23-year-old kid who didn’t know the difference between fatback and a streak-of-lean. You’ve made certain that my purpose was not just work, but to work for a purpose. You’re leaving Georgia a safer place and in the capable hands of leaders you’ve groomed. Enjoy retirement C2 and cheers to your years!”

Bill Turner, President, Tennessee 811

“Claudette helped create a needed industry that protects people and facilities while offering rewarding career opportunities to people like myself.”

Glynn Blanton, State Liaison – Southern Region, USDOT / PHMSA State Programs

“It has been a pleasure knowing you and working on damage prevention initiatives that have improved the community, state and nation in keeping the products being transported by pipelines, cables and wires in their carrier. As you have mentioned before, if you surround yourself with people smarter than yourself, keep your eye on the projects and business, and stay in full compliance with the law, you will be the winner. God bless you for your leadership in making a difference in damage prevention and protecting the infrastructure!”

Nancy Davis, Principal, Davis Planning & Consulting, Inc.

“Claudette, I am so grateful God brought us together, first as work colleagues, then as friends. I’ll always remember when you called to welcome me to your board. I was honored to serve with you for 11 years and I treasure the friendship that grew out of working together. You’re a special woman, full of love and encouragement for others. You are leaving a legacy that will live on beyond your years working with GA811 and in the industry. You have made a difference. Now it’s time for you to relax and enjoy more time with family and friends and make new memories. You’ve earned the benefits of retirement and I pray that yours is filled with blessings!”

Patti Lama, CGA Board and Education Committee Member. Retired from Portland General Electric

“Thanks for your guidance, encouragement and friendship! I am so glad I have had the opportunity to work with you and become your friend. ENJOY retirement! Come and visit anytime. I know we will keep in touch!”

Cliff Meidl, President, Cliff Meidl Enterprises, LLC

“Claudette, I’m very proud and honored to know you as a friend as well as being a recipient of your inspiration in life. Thank you for believing in me and assisting me in the world of damage prevention.”

The “Godmother” of Damage Prevention

The name Claudette Campbell is as synonymous with Southern Belle as it is Damage Prevention. Dubbed the “Godmother of Damage Prevention” by Don Heyer, PR Manager with USA North, Claudette lives and breathes damage prevention. Claudette is a woman who walks the walk. Kathy Fournier, Emeritus CEO, Miss Dig, said, “She lives with one philosophy and everyone around her knows her beliefs.”

Ask anyone in the industry and it seems they’ve known Claudette for as long as they have been involved. Most people met her through groups that have evolved over the years but continue today. Have you heard of the SOCS (Southeastern One Call Systems) Group? How about UPC before it became Georgia 811? Or, National Dig Safely Team before it was Common Ground Alliance? Maybe NJUNS, the National Joint Utilities Notification System, a project for overhead utilities which is still operating today? Claudette, at one time or another, has been involved with all of them, earning her recognition as an “early national damage prevention innovator.”

If you’ve met her, you’ve learned to never underestimate her. Described as irrepressible by Stephen Rieben, Senior Vice President One Call Operations with PelicanCorp, “… she has never been one to keep her opinions to herself and once she’s got it in her mind that something needed to be done or, more often, done differently, look out! All you could do is stand back and get out of her way. She might have employed the mannerisms of a Southern Belle to persuade and promote her objectives but her focus and determination ensured that, one way or another, she would win out!”

“With a passion to educate, Claudette realized early she needed to promote damage prevention and safe excavation through any format she could find.”

Described as a “One Call Pioneer” by Bill Boswell, General Counsel, Claudette is a trailblazer and one of the longest- serving icons in the industry. This brief list of accomplishments is a testament to her drive and determination:

• Creating Southeastern One Call Systems

• Dig Safely Campaign

• Best Practices

• Attaining a 3-digit number for Calling Before You Dig

• Creator of the International Locate Rodeo

• Member of the task team that created Common Ground Alliance

• Helping Georgia grow from a working board to a governing board

• Influencing Georgia dig law

• Linking team member of the original USDOT Common Ground Study

• Georgia Utility Contractors Association (GUCA) Lifetime Achievement Award

• Establishing the Utilities Protection Center (UPC) as a separate entity from Southern Central Bell Company

• Changing Georgia Damage Prevention Law requiring all utilities to become a member of UPC

• Mentoring the next generation, not only in Georgia, but nationally

• First recipient of the CGA Hall of Fame Award

Claudette recognizes the mission of damage prevention has no boundaries. With a passion to educate, Claudette realized early she needed to promote damage prevention and safe excavation through any format she could find – media, handouts, legislation, education, etc. Patti Lama, CGA Board and Education Committee Member, compliments Claudette as being her strongest mentor. A nonstop promoter, safety is always at the top of her priorities list.

Khrysanne Kerr, CGA Vice President of Communications and Program Development said, “Claudette has been a visionary and a leader in education. A progressive board of directors and dedicated staff have undoubtedly prevented utility damages and saved countless lives. Her willingness to lend her staff to her peers and to national organizations to serve in various volunteer leadership capacities has helped to better the industry.”

While Claudette’s triumphs within the industry can’t be denied, Rieben pointed out that her achievements extend to all aspects of her life. As a mother and a grandmother, “…balancing her professional career, the travel, the meetings, etc. and still being there for those who are most dear to her is a wonderful achievement!”

Visit the DIGITAL Edition of Damage Prevention Professional (dp-pro.com/currentissue) to see what those who know her best have to say about Claudette Cambell, a true Damage Prevention Hero!

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1 thought on “Damage Prevention Hero – Claudette Campbell”

  1. Claudette Campbell

    Going through some memories tonight and just wanted to say hello, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. Being retired for a year makes me realize how caring this industry is. Keep looking for the next step to make what you are doing even better. I miss my damage prevention family.

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