Damage Prevention Hero – Dora Parks – Just call her “Miss Utility”

EVERY ISSUE WHEN WE START INTERVIEWING PEOPLE TO WRITE OUR DAMAGE PREVENTION HERO ARTICLE, WE NEVER HAVE A SHORTAGE OF VOLUNTEERS WILLING TO SHARE THEIR PERSPECTIVE ON WHY AN INDIVIDUAL DESERVES TO BE HONORED WITH THIS DESIGNATION.

This issue, however, the response we received was overwhelming. It seems “everyone” knows (and loves) Dora Parks–and wants to talk about it!

Why? Well, simply put, Dora Parks is passionate about damage prevention. She just celebrated 30 years with One Call Concepts and during that time she has tirelessly promoted the dig safe message to people of all ages, including professional excavators, contractors, utility owners, homeowners, and even children – generally, anyone who might excavate, demolish, or disturb the earth. According to Jim Barron, Executive Director of MD Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Authority, “Dora Parks has become the face of Miss Utility in Maryland and DC. Many people actually ask her if she is Miss Utility.”

In the words of Mark Hamrick, Damage Investigations Western Maryland for Verizon, “She is the direct and driving force behind Maryland damage prevention efforts from our monthly meetings to safety training to the Maryland Board of Directors (utility owners). She ceaselessly and tirelessly promotes damage prevention in everything she does.”

As Secretary of the Maryland/DC Damage Prevention Committee, Dora along with the Committee developed a Damage Protection Training Program for contractors, homeowners, facility owners, and anyone who wanted to learn about Maryland’s Miss Utility Law and how to prevent damage to underground infrastructure. The Maryland Underground Authority uses that program for required damage prevention training for violators of the Maryland Miss Utility Law. Dora also serves as Secretary for the Maryland/DC Subscriber’s Committee. Through funds allocated from outgoing Miss Utility tickets, Dora executes multiple educational outreach programs across Maryland, reaching well over 100,000 people and companies each year who live and operate therein.

Dora is the first female board member of the Associated Utility Contractors of Maryland and belongs to the Public Works Contractors of Maryland, the Anne Arundel Contractors Association, and NUCA of DC.

Dora is instrumental in the execution of the GCDPTC, Locator Achievement Awards, and Touch-a-Truck program. Matt Ruddo, Director, Client Relations, One Call Concepts, Inc. stated, “Dora took the Miss Utility Damage Prevention Program for Maryland and DC to another level by increasing attendance at the monthly meetings through vigorous networking.”

According to Corrine Sullivan, Manager Meetings & Events, One Call Concepts, Inc., “Dora loves little people and works hard to educate them and have fun at the same time,” working with the Boy Scouts on the CBYD merit badge and the Touch-a-Truck event.

Dora’s pending retirement in June of this year will leave a gaping hole in the Maryland and DC damage prevention communities. I quite frankly don’t know what many of the contractors will do without her assistance in resolving problems.”

Susan Sullivan, ITIC Coordinator, One Call Concepts, Inc., speaks to Dora’s mentorship qualities, “Dora has taught me about the many aspects of damage prevention and safety, regional dig laws, procedures and processes particular to the One Call center, outreach, and damage prevention and safety training. She is a joy to work with. It is refreshing to work with someone who truly cares about you, your family, and your wellbeing even beyond the workplace.”

Scott Brown, Damage Prevention Manager, Washington Gas, speaks for many of the people who have had the pleasure to work with Dora, “You have definitely made an impact on this industry and we are all better off because of your contributions to damage prevention.” Steven B. Keyser, Vice President, Miss Utility of Delmarva, agrees, “Dora is the best of the best regarding damage prevention. Her dedication and passion are second to none. I truly enjoy working with her. I have learned so much about the industry from her.”

Barron’s final words, “Dora’s pending retirement in June of this year will leave a gaping hole in the Maryland and DC damage prevention communities. I quite frankly don’t know what many of the contractors will do without her assistance in resolving problems.”Live help

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