Erin Hayes – Demonstrating a Steadfast Commitment to Damage Prevention

Editors Note: Erin Hayes moderated the Fiber Optic Asset Protection Summit at the 2017 CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference. Read about her experience and learn more of her story on page 26.

Erin Hayes got her start in the cable and telecommunications industry in 1983 at American Cable Television. Ten years later she joined Midco, where she has held a series of complex management positions.

As Director of Corporate Construction at Midco, Hayes oversees building of new infrastructure and Midco Network expansion projects. Hayes’s team is responsible for Midco Network projects, which span more than 9,000 miles of fiber optic network. In addition, Hayes has influenced the creation and application of best practice construction guidelines for newly acquired systems. She’s designed and promoted Midco’s internal project and capital tracking system. And, she led the efforts to convert more than 8,800 miles of RF coax plant from an AutoCad platform to a GIS platform. This initiative won the
2016 Special Achievement award at the Esri User Conference.

Hayes is a constant learner, recognizing when she needs to know more about emerging issues and finding ways to get information. She’s taken a keen interest in damage  revention, which centers around role responsibility in the construction process while ensuring the safety of the general public and all stakeholders working on the project. Because of this passion, Hayes led the efforts to create and implement Midco’s Target Zero safety program during the company’s Moorhead, Minnesota, new build project in 2009. After the implementation of Target Zero in Moorhead, fault incidents were reduced by 106%. Due to the proven success of Target Zero, Midco now enforces the safety program on all of its underground construction projects.

Hayes then took her passion for damage prevention a step further. She served as Chairman of the Board of South Dakota One Call (the first woman to chair the group) from 2012-2014. She is currently a board member representing telecommunications companies throughout South Dakota.

“While in office, Erin introduced the new South Dakota 811 logo and worked with a committee and the Board to successfully award a contract for a new South Dakota 811 Center through Texas811. She presided over 66 legal issues involving alleged South Dakota One Call violations, introduced a new electronic ticketing process through the 811 Center, and facilitated changes to the South Dakota 811 website from SouthDakotaOneCall.com to SouthDakota811.com,” said Larry Janes, South Dakota One Call Executive Director. “She also facilitated the transition of management of the website from the state of South Dakota to the 811 Center. Erin continues to be an active and valued member of the South Dakota One Call Board of Directors.”

Over the course of more than 30 years in the industry, Hayes has been very involved and demonstrated a steadfast commitment to damage prevention within the cable tele-communications industry. She serves on the Infrastructure Review Advisory Board; as a member and past President of the Society of Telecommunication Engineers (SCTE) Dakota Territory Chapter; as past member and Past President of Southeastern Chapter of American Public Works Association; as past Junior Achievement elementary classroom volunteer; as a Circle of Red member who led top fundraising responsibilities for the 2016 American Heart Association Go Red for Women Event; and as a member of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT). Hayes was also named the 2015 EmBe Tribute to Women – Business Achievement award winner and the 2016 WICT Woman in Technology Award winner.

Hayes continues to refine practices and standards that govern the activity of Midco contractors to respect and protect the assets of others as well as Midco’s. She is also currently working on a project to identify critical network infrastructure, underground asset mapping through GIS and best practice compliance. Throughout her deep commitment to the industry, Erin has always found time for her family and community. Erin Hayes is a true Damage Prevention Hero.


We want to bring attention to those people who go above and beyond to take actions that may prevent a damage or even save a life. Send your nominations to Michele@emailir.com.


In this department we honor the many unsung heroes in all stakeholder groups . Some of the most important damage prevention efforts are those at the grass roots level. These heroes include locators, excavators, facility owners, technicians , people doing public awareness presentations , and executives who approve funding for effective damage prevention programs.

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