Page 3 - WV811 2023 issue 1
P. 3

 from the desk of
Jerry Poage
Welcome to 2023’s first issue of the West Virginia 811 Magazine. As has been the tradition since the inception of the magazine, the first issue is devoted to Pipeline Safety.
Beginning the first of the year, I officially transitioned into the role of West Virginia 811 Executive Director. Most of you certainly knew Tom Taylor who announced his retirement effective at the end of 2022. I realize that I’ve got a lot of work to do to fill his shoes, but am committed to gaining your trust as I learn my new role.
Some of you may have known me in my previous role as a locator, supervisor and finally as West Virginia’s District Manager for USIC. I’ve traveled across much of the US locating and in doing so, became very interested in working with 811 Centers in various states. West Virginia is my home, so in May 2021 I was privileged to move back to where I wanted to be. While working as a supervisor here in West Virginia for USIC, I had the chance
to work with Tom and West Virginia 811 and was privileged to be considered for this role when I learned that Tom was retiring from this position.
Tom Taylor served the West Virginia 811 Board of Directors and the stakeholders of West Virginia for more than 20 years as Executive Director. I’ve learned that there is a lot of moving parts to the job and I’m looking forward to opportunity I’ve been given.
One of the most important things I’ve done so far is making time to meet with various stakeholder groups across the state. In part, it is to introduce myself to them but also to make sure I understand their needs so that we can work together to reduce damages while building lasting relationships.
While it is likely I haven’t met you yet, feel free to reach out to me should you have questions, concerns or perhaps you would like an 811 safety training session. If so, just let me know and let’s get it scheduled.
Remember to call 811 before you dig. It’s not only the law, but it is the right thing to do!
Jerry Poage Executive Director West Virginia 811
  2023, Issue 1
West Virginia 811 • 1

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