2019 Annual Executive Director's Letter

The Backbone of Dig Safely New York, Inc.

If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is that change is the only constant. From cars, to power initiatives, to food, to fads, to technology, and even fashion, everything in our life transforms repeatedly. So why shouldn’t the way we approach damage prevention change?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives; nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to changes.”—Charles Darwin

The way we approach things at Dig Safely New York is to change the way we interact, the way we transform and transmit data, and the services and value we provide to our members and customers, in hopes that our changes will complement the ever-changing environment we live in today. We strive for this to increase communication, comprehension, and safety.
We are constantly looking at the way we approach everything we do, because we know that we can no longer be a passive contact center. We must be builders of the future for the excavation industry in all areas, including education, technology, data analysis, and most importantly—damage prevention.
We’re another year closer to our 50-year anniversary in 2019. This will probably be our biggest year in the organization, not only because it will be commemorative, but also because of some major initiatives taking place. These initiatives are helping us develop new ways to improve the one-call process and make every stakeholder’s experience as easy
and positive as possible.







1. Further educational opportunity and damage prevention technologies by moving into and operating our new facility—The Dig Safely
New York Center for Damage Prevention.
  2. Facilitate vital education to meet new training demands, since amendment to 16 NYCRR Part 753 has been signed by the governor, requiring
training for specific subsets of excavators.
  3. Enhance user experience and add technical advancements to ease the one-call process by developing a new one-call software to replace our current platform.
There’s no doubt that 2019 and 2020 will be the culmination of numerous efforts over the last five years. It has taken a lot of hard work to establish the amount of achievements and growth we’ve seen at Dig Safely New York.

Each year we work hard to manage our operating budget—allocating amounts towards promotion, education, capital equipment, software and licensing, employment needs, office resources, and more. We are always working to over-deliver and under-spend. This annual budget provides us with the essentials necessary to run our operations and work towards our mission of damage prevention, through education, communication, and technology.
Like any business, we could argue that with more funds, we would be able to accomplish so much more. But there are many things I have found that we as an organization have, which cannot be purchased with any budget. These things are more valuable to me as an Executive Director than any budget allocation. They are talent and skill, passion, dedication and loyalty.
This organization is full of some of the most talented and skilled employees a leader could ask for. From identifying problem areas and deploying solutions, to increasing productivity and engagement both internally and externally, to thinking outside-the-box furthering budgetary dollars and resources, to keeping the heart of the Dig Safely New York mission at everything we do, the employees at Dig Safely New York use their talents and skills to ensure we operate efficiently, effectively and to our fullest potential every year. Through proper and creative management, we are able to achieve so much and work progressively for the excavation industry in our state. This is possible thanks to the passion of our current employees.

The passion our employees display shine beyond most organizations. Our employees have a real interest in their work and the mission of our organization, taking an active role in contributing to the differentiating experiences for our customers and members. They are emotionally connected to their work and committed to doing their best. From understanding their impact, to embracing the adventure each year brings us, each of us as individuals, and as an organization as a whole, make an effort to keep growing. Using this passion, our employees work as a team to accomplish every single one of our objectives. There is rarely a time when only one person or one department handles a project from beginning to end.

The employees at Dig Safely New York display loyalty through integrity. The dedication towards improving the business is displayed by all employees and can be outwardly seen at different times throughout the year. When necessary, our employees work more than what is expected of them to help the organization achieve. From working days straight without sleep to fix technical dilemmas, to preparing special events and publications, to supporting the contact center during storms and emergencies, our employees are devoted to our cause. More-so, our employees are dedicated to the vision of what we are working towards for the organization—to change the way the one-call system works and is looked at in New York, and throughout the country.
The traits of our employees and our board has provided us the opportunity to take a leap forward and build our new Center for Damage Prevention. 
This new facility consists of a state-of-the-art one-call and training center to accommodate for the current and future growth of the organization, meet current and future industry needs, and further the reach and depth of education provided to industry professionals. The training center will provide year-round access to classes, certifications, demonstrations, as well as be used as an indoor test bed for the research and development of damage prevention technologies across the industry. And we intended to facilitate all the new building has to offer with the same number of employees we’ve always had, while fostering the growth of this organization.  
I hope you are proud of our heritage we’ve worked hard to establish through achievements and growth, as this is your triumph as well.The work that the Dig Safely New York staff does must be coupled with the hearts and hands of its volunteer-base within the excavation community. As the Executive Director whom oversees all of this, creating strategies and policies that assure both our lofty goals, our comradery, and our operational efficiency is my top priority.
Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy the heart that drives this organization on a daily basis. I am always amazed at what we are able to accomplish as small as we are. We may be small, but with all of us combined, there is a big heart working towards Dig Safely New York’s mission, and I am so proud to be the leader of it.
Kevin Hopper—Executive Director