Page 8 - Texas811 Magazine 2022 Issue 3
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Who do you work for and what do you do?
I work for CenterPoint
Energy, South Texas District – Natural Gas operations as
Senior Damage Prevention Coordinator.
What’s a typical day for you?
A typical day for me varies from performing root cause analysis on damages to our natural gas distribution system, doing natural gas and excavation safety presentations for excavators, completing QA/QC audits on our contract line locate resources, resolving customer concerns with
line locates, attending DPC of Texas meetings/functions, conducting field/ job site meetings with excavators, performing high profile facility watch & protect, and attending a variety of other company meetings.
Describe how and when you got involved with DPC.
I became involved with the DPC of Texas back in 2017. I moved from a service technician position into the Damage Prevention Coordinator role within CenterPoint Energy, which was
a newly created position in the South Texas district. In my new position, I
was tasked with finding how to best serve the district by reducing damages and was very quickly referred to the DPC of Texas by local operations and Damage Prevention management. As I started attending the meetings, I quickly learned the value of participating. Not only was I able to provide information to protect CNP assets, but I was able to make contact with other operators and excavators to discuss any issues in the field, and attempt to find a resolution that is/was effective for everyone. I am active in the Central Texas and Border
DPC of Texas Board Spotlight James Steck
chapters and have served as President of the South Texas Chapter for the past three years. I was elected to the 2022 board of directors representing Gas Distribution and was honored to receive the Andy Hoel Excellence in Damage Prevention Award in 2019, as well as the inaugural CenterPoint Energy Damage Prevention award the same year.
Have you had a mentor or person who helped influenced you to get to where you are today in damage prevention?
What motivates you in your personal and professional life?
My family is one of my greatest motivators. I married in June of 2016, and we welcomed our twin girls to
the world in October 2017. Providing the best life I can for them motivates me not only to work safely, but also to do the best I can to prevent pipeline damages to protect the communities we serve.
What qualities do you bring to the DPC board of directors?
Through my everyday work, I am challenged to engage with multiple persons and entities to create solutions that benefit all parties involved. I believe damages can be proactively prevented by having the correct amount of communication/involvement from all parties involved. An important part of this is being able to listen/observe and pull all information together to create a viable solution.
Do you have personal or professional aspirations that could be enhanced by board service?
Personally, I believe being involved with the DPC of Texas Board gives
me the opportunity to live and work safely every day. Being a part of the conversations that can lead to reduced excavation damages not only protects the infrastructure but more importantly protects the communities it serves. Professionally, it is a great opportunity to experience a new role and to continue to gain experience working collaboratively with all parties involved no matter what vested interest they may have in protecting underground infrastructure. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned, it’s that for damage prevention to work it takes a consistent line of communication, so I do my best to help keep those lines open and moving.
Yes, I have been very fortunate to
have Managers and Supervisors, both current and present, that have been very supportive and influential in my growth and development. CenterPoint Energy has a great culture of employee development that allows you to grow in your career as much as you are willing to put into it.
6 • Texas811 2022, Issue 3

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