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What a month Texas811 had for August!

Of course, August is when we celebrate National 811 day - and more on that in a moment.
First, our membership has now grown to almost 1500.
Our average daily ticket volume has reached 12,000 and we are well on our way to doing 3 million in 2015.
Texas811 is a proud sponsor of The Turning Point, a North Texas women's rape crisis center based in Plano, Texas.  Several Texas811 employees turned up at a recent charity casino night event for the center to roll the dice for a good cause and a good time.

Pictured-left to right, 
Tanya Diaz (DPA), Cassie Shields (Training Manager), Shakheana Fields (Image Manager), Lauren Losawyer (Image Coordinator), Cindy Graham (Executive Admin), Christi McLain (Quality Assurance Specialist)  
The Portal
Important Links

Spanish Community

Our work with the Hispanic community in Texas continues to grow exponentially.   We are members of both the Hispanic Contractor's Associations of Dallas and San Antonio, and have been flying our flag at their events.
The Food Truck provided snow cones for the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association golf tournament.  We routinely process more than 2000 locate requests that originate in Spanish per month.
Our Spanish Facebook page now has 311 likes as of August 28.


Gangster PSA

The Texas811 "Gangster" PSA has now been accepted for airing in these television markets in Texas: Dallas, Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont, El Paso, Harlingen, Houston, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, Tyler, Longview, San Antonio, Temple and Weslaco.

If you haven't seen it yet, it is a 30 second Public Service Announcement about calling 811 before you dig. You can see it here.

We are happy to say it won five national Telly awards for a PSA. 
August 2015 Newsletter
Mike's Message
September is now here, and we are - as 811 jockey Victor Espinoza might say - in the home stretch for 2015. Cooler weather is on the way along with holidays, football and yes, more digging. Which means more calls to Texas811!
We are well on our way to a 3 million ticket year...up from last year's 2.5 million total.  It's not unusual anymore to see a 12,000 ticket day here. I'm very happy to give a big hurrah to everyone connected with our call center for stepping to the plate and handling the increasing load.
Our new Homeowner Portal has officially launched, and it's getting a lot of use as homeowners take advantage of this quick and easy way to log in for a locate.
Speaking of homeowners, we're reaching deeper into the Home Owner Association market in Texas, getting the Texas811 name and story out to HOA's from Austin to Dallas.
And our membership base is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. We will soon be activating member number 1,500.
August was a scorching month for us, and not just from the sun. Our Communications Department has put together some of the highlights, and we hope you'll enjoy reading about them next.
Safe Digging!

Mike Losawyer
President, Texas811
  Digby Returns

Our favorite underground ambassador is back in action at Texas811. Digby, our spokesdillo, has returned from his vacation and is buff and lean, as you can see in this picture. Digby was redesigned by Jay Schuh at Toons-N-Design studios. Among their clients are JCPenney, Toyota, Comedy Central, the American Heart Association and Sherwin Williams.
Digby is now more of a superhero (or super-dillo, if you prefer) and is ready to shovel out information on safe digging in Texas. He even has his own Facebook page:
We sat down with him for a recent q/a and he provided us with these answers.

Birthplace: Dallas, Texas
Height: Yes
Weight: Muscles weigh too much-broke the scale
Age: Super heroes don't age
Place of Employment: Texas811
Occupation: Texas811 Safe Digging Spokesdillo
Phone Number: 811 (yeah, you didn't see that one coming, did you?)
Hobbies: Archaeology, gardening, geology, weight lifting
Favorite Food:Anything that feeds my muscles
Favorite Song: "Dig A Tunnel" from The Lion King
Favorite Subject in School: Safe Digging
Favorite Color: Dirt comes in so many colors it's hard to choose
Favorite Book: A Hole is to Dig, by Ruth Krauss; Maurice Sendak, illustrator
Favorite TV Show: Diggers on National Geographic Channel
Favorite Movie: Holes
Favorite Sport: Golf - there are 18 holes involved!
Favorite Superhero: You're looking at him

  HOA Activity

As part of our drive to get the safe digging message out to more homeowners, we've been very active in seeking out and delivering materials to HOAs around the state.
To date, we have partnered up with Southwest Management Services, Stonebridge Ranch at McKinney, the Austin chapter of the Community Association Institute, 4Sight management, PAMco and Sun City at Georgetown, Texas. We've been featured in both the Austin CAI magazine for May (Read here) and also in the Stonebridge Ranch website and magazine: Read here.

Homeowner Portal 
After a lot of hard work, our Director of Technology Services, Sarah Spears, and her staff have launched our Texas811 Homeowner Portal - and it's popular! It's been used over 1,000 times since coming online in August!
Now you can truly "do it yourself" when it comes to making a call to 811 to get underground lines and cables located before you do work around your house. The Texas811 Homeowner Portal is located here:

Homeowners can now fill out the request form online with an easy-to-use question/answer format. Like the rest of Texas811's services, it's available 24/7/365. The Homeowner Portal improves safety and damage prevention as its "ease-of-use" encourages more homeowners to participate in the 811 program.
In the first half of this year, some 25,000 homeowners have already called in for locates on their property.
Among the new Homeowner Portal features are the following:
  • Request your locate online at your convenience
  • Easy-to-use question and answer format
  • Satellite imaging makes it easy to find your property
  • Straightforward mapping tools allow you to mark your work area
  • Questions? Online chat available Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
And of course, like every other 811 service to any other excavator, the Homeowner Portal is free of charge!
And so far - The Portal is also being added to the website and social media posts originating from Texas Gas Service, and our friends at Stonebridge Ranch have also added it to their website!

 PBS Show
Texas811 was approached by PBS affiliate KAMU in Bryan/College Station about doing a half hour informative program for the PBS network on the 811 system in Texas. The end result is titled "Guarding Unseen Texas: The 811 System" and has so far aired or is in the process of airing on eight of the twelve PBS affiliates in Texas.
The program has been seen or will be seen in: Austin, College Station, Waco, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Amarillo and Killeen, and of course in cities close by to these station's transmitter ADI, or Area of Dominant Influence. Check your local PBS listings for times. Many thanks to our underwriters for this show:   Magellan Midstream Partners, LP, Enterprise Products, Atmos Energy, The Damage Prevention Councils of Texas, Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer.
You can see it here.

 Bow-fishing with Lauren and Hunting in the Sticks
Texas811's Image Coordinator Lauren Losawyer, a champion archer, took to a boat to shoot an upcoming episode of "Hunting in the Sticks" on bow-fishing with Ricky Mills and Jimmy Duncan of HITS.

Lauren began archery at the age of five in the Indian Princesses organization. She got into competition shooting in 2009, winning 2nd place in the women's compound division for the Deerman's T.H.E. 3D World Championship.
The show is about bow-fishing for gar and alligator gar in the Frio River and Choke Canyon Lake.
It will air November 4, 6, 8- Wednesday 9am, Friday 1:30pm and Sunday 2pm on the Pursuit channel.


 National Coverage: Garden Railways Magazine
The mantra of safe digging and calling 811 is appearing in the October, 2015 issue of Garden Railways Magazine. The magazine is issued six times per year, and appears in hobby shops nationwide.   Texas811 contributed an article on why homeowners installing a garden track/railroad need to dial 811 first. The article does not mention Texas811 by name, but rather is designed for nationwide consumers who may be unfamiliar with the 811 system.
Since 1984, Garden Railways has been the number-one magazine about the hobby of garden railroading.

 Locate Rodeo
It's time to put on your boots, because Texas811 will be hosting the 2016 International Locate Rodeo finals.
Texas811 hosted a well-attended regional utility locate rodeo in May of 2015 at the University of Texas at Arlington.  Texas811 President Mike Losawyer and the rest of the Texas811 staff is ready to offer up a big Texas-friendly "Howdy!" to all competitors and exhibitors for the event when it comes to North Texas in 2016.
"We're excited for this opportunity, and look forward to welcoming all contestants and exhibitors to our home territory," says Losawyer.  
JimBob Sims, Texas811 Director of Damage Prevention, agrees. "The locate rodeo finals showcase the absolute best in the business. Georgia has done a great job in hosting, and they've set the bar high."

 811 Day
Finally - Texas811 batted it out of the park for National 811 Day on Tuesday, August 11. We were sponsors for the Frisco Roughriders baseball game against the Tulsa Drillers in Frisco, and also took part in the festivities for the Midland Rockhounds team. We were also part of Atmos Energy's kickoff to plant 811 trees in honor of 811, all across the state of Texas. That event took place in downtown Dallas at Thanksgiving Square.
Texas811 also served as emcee for a CPS Energy event in San Antonio, marking the mayor's proclamation of 811 day in the Alamo City.
Possibly the single largest 811 day event in the nation was also in Dallas - as the Dallas Omni Hotel featured the Texas811 logo on the side of their 23 story building in a vivid moving light display.

Check out the helicopter video of the event here!
That puts a wrap on this month's newsletter. If you've got an event coming up that we should give a shout out for, send an email.

Until next time, dig safe!