Gold Shovel Association Expands Board, Elects Officers

The Gold Shovel Association (GSA), an organization committed to improving public and workforce safety by focusing on the protection of underground infrastructure, has expanded its board of directors.

By adding six new members, GSA increased its board from 9 to 15 members, creating a more diverse and inclusive representation of the industries it serves.

In addition, GSA is announcing the election of board officers.

“GSA is committed to improving damage prevention safety management systems – including all aspects of damage prevention from accurate and timely locates to accurate maps and safe excavation practices,” said Luke Litteken, GSA’s outgoing board chair. “The election of these officers reflects this focus.”

The new officers of the board are:

  • Josh Hinrichs, President ELM Companies, (Board Chair)
  • Cheryl Campbell, Retired utility senior executive, (Board Vice Chair)
  • Mike Kemper, Executive VP Mears Group Inc., (Board Treasurer)
  • Peter Kenny, VP Construction Pacific Gas and Electric Company, (Board Secretary)

“Josh’s election as chair presents a unique industry opportunity because of his close connections with Common Ground Alliance, NULCA, and other industry associations,” Litteken said.

Hinrichs leads one of the largest locate and mark companies in North America. His election as board chair reinforces GSA’s commitment to improving the elements of damage prevention associated with pre-excavation while continuing to improve on the use of excavation metrics.

“My perspective as a locate and mark operator, my relationships with other key industry associations, and a strong desire to deliver GSA’s pre-excavation metrics, currently being piloted, are a few of the reasons I stood for election as board chair,” Hinrichs said.

The new board members bring extensive experience and knowledge from design and engineering to construction, community planning and energy distribution. They represent companies that are known nationally for safe operations and industry leading utility and construction practices.

These new board members will serve three-year terms:

  • John Janchar, President Telecommunications Division, Black and Veatch
  • Brian Weisker, Senior VP/COO Natural Gas Business Unit, Duke Energy
  • Mary Palkovich, VP Gas Advocacy, Consumers Energy
  • Tracy Townsend, VP Construction, Compliance and Safety, Washington Gas
  • Bret Weiss, President and CEO, WSB
  • Robert Locke, VP Distribution Operations Dominion Virginia Power, Dominion Energy

While the additions to the board represent a diversity of scope relevant to investments in underground infrastructure, they also represent diversity of gender and of geographical influence.

“I am excited to serve on the board of GSA,” Mary Palkovich said. “All the board members share my passion for putting safety first when managing energy infrastructure.”

The six new members join a board that already includes esteemed representation from the energy distribution, locate and mark, and construction industries. Luke Litteken, Senior VP Gas at Xcel Energy and Kevin Miller, Senior Advisor at Miller Pipeline, round out the rest of the board.

“The board also wants to thank outgoing board members, Michael Catt, Allen Gray and Joe Woomer, for their dedicated service to GSA,” Hinrichs said. “We appreciate their years of dedicated service to GSA, their support of the board, and their contribution to furthering the association’s mission.”

Three board member vacancies are currently being recruited.

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