CenterPoint Energy created the inaugural CenterPoint Energy Damage Prevention Award to recognize an employee who demonstrates the leadership qualities necessary to drive progress in the damage prevention industry. The first recipient of this inaugural award was James Steck, a damage prevention coordinator in New Braunfels, Texas. James was awarded a custom-made hardhat decorated with the 811 brandmark.

“James is very active in the damage prevention community in Texas and is very deserving of this honor,” said Robert Botello, manager of damage prevention in Texas. “In fact, he’s heavily involved in three different damage prevention councils in our state and serves as the president of the South Texas chapter in the Southwest Region.”

James was recognized with the award during a virtual team meeting for the entire damage prevention and public awareness department. During the award announcement, James was praised for:

  • achieving measurable results in an efficient and effective manner regarding safety, customer satisfaction, compliance requirements and productivity;
  • ensuring contract locators follow the best practices when marking company facilities;
  • fostering partnerships with local excavators and locators; and
  • collaborating with all levels of company leadership.

“Our damage prevention and public awareness staff is quite large and geographically spread out across several states. As you can imagine, this dynamic can provide a challenge to engage and recognize team members,” said Ashley Babcock, director of damage prevention and public awareness. “This award is a fun way we praise the many people in our department who are going above and beyond to improve public safety. James is one of those individuals, and I’m proud to call him a colleague.”

CenterPoint Energy’s damage prevention and public awareness department covers nine states: Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas. This award is an extension of the team culture that is built on collaborating with damage prevention partners and sharing and learning proven practices to educate the public and excavators on safe digging.