Page 6 - Mississippi 811 Magazine 2022 Issue 3
P. 6

Damage Prevention Bo W om ack
By Roger Cox IPresident
ACTS Now Inc.
was born and raised right here in Mississippi,” Bo Womack said with unmistakable pride in his voice. “So, for me, being recognized by Mississippi 811 as a Damage Prevention Champion is both an honor and a bit humbling at the same
In Mississippi, if you talk about locating underground utilities
very much, Bo Womack’s name is going to come up. Not only has he been involved in locating for 28 years, but he has also been actively involved in statewide damage prevention efforts for more than 15 years in Mississippi. In 2007, when the Mississippi Damage Prevention Committee (MDPC) was forming and they were looking for stakeholder perspectives, Bo was one of the first called to sit at the table. As a state director for a large locating company, he was more than a little involved in the frustrations of the industry back then.
A lot of things have changed in the last 15 years. Companies
have come and gone, the dig law has undergone several revisions, enforcement of the dig law is now part of Mississippi’s culture. But one thing that has not changed is Bo’s commitment to damage prevention in Mississippi. Not only is he still involved with the MDPC, but he also answered the call to serve on the Safety City
Board of Directors, worked to improve locating skills for operators across the state and is still involved in locating underground utilities.
And one more major change for Bo, he now owns the locating company. Magnolia Brothers Utility Consultants, a growing company, locates exclusively for C Spire, and that responsibility extends well beyond Mississippi.
He said, “I’m very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to provide the services for C Spire. We have a common commitment to damage prevention and just in general for doing things the right way.”
When asked why after all these years of working in the industry, he remains so actively involved in statewide efforts, he just smiled and said, “there are still too many damages in Mississippi. And with all the utility construction that is going on, it more important than ever to work for solutions as opposed to just blaming the other side. Part of the solution must be education; part is enforcement and the rest of it is making time to communicate.”
Bo is a communicator. When asked where he learned the importance of it, he said, “I have a unique perspective because I worked with my dad as an excavator back in the early to mid- 90s. I’ll admit, I cut more than my share of underground utilities. That’s when I realized there
had to be a better way,” Bo said. “I talked to my dad and told him I had a chance to go into the locating business. I wanted to know what he thought about it.
“My dad gave me some great advice that I’ve used as a locator, manager and in training new hires coming on board. He said, ‘Just remember that when you put your paint on the ground, that paint becomes your signature, so sign it with pride.”
“I remember that as an excavator, I was on the end
of a shovel digging across that 18-inch buffer zone. I remember how frustrating and time-consuming it was from time to time. When I started putting paint on the ground, I wanted to make sure I marked it right.” Bo continued. “And that’s one of the things I like about C Spire. As a company, C Spire believes in doing it right and getting better. C Spire is very committed to the residential and business areas where they are constructing fiber. So our utility locating and marking is very important.”
It is obvious when Bo is talking about communicating, he is talking about something he was born to do. Bo said, “Putting paint on the ground is important communication to the excavator. We’re saying to them, here’s what you’re looking for. By the same token, when the excavator puts white paint on the ground, he says to the locator, I’m going to work right here. Valuable communication does not have to be with a phone in your hand.”
He is not only proud to be from Mississippi; he is proud to be headquartered in Mississippi because there is
no place like home. So, when he talks about keeping Mississippi a safer place to live and work, he means it for more reasons than one.
Congratulations Bo! Thanks for all you do...
4 • Mississippi 811 2022, Issue 3

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