Author Archives: Lisa O'Leary

Lisa O'Leary

About Lisa O'Leary

Lisa O'Leary is the Manager of Digital Communications for the American Gas Association. Prior to joining AGA, Lisa served as Manager of Multimedia Communications for the Senator John Heinz History Center, "the Smithsonian's home in Pittsburgh," and as a Web Producer at WPXI-TV, Channel 11 News in Pittsburgh, PA. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.

Lisa O'Leary ‘Call 811 Before You Dig’ Sets Sights on Third Straight Kentucky Derby Win

Photo Credit: USA North 811

Photo Credit: USA North 811

Following two successful years partnering with Kentucky Derby winning jockey Victor Espinoza in 2014 and 2015, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) is teaming up with jockey Junior Alvarado to promote Call 811 in this year’s first leg of the Triple Crown.

Four members of CGA, an organization dedicated to educating professionals and homeowners about the importance of following safe digging procedures, are the official sponsors of Alvarado. Thanks to USA North 811, Dig Alert, Dig Safely New York and Kentucky 811, one of the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby next month will be wearing the bold “Call 811” logo on his jockey pants and riding boots in front of millions of television viewers and more than 100,000 in attendance at the track.

“Junior is a young, talented jockey and we are happy to partner with him this year in an attempt to win a third straight Derby for Call 811,” said Ryan White, General Manager of USA North 811 – the 811 notification center serving Northern California and Nevada.

A call to 811, which should be done a few days before beginning all digging project big or small, connects you to a local One Call Center which gathers information about the project and alerts your local utility company. Crews then locate the utility lines near the planned project and make sure they are properly marked so you can be sure to avoid them. The process is fast, simple and free.

AGA looks forward to cheering Alvarado to victory on May 7 during the Kentucky Derby. Let us know how your utility plans on promoting Call 811 during National Safe Digging Month in the comments section below or by emailing Jackie Bavaro at We’ll share your stories on AGA’s social media pages and blog.

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Lisa O'Leary National Safe Digging Month Begins


Image Courtesy Common Ground Alliance

This April marks the ninth annual National Safe Digging Month (NSDM), an initiative put in place by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) to raise awareness about safe digging practices and the importance of calling 811 to prevent accidents, property damage and outages.

Before you embark on any excavation project big or small, be sure to dial 811 to be connected to your local One Call Center which will gather information and alert your local utility company. Crews will then locate the utility lines near your planned project and make sure they are properly marked so you can be sure to avoid them. Both the call and the service are fast, simple and free.

Construction and digging damage is the leading cause of pipeline incidents across the country, most of which can be prevented if proper protocol is followed. Thanks in large part to the work being done by CGA and AGA-member natural gas utilities to promote “Call 811,” excavation damages for all underground facilities have drastically decreased by approximately 50 percent since 2004.

Throughout this month, AGA will be highlighting the creative ways local natural gas utilities are educating the public about this crucial, and potentially life-saving, program on Twitter, Facebook and the True Blue Natural Gas blog. Let us know what your utility has planned by posting below or emailing Jackie Bavaro at

Posted in 811, education, safety | Leave a comment

Lisa O'Leary #FuelingOurCommunities: So Others Might Eat (SOME)

IMG_5607Over the holidays, the American Gas Association (AGA) launched an industry-wide giving effort by designating December 2015 as Giving Month, encouraging its staff and natural gas members to volunteer time and make donations to charities in need.

The response was incredible, with support given to numerous nonprofits and local community partners across the country, including hunger relief organizations, military retirement communities, winter coat and toy drives for children, and laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.

AGABecause of the great feedback and interest from AGA staff to continue this effort in Washington, D.C., monthly volunteer opportunities have continued at So Others Might Eat (SOME), an interfaith, community-based organization that assists the poor and homeless by serving meals to those in need in the area. Here are some of the things AGA staff have shared about their experiences thus far:

“Truly a wonderful experience – the folks that run SOME are really professional, caring and friendly people who make all feel welcome.”

“SOME is at the intersection of humanity where good comes to the assistance of need.”

“Volunteering at SOME is a wonderful opportunity to give a little of ourselves to those that are less fortunate.”

Sign outsideIn addition to feeding nearly 200 people each day, SOME offers services to help break the cycle of homelessness, such as affordable housing, job training, addiction treatment and counseling, to the poor, the elderly and individuals with mental illness.

AGA is grateful for the opportunity to continue to volunteer with SOME and looks forward to helping to serve hundreds of meals throughout the year. To look back on AGA’s members’ activities during the holiday season search #FuelingOurCommunities on Twitter.

Posted in community, energy, Giving Month 2015, people | Leave a comment

Lisa O'Leary AGA’s Safety Video Awards Are Back

movie clapper board FINALAGA is pleased to once again present the AGA Safety Awareness Video Excellence (SAVE) Awards, recognizing the outstanding contributions utilities across the country make in natural gas communications and safety.

Many utilities have already put in the hard work of making safety videos. This provides an outlet to share these important messages and advocacy priorities of the natural gas industry.

AGA Full and Limited Members are encouraged to submit videos which highlight natural gas safety. One winner will be selected in each of the following two categories:

  • Internal audience – video created specifically for staff training, awareness or education.
  • External audience – public communications video targeted to the general public or a specific group within the general public.

The videos can be brand new or something pre-produced, but must have been created after May 2014 and cannot be a video that was previously submitted to the 2015 SAVE Awards. It is recommended that the videos be no longer than four minutes.

The award recipients will be announced at the AGA Operations Conference General Session being held on April 20, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as an article in the American Gas Magazine and the AGA Blog.

Procedures & Conditions | Submission Form

Submissions are due to AGA by March 14. Public voting for external videos begins on March 24, 2016.

Posted in utility, video | Leave a comment