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2011 South Dakota/North Dakota Pipeline Safety Operator Training
Speaker Biographies

Speaker Biographies, PDF (98 KB)

Ron E. Blum, PE: Locating Sewer Laterals for Trenchless Installations
Ron was born in Nampa, Idaho, and grew up in Wyoming and South Dakota. He graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Since then, he has worked for Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. in natural gas distribution engineering and operations throughout the company's five-state territory including three years as the senior engineer in the Bismarck general office. He has been a gas superintendent in Bismarck, N.D., and Rapid City, S.D., for the last two years. While in Bismarck, his responsibility included overseeing engineering for Great Plains Natural Gas in west-central Minnesota. Ron is a licensed professional engineer in North Dakota.

David E. Bull, ARM: WinDOT, the Pipeline Safety Encyclopedia; Pipeline Failure Investigation Process from Start to Finish
David Bull is well known throughout the gas industry for outstanding training programs, expertise in regulatory compliance, development of the odorization audit and evaluating manuals and damage prevention programs. In 2006, he spent six months in Kuwait developing the KOC Pipeline Safety Regulations based on the DOT format. He also completed a study on safe distances and class location and wrote public safety awareness and operator qualification plans.  David's background includes risk assessments and compliance reviews for more than 75 gas utilities for AEGIS Insurance Services, membership on the Damage Prevention Quality Action Team (Dig Safely) and as a staff member of the Pipeline Safety Office of Training and Qualifications. He is currently an advisor for the SHRIMP Software being developed by the American Public Gas Association Security and Integrity Foundation. David is a contributing editor to Pipeline and Gas Technology magazine, authoring the monthly column Pipeline Safety Arena. He has more than 35 years experience helping pipeline operators to assess regulatory compliance programs and manage their risk and liability exposures. He is a principal in ViaData LP, publishers of WinDOT, The Pipeline Safety Encyclopedia. WinDOT contains all federal and state regulations, more than 1,000 interpretations, the Gas Piping Technology Committee Guide and all historical documents relating to the DOT regulations.

DeWitt Burdeaux: DIMP Mini Course; Revised Incident Reports/New Distribution Annual Report; Drug and Alcohol Program Mini Course; Construction Issues; What's Wrong with this Picture?; Control Room Management; Review of New and Upcoming Regulations; Question and Answer Session and Wrap-up
DeWitt Burdeaux began his career in the energy industry spending more than a decade with a transmission/distribution company in Louisiana serving in various operating functions including oversight of district compliance activities. From there, he joined the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources' Pipeline Safety enforcement group as an enforcement officer for five years. This led him to 12-plus years with the U.S. DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) where he was responsible for training federal, state and industry personnel on pipeline safety compliance issues. He was active on various agency initiatives, such as implementation of integrity management for hazardous liquids pipelines, background research related to integrity management for distribution pipelines, and rulemaking for onshore natural gas gathering lines. In February 2007, DeWitt accepted the position of director of safety and DOT compliance for Quicksilver Resources, Inc., a Fort Worth, Texas-based exploration/production and gathering company. He rejoined PHMSA in March 2009 with similar responsibilities as in his previous federal service.

Sam Hall:  Federal Damage Prevention Update
Sam Hall is a program manager for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.  Sam coordinates a variety of PHMSA damage prevention initiatives, including the Technical Assistance Grants program, the third-party excavator enforcement rulemaking, and several cooperative agreements with damage prevention and pipeline safety stakeholder groups such as the Common Ground Alliance and the National Association of State Fire Marshals. Sam began working with PHMSA in 1998 in support of the National Pipeline Mapping System and served as the GIS manager from 2003 to 2005. He left PHMSA in 2005 to pursue opportunities in Virginia state government and returned to PHMSA in 2008 to serve in his current role.

Marty Iozzo: State of the Art Cathodic Protection Practices and Equipment
Marty Iozzo is the president and co-owner of General Corrosion Corp., a Twin Cities based full-service corrosion control company specializing in cathodic protection. He is a cathodic protection specialist certified by NACE International. He has been active in the corrosion industry for more than 20 years and has been a member of NACE since 1991. Marty is a frequent speaker at seminars and workshops on topics ranging from basic electricity to advanced cathodic protection.  His educational background is in electronic technology and his extensive working background is an accumulation of years of hands-on fieldwork in the corrosion control industry.

Doug Lee: Where's Everyone Digging: Pipeline Activity in the Upper Great Plains
Doug Lee is a civil engineer with 25 years of experience in the pipeline industry. He has worked in conjunction with numerous oil and gas companies to develop thousands of miles of pipeline for gathering systems, transmission systems and distribution systems for natural gas and transmission pipelines including pump station design and construction for natural gas liquids. Doug is familiar with the policies and state and federal regulations governing pipeline design, construction and operation. He has worked throughout the United States on a variety of oil and gas industry projects.

Doug recently joined Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, a regional engineering, surveying and planning firm and oversees the development of all pipeline projects.

Tim Mahedy: Damage Prevention Practice at Xcel Energy
Tim Mahedy started at Xcel Energy in May 2004 as a locating field supervisor moving into the Damage Prevention Manager position in June 2006.  He currently sits on the Board of Directors at Gopher State One Call and chairs the Minnesota Regional Common Ground Alliance. He has also represented Xcel Energy as an officer in Multiple Utility Coordinating Committees in Minnesota. 

Tim started in the damage prevention industry in 1997. Prior to coming to Xcel Energy, he worked in the locating industry for multiple contract locating firms holding positions as supervisor, trainer, and manager. His experience includes locating underground telecommunications, gas, electric, sewer and water facilities. He has worked throughout most of the Midwest. 

Marti Marek: Gas Piping Technology Committee DIMP Guidance; Gas Piping Technology Committee Guide Part 192
Marti Marek is the director of engineering and project support at Southwest Gas Corp. and the current chair of the Gas Piping Technology Committee. Marti has more than 25 years of experience in the natural gas industry and has held positions in sales, measurement, engineering, compliance and gas operations. She received the Gas Utility Manager Outstanding Manager Award in recognition of her construction of a
state-of-the-art emergency response training facility in Arizona. As part of the PHMSA/NAPSR/industry task group, Marti helped develop the GPTC Guidance for Distribution Integrity.

Andrew Martin: Fire-safe Insulating Gaskets
Andrew Martin is an outside sales representative for GC Products, Inc., in Williston, N.D. Previously, since 2001, Andrew worked in various inside sales and warehouse positions with GC Products covering their manufactures representative contracts and their wholesale products division. He is an active member of the Williston Basin API Chapter and the Dickinson API Chapter.

Dave McElroy: Sioux Falls Sanitary Landfill Gas Pipeline System
Dave McElroy is the sanitary landfill superintendent for the city of Sioux Falls. He has overseen the expansion of the landfill's gas collection and control system including the 11-mile intrastate transmission landfill gas pipeline project to POET Biorefining-Chancellor. The city of Sioux Falls owns and operates the landfill gas pipeline that serves the ethanol plant where POET uses the landfill gas to produce process steam as part of the ethanol manufacturing process. Prior to taking a position in solid waste Dave was an environmental analyst for the city of Sioux Falls where he specialized in wastewater issues and supervised the city's industrial pretreatment program.

Dan Miller: MidAmerican Energy Company's Approach to Risk Prioritization; MidAmerican Energy Company's Experience with the DIMP Pilot Audit Inspection: Process and Audit Results
Dan Miller is a senior engineer in gas engineering for MidAmerican Energy Co., a position he's held for three years. His past experience includes stints with Nicor Gas in Naperville, Ill, and EN Engineering, LLC in Woodridge, Ill.

Kara Semmler: South Dakota Pipeline Administrative Rules
Kara Semmler is an attorney, representing the PUC staff in pipeline safety proceedings before the commission and helping develop recommendations for policy and enforcement matters. Before joining the PUC in 2006, she was the director of research for the South Dakota Municipal League and spent two years in private law practice. Kara has a law degree from Hamline University and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Carthage College. She has completed the introductory gas safety class through the federal Pipeline Safety Office of Training and Qualifications.

Nathan Solem: South Dakota Damage Prevention Improvement Process Update
Nathan Solem is the manager of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission's pipeline safety program. He is a certified pipeline inspector with more than 30 years of experience in engineering, financial analysis, manufacturing and technical sales. He began working with the Pipeline Safety Program in 2006 and currently directs the operation of the program and performs inspections. Nathan holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He has also earned certifications as an emergency management professional and a senior professional in human resources. He has completed all required and elective training courses from the federal Pipeline Safety Office of Training and Qualifications.

Daniel J. Woehrle:  Sewer Lateral Issue in Minnesota
Dan Woehrle is the manager of gas system engineering for Xcel Energy in St. Paul, Minn. He has 30 years of experience in the natural gas industry and has held various positions in measurement, new business and engineering. He is a past chairman of the AGA Distribution and Transmission Engineering Committee and is a registered professional engineer in the states of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

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