VR-SIM for New York 811

Roger Sampson, New York 811
Annie Burns, UTTO

VR-SIM for New York 811

Join us for a virtual tour of this state-of-the-art, fully immersive VR safety training vehicle and demonstration of real-world scenarios and challenges an excavator may face in the buried underground environment. With LIVE Q&A, delegates will be able to ask questions and learn how this new resource will help to keep stakeholders and New York safe while protecting our critical infrastructure. 

Date:  Wednesday, March 2

Start Time:  4:00 pm

End Time:  4:45 pm

Track(s): Excavator, GIS, Oil & Gas, Notification Center


Roger Sampson is the Executive Director of New York 811 for the past 10 years. He is a past Board Member and President of New York 811 and has been involved with the damage prevention industry for past 20 years. He comes from the utility background having spent 24 years with Verizon. His experience and knowledge have transformed damage prevention at New York 811 to be recognized with innovative and groundbreaking ideas to utilize emerging and developing technologies to the betterment of underground utility protection. He is always looking for new and improved out of the box thinking to continue to drive positive damage prevention initiatives in the New York City and Long Island region of New York 811.

Read articles by Roger in dp-PRO magazine by clicking here.

As a teenager Annie Burns traveled with her family and university professor father to visit his European students and establishments. This instilled a sense of curiosity for human psychology and appreciation of motivated learning factors.

After high-school, she attended London University where she studied Education and Psychology — developing an avid interest in Behavioral Psychology in particular. She went on to teach first & Middle School before moving to Canada, and then the United States, in the late 1980’s. After raising four wonderful children, she attended Columbia University for a Master’s in Clinical Psychology.

In 2008 Annie began working with IPEG, and ultimately UTTO — since its inception — as the company looked to introduce a necessary and long-overdue paradigm shift to an industry with a systemic resistance to change. In her role as VP of Business Development & Strategic Alliances, a big part of her focus has been the motivation, management, and support of the workforce. 

At the same time, she was assessing the industry to cultivate positive relationships between field workers and their parent organizations. She soon realized that communication — or the lack of — was a key bottleneck and took on the unenviable task of encouraging all involved parties to embrace UTTO’s industry-changing technology rather than see it as an existential threat to their livelihoods. 

Annie passionately believes that a workforce that feels valued and appreciated leads to win-win situations with the whole company and industry ultimately benefiting. She is best described as an adaptable people-person, a strong communicator and considerate motivator whose insightful approach keeps efficiency levels high, and everyone firing on all cylinders.