Press Releases

Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans Announces Retirement of General Superintendent of Operations and Longtime Public Servant, Robert Turner

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 24 2021

New Orleans – Following a long career in public service and public works leadership, The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) announced today that General Superintendent, Robert Turner, will retire effective March 4, 2021. Turner joined SWBNO in 2017 as a member of the Emergency Management Team following the August 5, 2017 flood. In January 2019, he accepted a permanent position as General Superintendent of Operations where he took on the responsibility of overseeing all stormwater management, wastewater management, water purification and power generation operations.

During his tenure at SWBNO, Turner has guided efforts to modernize SWBNO’s power generation systems. Due in large part to his hard work, construction is currently underway to house both a dedicated Entergy substation and new power generation turbine at the SWBNO Carrollton Water Plant. These crucial projects will help usher SWBNO into a new era of stable and reliable power generation used to power drinking water, drainage and sewage treatment operations.  

"On behalf of the City of New Orleans, we are immensely grateful for the work and dedication that Bob Turner has provided in the fields of engineering, drainage and public infrastructure," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell of the City of New Orleans. "He committed himself to protecting our region against flooding and has been a key figure in helping our City face one flood season after another. Bob has helped position SWBNO and the City to continue improving upon our stormwater management and drainage operations. His service and leadership have been invaluable, and I wish him all the best in his next chapter in life."

“It has been a true honor to work alongside such a well-respected professional in both the engineering and public service industry,” said Ghassan Korban, Executive Director of the Sewerage and Water Board. “I’m proud to say that Bob is both a colleague and friend. His dedicated and relentless service to both SWBNO and the people of New Orleans will not soon be forgotten. I am deeply appreciative of his contribution to this agency and I am confident that the team he has trained is well-prepared to continue on the path he has set for this utility.”

“I’m immensely thankful to have had the opportunity to serve the people of New Orleans,” said Robert Turner. “The decision to retire was not an easy one. But I know that I’m leaving this agency in skilled and capable hands. I want to thank Mayor Cantrell, our Board of Directors, Ghassan Korban and – most importantly – the men and woman of the Sewerage and Water Board who work day in and day out to provide critical services to this great city.”

Korban recommended to the Board of Directors that current SWBNO engineer, Ron Spooner, serve as Interim General Superintendent of Operations. The Board approved the recommendation in today’s regularly scheduled Board Meeting. 

Spooner previously  served SWBNO as a Principal Engineer within the engineering division and contributed to rebuilding the agency following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Most recently, he served as head of the Network Engineering Department, Chief of Engineering and Interim Deputy General Superintendent.  He also served 22 years as a reservist in the U.S Navy where he served in various leadership roles as Executive Officer, Commanding Officer, Regional Executive Officer and Deputy Reserve Resource Program Manager.  He reported to active military duty in support of Operations Enduring Freedom/Freedom’s Sentinel with the Combined Joint Engineer Branch, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2014 and 2019 serving as Operations Officer and Deputy Branch Head, respectively.

Spooner earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Louisiana Tech University and a Master’s Degree in Engineering from the University of New Orleans.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of California and Louisiana.

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