Board of Directors

About the Board

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans' eleven member Board of Directors consists of the Mayor, the chair of the Public Works, Sanitation and Environment Committee of the New Orleans City Council or his designee, two representatives of the Board of Liquidation, and seven citizen members, of which five represent council districts and two consumer advocates and one of the appointments shall be a retired civil engineer.

Citizen members are appointed by the mayor with the advice and consent of the city council from a list of nominees submitted by a Selection Committee comprised of representatives from the following organizations: Dillard University, Loyola University, Tulane University, Xavier University, Delgado Community College, University of New Orleans, Southern University at New Orleans, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Urban League of Greater New Orleans.

Citizen members are required to be registered voters in Orleans Parish, shall have been a domiciliary of Orleans Parish for two years previous to their appointment, shall have experience in either architecture, environmental quality, finance, accounting, business administration, engineering, law, public health, urban planning, facilities management, public administration, science, construction, business management, community or consumer advocacy, or other pertinent disciplines, and their appointment shall reflect the gender and racial diversity of our city. Two citizen members shall be consumer advocates with community advocacy or consumer protection experience or experience in a related field.

The term of office for members appointed to the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans is four years and a member shall serve no more than two consecutive terms of office.

The Board holds committee and regular meetings once each month, to which the public is invited. Visit the News & Events section for a current schedule of meetings.

Current Board Officers

LaToya Cantrell President

Mayor Cantrell’s life has been steeped in community service. As a little girl, her grandmother would bring her to neighborhood meetings, and by the age of 13, she was serving as secretary for her local chamber of commerce. "My soul found its home in New Orleans," is how Mayor Cantrell describes her arrival in 1990 as a student at Xavier University. After graduation, she and her husband, Jason, bought a home in the Broadmoor neighborhood, and Cantrell became an active member of her new community. As the President of the Broadmoor Improvement Association, Cantrell led the neighborhood’s redevelopment following Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. Flooding decimated Broadmoor, but through citizen engagement and Cantrell’s leadership, Broadmoor is now considered an international model for disaster recovery. Elected to the City Council in 2012, Cantrell has prioritized improving people’s lives. On May 7, 2018, Mayor Cantrell was sworn in as the first female Mayor of New Orleans, just in time to celebrate the city’s tricentennial, or 300th anniversary. She is a dedicated wife to her husband, Jason, proud mother of her daughter, RayAnn, and a parishioner at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church. Mayor Cantrell pledges to produce results that will create a more equitable and safe New Orleans for all residents.

Current Board Members

Jay H. Banks

Jay H. Banks is a native New Orleanian and a lifetime District B resident. He is the eldest son of Gloria Bryant-Banks and the late J. Herbert Banks, III. Jay is married to his beautiful wife Artelia Bennett Banks and is the father of two sons. Jay is a proud product of the Orleans Parish Public School System having graduated from Henry W. Allen Elementary School and McMain Magnet Secondary School. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Dillard University in Business Administration and his Master’s Degree in Organizational Management from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Jay has previously served as the Chief of Staff for two former New Orleans City Council Presidents, the late Dorothy Mae Taylor and his mentor, James “Jim” Singleton. He is also a former Director of the Dryades YMCA and currently serves as the Councilman for District B of the City of new Orleans.

Robin Barnes

Robin Barnes is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Greater New Orleans, Inc., the regional economic development alliance serving the 10-parish region of Southeast Louisiana. There she oversaw administration of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, a resiliency study of St. Bernard Parish and the east banks of Orleans and Jefferson Parishes which provides a vision and implementation plan for addressing stormwater, groundwater, and subsidence. She was also served on President Barack Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force as Senior Policy Advisory for Small Business and Economic Recovery. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

Tamika Duplessis, Ph.D. District E / President Pro Tem

Dr. Tamika Duplessis is the Executive Dean at Delgado Community College’s Sidney Collier Campus, where she has also taught as Assistant Professor of Chemistry since 2009. She is also a Collaborator/ Contributing Scientist with Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy where she does research on breast cancer. She is a graduate of Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (cum laude) and received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology with concentration in Biochemical Mechanisms of Cancer Etiology from Tulane University.

Alejandra Guzman Consumer / Community Advocate

Alejandra Guzman is the Vice President of Performance Management and Strategy at the New Orleans Business Alliance, where she has served since 2016. She is a proven leader, not only in her community, but also on her job. Ms. Guzman provides leadership for the organization to ensure performance and promote quality improvements, ensures that the +$ 3.7 million invested in all programmatic work is aligned to ongoing strategic imperatives and spearheads initiatives with the City of New Orleans and over 15 organizations and coalitions. She is a graduate of ITESM with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Psychology and Universidad Regiomontana with a Masters in Corporate and Social Responsibility in Monterrey, Mexico. Ms. Guzman also received her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Tulane University, A.B. Freeman School of Business, where she was granted the Community Development Award upon graduation.

Janet Howard

Janet Howard is currently the principal of Howard Policy Solutions LLC. From 2001 to 2015, she served as President & CEO of the Bureau of Governmental Research, an independent public policy organization that works to improve the quality of government in the New Orleans region. Previously, she practiced corporate and financial law in New York City and London. Ms. Howard graduated from Princeton University and received her law degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Ralph Johnson Board of Liquidation, City Debt Syndicated Member

Ralph Johnson is the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Business and Administrative Affairs at Dillard University. He serves as the chief financial officer for all business and administrative affairs of the university. He provides leadership, direction, coordination and planning for the development of facilities, maintenance and physical plant, accounting, budgeting, purchasing, property control, campus police and all auxiliary operations. He has held similar CFO positions at universities in Virginia and Alabama. He has an undergraduate degree from Bradley University and a Masters of Business Administration from Tulane University.

Joseph Peychaud Consumer / Community Advocate

Joseph Peychaud is a lifelong resident of New Orleans with over forty-eight years of continuous service as a community advocate and activist, educator, facilitator, and public and private sector administrator. Mr. Peychaud retired in 2014, where he served as President of St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory School (formerly Xavier University Preparatory) where he has overseen all operational components of the school including budget, plant and facilities, development, public relations, staffing, capital projects, parental involvement, and community outreach. He is also President of the Climana Neighborhood Association. He is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Arts in Education/ Liberal Arts and the University of New Orleans with a Masters in Urban Studies.

Lynes R "Poco" Sloss Board of Liquidation, City Debt Syndicated Member

Lynes Sloss is President and CEO of Bellwether Technology Corporation, an Information Technology consulting company which he cofounded in 1980. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management. He served on the New Orleans City Planning Commission for ten years, and was very involved in the Master Planning process. He served on the New Orleans Public Belt as President Pro-Tempore. He is a New Orleans native.

Maurice G. Sholas, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Maurice Sholas is the Principal for Sholas Medical Consulting, LLC. In this capacity, he is charged with solving operational challenges for individual practitioners, hospitals and health care agencies. In additional he is a subject matter expert on children with special health care needs. He previously served as the Senior Medical Director for Rehab Services at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota where he founded a program in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Sholas’ work, whether clinical or administrative, is focused on optimizing function. In addition to Medical Education, this program allowed Dr. Sholas to receive a terminal degree in the study of Neuroscience. Next, graduate medical education was completed in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Subspecialty training at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine followed this Internship and Residency experience.

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