TWU director J.D. Phillips to retire on Aug. 30; interim director named

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TEXARKANA — Texarkana Water Utilities (TWU) director J.D. Phillips will retire on Aug. 30 after 31 years of service that began in Feb. 1990.

Phillips started out as the engineering manager and then was named interim executive director in 2015 with the title becoming official in May 2016.

“J.D. has been an excellent TWU Director and valuable public servant for many years,” Texarkana, Arkansas, city manager Jay Ellington said. “We all will miss him, and we wish him the best.”

Ellington and David Orr, the interim city manager for Texarkana, Texas, named Gary Smith as the interim executive director.

Said Orr: “With J.D. Phillips recent retirement announcement, it is my privilege to announce that Jay Ellington and I have named Gary Smith, P.E. as the Interim Executive Director for Texarkana Water Utilities effective August 30th. I know Gary’s experience will serve him well and I look forward to working with him in this new role.”

Smith is currently the assistant director of TWU and has served as the director of operations and maintenance of the water utility since 2016. Smith has a bachelor’s of science in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas and is a professional engineer registered in Texas and Arkansas.

Smith is also a member of the American Water Works Association, the Texas Municipal Utility Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Water Environment Foundation, and is an active member of City Church.