Turri to head Rochester Public Works

Deputy director has been filling role since her boss resigned in 2019.

Wendy Turri mug
Wendy Turri
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Wendy Turri is slated to step up as director of Rochester Public Works.

The city announced Thursday that Turri has been recommended to fill the post after Chris Petree resigned from the director position last fall. Turri, a deputy director in the department, has been serving as interim director.

The Rochester City Council will be asked on Monday to support the appointment.

“We are excited to have Wendy serve in this director level capacity," Rochester Deputy Administrator Aaron Parrish said in announcing the recommendation. "She brings an effective leadership style, engaging personality, and long time commitment to balancing out a diverse perspectives. Wendy is the right person to lead the Public Works department and we look forward to her leadership in this capacity.”

Turri started her career in 1982 at Rochester’s Water Reclamation Plant, working as a lab tech, after receiving a chemistry degree from Mankato State University. After four years in the lab, she became the city’s first pretreatment coordinator, working with the industries developing wastewater limits and issuing permits.


After five years with the city, she took a job at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and spent 30 years there. She was the first woman to work in a technical capacity at a regional MPCA offices.

For the last three years, Turri has been Rochester's deputy public works director of environmental services.

“I have lived in Rochester since 1982, and I am passionate about the community," she said. "Being a part of the City of Rochester team is something I am proud of. I look forward to this new role in the Public Works department and the opportunity to lead a fantastic group of teammates."

In the city's announcement, Turri outlined her goals for the department. They include:

  • Assuring that the city’s assets are efficiently maintained.
  • Including stakeholders in decision-making process.
  • Looking for continual process improvement opportunities with industry leaders.
  • Growing and engaging teammates.
  • Promoting a workplace where people feel valued.
  • Using technology to improve work and efficiency.
  • Increasing transparency.
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