Thursday, August 11th 2022   |

Environmental services leader Kenneth Barnshaw ‘Shaw’ Thompson is memorialized

KENNETH BARNSHAW “SHAW” THOMPSON, a successful business executive highly regarded for his expertise, integrity and leadership in the environmental services industry, died Saturday, January 1, 2022, after a long and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 65.


A New Orleans native and resident of the city for all but two years of his life, Thompson was an expert in emergency response to oil spills and hazardous substance release. During a career that spanned four decades, he led team responses to water and land spills primarily in the Gulf South but also in other regions of the country and abroad. He was committed to the well-being of the teams and individuals he led, and built strong connections with co-workers throughout his career.

From 2003 to his retirement in 2018, he was president and CEO of Oil Mop, Inc., a company he also served in different capacities earlier in his career – from oil response worker to supervisor to office manager in Texas and then to head of Oil Mop Gulf Services in New Orleans between 1978 and 1984. During his career, Shaw also started or co-founded and ran successful companies, including Thompson Environmental Management, Inc., which specialized in oil and hazmat spill clean-up and ship cleaning; The Thompson Group, Inc., which provided spill management services and general environmental consulting services; and Environmental Science Services Inc., or Es², which among other environmental and science support related services, provides high-resolution geospatial information and mapping to industry and government agencies for oilfield response planning and other environmental support needs.

He also served as part of the WQIS spill management services team as a principal consultant and surveyor. In addition, Shaw served as president of Arnaud Coffee Corp., a business founded by his grandfather.

Nothing was more important to Shaw than his family. He loved spending time with them and was always available to offer advice or a helping hand to them (and many others) when needed. He took great pride in recognizing and celebrating their collective achievements. Fun and funny, with a knack for well-timed dry humor, Shaw could make people laugh without trying hard.

He enjoyed outdoor activities; an accomplished boater, he was at home at the helm, from which he helped create countless fun-filled, great memories for family and friends on leisurely cruises, fishing trips and skiing outings. He was also a talented tennis player who, in his younger years, ranked among the best in Louisiana for his age group. He was a member of the board of the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club.

A graduate of Isidore Newman School, Thompson received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Louisiana State University before embarking on his career.

He was preceded in death by sons Steven Louis Thompson and Kenneth Barnshaw Thompson, IV and his daughter, Jon Bannon Thompson.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Ann Thorpe Thompson; his sons Michael (fiancée, Sara) and William (Siobhan) and two sisters, Charlotte Gregson (Chotsie) and Marion Preuss (Nonnie).

The family requests that donations in his honor be sent to Children’s Hospital or Bridge House/Grace House or the charity of your choice.  A private memorial service at Temple Sinai was conducted by Rabbi Daniel Sherman on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. To view and sign the online guestbook, please visit

Share Button