Rowan relinquishes position with DJFS

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – John M. Rowan, new Director of Job and Family Services has announced his resignation from the position. The resignation was accepted by the county commissioners after convening Friday for a meeting and executive session. Rowan had been named to the position two days prior. He was to officially begin his duties July 15.

Commissioners motioned to re-advertise for the DJFS director position.

Rowan cited personal reasons for the decision, saying his current post at Oakview Juvenile Residential Center best suited him. He has worked at the site for the past seven years.

“The reasoning for my decision is after much personal reflection I feel very privileged and happy to work at Oakview Juvenile Residential Center and would like to remain in my current capacity working with our executive board of judges, the wonderful staff and continue serving the youth that are placed in our facility,” he said. “When you’ve done something you love to do for seven years, you realize you’re happiest where you are.”

Rowan added that his decision was in no way a reflection on the commissioners or DJFS.

“They are both wonderful agencies,” he said. “I would like to thank the commissioners for the wonderful opportunity you have provided me and wish the Department of Job and Family Services of Belmont County success going forward.”

He said he was confident the commissioners would find someone to lead the department.

Commissioner Ginny Favede said the board would go back to square one in finding a new DJFS director. The process will re-start, with interviews commencing soon and the commissioners hope to have a new director in place in a few weeks.

“It is of the utmost importance that we have the absolute right person in that place. It is such an incredible organization and we are bound and determined to have the right person,” she said.

She said the board was notified of Rowan’s resignation Friday morning.

Their first concern was to notify the DJFS employees.

“I’m completely disappointed. Somewhat shocked,” she said.

Meanwhile, interviews for a senior services director will begin Tuesday.

In other matters, the commissioners also motioned to accept the resignation of Christine Palmer, HR manager, with her last day of employment July 4. Favede noted that Palmer had received a better job offer and the commissioners wished her well.

DeFrank can be reached at