Shank named Association Outstanding Director of the Year

COLUMBUS — Meigs County Department of Job and Family Services Director Chris Shank has been recognized as the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association (OJFSDA) 2021 Outstanding Director of the Year.

Each year the Association recognizes a county department of job and family services (JFS) director who, through dedicated efforts throughout the span of their career, exemplifies the professional qualities and achievements of an outstanding Director, according to a news release from OJFSDA. Director Shank received numerous nominations from his peers and was officially announced as the 2021 recipient during OJFSDA’s membership meeting on Friday, March 11, 2022.

The remainder of the news release appears below:

Shank received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rio Grande School of Social Science with a Major in history and a minor in English in 1991.He began his Meigs County Department of Job and Family Services (CDJFS) career after graduation as a children services caseworker, where he worked for seven years. He then moved to Athens CDJFS to work as a Social Program Coordinator in the Child Support Division in 1998.

In 2000 he returned to Meigs CDJFS, working his way up from Social Program Coordinator to Social Program Developer, and then to Program Specialist working in the Workforce Development and Income Maintenance Divisions. In 2001 he was promoted again to Social Services Supervisor in charge of all Children Services activities and programs. In January 5, 2009, he was promoted to Agency Director.

Shank has spent 31 years in service to the Job and Family Services system, but his commitment to his community didn’t stop there. He was named Director of Meigs County Public Transit in 2021 and currently serves dual roles as JFS and Public Transit Director.

He also has 38 years of service with the Pomeroy Fire Department, retiring from active duty after serving three years as Fire Chief. And he was an active coach, coaching Special Olympics basketball for eight years and 7th grade boys basketball for six years.

When asked about the award, Shank said, “I am truly appreciative and humbled by this award. Being selected 2021 Director of the Year by the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association and its members is a tremendous honor. There are so many deserving directors across the state that are doing great things, to be the recipient of this year’s award is a privilege. I share this award with my staff, my commissioners, those who have helped me along the way, my fellow directors, the Meigs County community, our partners at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and with those that we serve. An award for one is an award for all. Meigs County has a great team of professionals dedicated to public service and to helping others and I am glad to be a part of the team.”

Shannon Jones, Henry County JFS Director and OJFSDA President, said, “I’m honored to announce Meigs County JFS Director Chris Shank as our 2021 OJFSDA Outstanding Director of the Year. Chris’ passion for his community coupled with the kindness and respect he shows to JFS staff, fellow directors, and clients made him a natural choice for this award. He lives the values of collaboration, perseverance and professionalism and he is a shining example of how these values can transform public service. He is a strong leader with a big heart, and he is well deserving of this recognition.”

Joel Potts, Executive Director of OJFSDA said, “Since Chris began as Director in Meigs County he has exemplified the type of leader needed in the job and family services system. He understands the positive role job and family service plays in the community, whether helping children and seniors at risk, providing basic necessities to those most economically vulnerable, or improving employment opportunities for employees and employers alike, he has had a distinguished career and is a dedicated and inspirational public servant.”

The Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association is a not-for-profit statewide organization established in 1946. OJFSDA represents Ohio’s 88 County Departments of Job and Family Services Directors on the local, state, and national level. OJFSDA communicates key issues and solutions regarding the delivery of social services to Ohio policymakers, legislators, and other decision makers.

This piece provided by OJFSDA.