PARKERSBURG - After 14 years as the executive director of the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund, Sister Jane Harrington received a proper send-off Friday.
Harrington was joined at the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund, a sponsored ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph, office in Rosemar Circle by board members and funders for a retirement party.
"It (was) a nice chance to thank those I have worked closely with for so long," said Harrington during the party. "I'm looking forward to retirement."
Photo by Jolene Craig
Sister Jane Harrington, right, smiles with Cynthia Drennan, who has been chosen as the new executive director of the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund, during the retirement party for Harrington, who leaves the organization July 1 after 14 years.
Through last week and the coming week, Harrington has been working with the fund's new executive director Cynthia Drennan from Cleveland.
"It's a transition and it gives our funders and the community a chance to meet (Drennan) before I leave," Harrington said.
Drennan comes to the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund from the William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation.
"The first number of months will be a listening, learning and meeting and greeting time for me to get a sense of how the foundation works and what I can do here," Drennan said.
While Drennan has previously worked for the O'Neill Foundation, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland and St. Ann Foundation, she said she has known the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Foundation her entire life and looks forward to being a part of it.
"I have a deep, deep admiration for their work and look forward to being a part of it," she said.
Harrington announced in February she would retire as executive director of the foundation to give herself time to relax.
"It is time for me to slow down a little bit and I want to take time to visit my family all of them live out of state and see friends and do things I would like to do," Harrington said. "It is just that time for me to move on in my life."
In the 14 years Harrington has been with the fund, the organization has made more than 700 grants worth more than $11 million.
Those grants have been pivotal in bringing additional millions in state, federal and local support to the 11-county area the fund serves.
Under Harrington's watch, thousands of children and adults have had some aspect of their lives improved as through her leadership, the fund's philanthropic priorities have been health ministry, healthy lifestyles, oral health and health equity as ways to partner with local communities in promoting health and wellness.
Harrington said she chose now to retire in part because the fund is at a good place with a board of directors that is active and confident.
"It will continue to do what it does and I think (Drennan) will do a wonderful job as the executive director," Harrington said.
Drennan joined the charitable fund's staff June 18 and her first day as executive director will be July 2.
Drennan said she is happy to be in the Mid-Ohio Valley and West Virginia, as her mother is from the Elkins area.
"I feel like being here is a homecoming," Drennan said. "In a way it is full circle."