Today, City Manager Lee Garrity announced that Ann Jones, the city’s long-serving budget and evaluation director, will retire Nov. 30. Garrity named Ben Rowe, the deputy director of budget and evaluation, to succeed her.
Jones joined the city in 1981 as a budget and evaluation analyst and was promoted to budget and evaluation director in 1987. During the early years of her tenure she shepherded the city budget as Winston-Salem’s economic foundation shifted from manufacturing to health, financial services and biotechnology. More recently, Jones faced the challenges of developing city budgets in a time of constrained resources brought by the economic recession.
The one constant in Jones’ tenure, Garrity said, was her distinguished service to the citizens of Winston-Salem. “Strong leadership in managing our city resources is essential. Through many challenging economic times, Ms. Jones has guided us with wise insight and strong stewardship. Her service to the citizens of Winston-Salem has been extraordinary.”
During her 32 years of service, Jones was a leader in the local government budgeting profession in North Carolina. She was a founding member of the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association and served that body as treasurer and board member. In 1994, she proposed creation of the North Carolina Benchmarking Project, conducted by the budget association and the UNC School of Government, to collect reliable performance and cost data to help North Carolina local governments better gauge the cost and quality of their city services.
The benchmarking project became a model for regional benchmarking initiatives, drawing the interest of local governments and state budget organizations throughout the United States. In 2007, the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association awarded Jones the A. John Vogt Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Advancement of Local Government Budgeting and Evaluation.
Garrity said the city budget remains in good hands under Rowe. “Ben’s breadth of knowledge, years of experience, and passion for the details made him the logical choice for our next director,” he said. As part of a cost-cutting reorganization, Rowe’s current position of deputy budget and evaluation director will be eliminated.
Rowe joined the city in 1996 as a budget and evaluation analyst and has served as the deputy director since 2001. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wake Forest University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a 2010 graduate of the Public Executive Leadership Academy at the University of North Carolina School of Government. He is a member of the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association, having served as president in 2004-2005. He is also a 2006 graduate of Leadership Winston-Salem.
Rowe and his wife, Ann, have three children and reside at 4001 Rookwood Lane in Winston-Salem. He will have an annual salary of $99,750.