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Ware steps into county clerk’s seat

Jawahn Ware took over as Dougherty County Clerk Tuesday, officials say.

Jawahn Ware took over as Dougherty County Clerk Tuesday, officials say.

ALBANY — There’s a new face behind the Dougherty County Clerk’s desk.

Jawahn Ware, an ambitious and outgoing county employee, officially took over for longtime clerk Barbara Engram Tuesday, starting a new era on the fifth-floor of the government center.

Engram retired Monday after 22 years on the job.

Ware, who started out as a temporary employee working with city of Albany eight years ago, said that filling the void that Engram’s retirement created will be a daunting task.

“It’s been said that Barbara had little feet but some mighty big shoes to fill, and that’s true,” Ware said. “Barbara and the staff here have built an excellent foundation. It’ll be a challenge to take what she’s built and move it forward, but one I think I’m ready for.”

Ware, a native of Georgetown, S.C., moved to Albany with her husband, who is a native, more than eight years ago.

She got her start with the city as a temporary employee who later was offered a permanent position as a computer and network system data assistant.

And when Jim Coston, who was the Dougherty County Human Resources Project Manager, left the county to become HR director for the city, Ware saw an opportunity and applied, and was hired.

There she was responsible for different facets of human resources from training and grievance management to development and implementation of special programs.

She was in that role for almost five years when Engram announced her plans for retirement, and Ware said that she believed it was time to really challenge herself.

“I really care about the county and I believe in this organization, so when the position became open, I knew I had to at least try for it,” Ware said.

As clerk, Ware is responsible for putting together the Dougherty County Commission agendas and meeting minutes and serves as an intermediary between various county departments, the commission and the public.

Ware says she believes her background in document management and her knowledge of more technology-related areas helped elevate her above her competition.

A graduate of Spelman College, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in Sociology, Ware got her masters from Troy University’s Albany Campus in Management.

She’s currently the secretary and a board member for the Downtown Sertoma Club and is a member of Providence Church.