Allen Shaklan to retire from Refugee Family Services

Allen Shaklan,  executive director of Refugee Family Services, is retiring after more than five years as head of the organization.

Shaklan said he will retire in July.

"I'll be reaching my 65th birthday this summer and it's an appropriate time to turn this great organization over to new, energetic leadership," he said in the RFS newsletter. He said he plans to volunteer with the nonprofit agency that helps  refugee women and children become more self-sufficient.

"This will give me a chance to work one-on-one with the children," said Shaklan.

The board of the  DeKalb County -based organization is currently conducting a search for a successor. A new executive director is expected to be named this summer. Refugee Family Services employs 40 full- and part-time staffers. It serves about 2,600 clients annually, up from 1,500 in 2004.

Two years ago, RFS became the one of the few organizations in the country to operate a pre-school program designed specifically for refugee children.