Task auto-assignment breaking when projects are manually reassigned

I have a form that the team uses to request work. Once the form is submitted, a vlookup assigns the task based on criteria entered in the form, and that team-member is notified of the work request. Works great. However, the manager of the team sometimes has to manually re-assign work due to work-load issues, etc. When she goes in and manually changes the task owner to the person she wants, the vlookup formula for assigning tasks is removed from that cell. Then, when a new request comes in, the assignment formula is not in the adjacent row, so it does not populate and the project is not assigned.

I'm not sure how to fix this. She will occasionally have to re-assign work. I have created an alert that will let her know if a new project comes in and the Task Owner column is blank. But other than that, is there a way to rectify this issue?

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