Community-Minded Enterprises Expands Family Tuition Assistance Grant

Jill Johnson
Public Relations Officer
Community-Minded Enterprises
(509) 822-8040

Community-Minded Enterprises’ CEO Announces Retirement in Early December

Spokane, Wash.  —   Community-Minded Enterprises’ CEO Lee Williams is retiring and will be stepping down on December 10, 2021. Williams was named Executive Director of Community-Minded Enterprises (CME) in 2018. She joined the organization in 2014, as the Early Learning Initiative Director.

“For years Lee has served Community-Minded Enterprises well, especially in continuing to build an effective Early Learning program for Eastern Washington.  Her commitment to the community is visible in the work she has done here and will continue to do within our community,” said Julie A. Griffith, CME Board Member.

Under William’s leadership as CEO, Community-Minded Enterprises has grown from fifty employees to over seventy. Williams led the organization through the Coronavirus pandemic, helping to secure close to four million dollars in CARES Act assistance to help child care providers and families. She piloted a 32-hour work week for the organization, which was adopted and implemented in September 2021.

Ian Cunningham, CME Board Chair praised Williams for her contributions “Community-Minded Enterprises flourished during Lee’s experienced leadership. Throughout her tenure, her emphasis on teamwork and collaboration strengthened our culture of community service and expanded our reach and influence. Under her steady and skillful hand, the organization met the demanding challenges of the pandemic and even thrived.  We are grateful to Lee for her passionate dedication to the work of CME.”

“It has been my privilege to serve alongside the dedicated staff of Community-Minded Enterprises as they serve our communities,” said Lee Williams. “I also want to thank the members of the communities we serve for their embracing of our mission and working alongside us so that all people have an opportunity for equitable health, education, and safety,” Williams added.

Williams is a longtime Spokane resident. She has two daughters and five grandchildren. Before coming to CME Williams was the Center Director for St. Anne’s Children and Family Center.  She is a founding member of the Inland Northwest Early Learning Alliance.

The board of Community-Minded Enterprises has begun the search for the next CEO with broad input from staff and partners. The CEO job posting is being finalized and will be released soon. We will post it online at and Until the position is filled Jan Thoemke, CME’s Chief Operating Officer will lead the organization as Interim CEO.  Nancy Rust, CME’s Chief Financial Officer has been named Deputy Interim CEO.

About Community-Minded Enterprises

Community-Minded Enterprises is a 501c3 nonprofit with four offices in Spokane and one in Pasco. It was formed as a grassroots organization in the early 1990s and incorporated 1997.


Community-Minded Enterprises transforms communities in Washington State while advancing diversity and inclusion of marginalized populations so that all people have an opportunity for equitable health, education, and safety.

Read CME’s Annual report here. Find us online at and