Community-Minded Enterprises Expands Family Tuition Assistance Grant

Community-Minded Enterprises’ Executive Director Announces Retirement after 14 Years of Service

Spokane, Wash. — Community-Minded Enterprises’ Executive Director will be stepping down at the end of the year. Kathy Thamm informed the CME Board of her retirement earlier this summer.
“Kathy has done a fantastic job as Executive Director, leading CME through lean times, rebuilding our core initiatives, and leaving us well positioned for the future,” said Chris Kelly, Board Chair. “Although we’re sorry to see her go, we wish her all the best as she pursues her retirement plans”.
Thamm started at CME in 2004, as the Early Learning Initiative Director. In that role, Thamm was instrumental in the formation of a statewide quality ratings improvement system (QRIS) for child care. CME piloted QRIS which later became Early Achievers. Thamm led that work, expanding the program from Spokane County to all of Eastern Washington. She also saw the need to bring financial stability to child care and established business training specifically for child care facilities. At the federal, state and local level, Thamm reached out to lawmakers to advance early learning legislation.
“Kathy’s work will leave a lasting impression on families and the early learning community, not only in Spokane but across the state,” said Mary Ellen Braks, Library Services Manager for the Spokane County Library District.
In 2012, Thamm was made Executive Director, growing the company from 20 employees to more than 50. Under her leadership, CME received the When Work Works Award multiple times and most recently was cited as one of the Best Places to Work in the Inland Northwest.

Accomplishments as Executive Director include establishing CME’s Resource Center for Early Learning Professionals, adding an office in Pasco, with a staff of 15, building a state of the art television studio to CMTV14, and the recent launch Recovery Café Spokane.

Thamm made it a priority to hire with intent, bringing diversity to CME’s workforce. As Executive Director, she also sought out programs that supported the social determinants of health, including Medicaid transformation.

Thamm credits her success to a great team and a supportive Board of Directors. “I will miss the daily excitement of coming to work,” said Thamm. As she reflected on her time with the organization, Thamm said, “I’ve really enjoyed the entrepreneurial spirit fostered within CME. It’s always been a place that fosters innovated programs.”

As Executive Director, Thamm was involved in a variety of community programs including:
• Excelerate Success Executive Leadership Team – Spokane County United Way
• Director’s Team – Spokane County United Way
• Public Policy Committee – Greater Spokane Incorporated
• STEM Leadership Team – Greater Spokane Incorporated
• Leadership Team – Better Health Together
• Past President, Child Care Aware of Washington Statewide Network
• Former Board Member – Downtown Spokane Partnership
• Founding member of Inland Northwest Early Learning Alliance
• Board member Health Improvement Partnership (HIP of Spokane County), CME’s original name

Thamm will stay on until the CME Board hires a new Executive Director. That search is currently underway.