About one month after previous Yelm Finance Director Noah Crocker’s departure and many interviews later, Joe Wolfe has been hired to fill the vacant role.

Wolfe brings to the city more than 15 years of public sector financial management experience with the state of Washington. Most recently he was the finance and operations director for the Washington Department of Health.

Yelm City Administrator Michael Grayum and the financial department have been working collaboratively since Crocker’s resignation to find “the right person for the job.” The team created a list of what the department was doing well and a list of areas they could improve upon. Grayum has managed the finance department since early August and will continue to oversee the department until Wolfe’s official start date on Sept. 19.  

“He will apply his solid financial experience to actively manage the city’s day-to-day financial responsibilities, develop the annual budget and forecasting tools and help advance our efforts to incorporate long-term strategic financial planning into all of our operations,” Grayum said. “Joe’s commitment to continuous improvement will help advance the process improvements we recently initiated through our lean management training in collaboration with the State Auditor’s Office.”

Grayum believes Wolfe’s experience with state and federal grant processes will help advance city and community priority projects and increase transparency in government decision-making. Wolfe will also enhance information sharing internally and externally about city finances.

Wolfe currently resides in Lacey with his wife, Donna, and two daughters. In his spare time, Wolfe likes to be with his family, working with Wounded Warriors, and climbing mountains in the Cascade mountain range.

New Senior Accountant

Heidi MacDonald has been hired as Yelm’s new senior accountant on the finance team. MacDonald brings experience preparing annual budgets, specialized audits and payroll from public and nonprofit sectors.

“Her team mindset will be a great fit for the important work the finance team does as the backbone of all our operations,” Grayum said.

MacDonald resides in Roy with her husband, Paul. She is excited to be an active part of the Yelm community. MacDonald began her work for Yelm on Tuesday and will attend the Washington Finance Officers Association Conference this week.

New Police Officer

Yelm Police Department recently hired new Police Officer Anthony Sparkuhl. Before coming to Yelm on Sept. 1, Sparkuhl worked for the Nisqually Police where he served for two years. Sparkuhl will continue field training through September and will begin patrolling in October.

He currently lives near Olympia with his wife and his only child. He is excited to work in an environment that will challenge and help him grow as an officer.

New Reserve Officer

Currently serving in the U.S. Army, PJ Palma will soon serve Yelm as a reserve police officer. Palma has already completed the full-time academy and hopes to be a full-time officer when his service in the Army is complete.

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