Joe Wolfe’s History in Yelm, Thurston County

For nearly twenty years in the public services sector, finance professional and leader Joseph F. Wolfe of Thurston County, Washington has applied his considerable talents to improving communities. Joe Wolfe has served in numerous roles in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, including budgeting, operations, and grants management positions in county and state governments.

 Joe has amassed a broad range of skills and abilities, and continues to provide a positive force for the betterment of the citizens he serves. Joe Wolfe currently lives and works in Olympia, Washington, where he is the Grant Manager for the Thurston County Auditor’s Office.


Joe Wolfe earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Industrial Supervision and Management from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, completing his undergraduate study in 1999. This program put an emphasis on industrial engineering technology, which allowed Joe to develop a keen understanding of complex processes and solutions. While at Central Michigan, Joe was an active member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, giving him the opportunity to build a network of peers in his field.

After completing his B.A.A. Joe worked as a budget analyst with the Washington State Department of Ecology. In 2007, he entered the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington. He earned his MBA in Finance and Financial Management Services in 2009. 

Joe completed Green Belt certification in Lean Six Sigma, a data-driven process improvement approach that has gained worldwide acceptance as a business management principle. He also holds several other professional certifications, including:

  • Certified Federal Grants Manager
  • Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response Operations
  • Certified Government Financial Manager

Career Highlights

Thurston County’s Joe Wolfe has held numerous roles in state and local governments as well as in environmental partnerships. He has been responsible for analyzing and managing budgets, directing finance operations, and coordinating budgetary efforts between stakeholders. Joe has earned a reputation as a person who is able to develop comprehensive administration and governance plans, working efficiently to achieve financial objectives. 

Among his many career highlights, two stand out. In 2017, Joe Wolfe was appointed as the Finance Director for the City of Yelm, Washington. Joe was the primary official responsible for planning, organizing, and managing disparate financial activities of the City. His work here helped the City to secure a more stable financial future while saving substantial overhead expenses.

He worked closely with the Washington State Auditor’s Office and served on executive councils during his time with the City of Yelm. As a direct result of Joe’s dedication, the City of Yelm was recognized by receiving the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association two years in a row. Joe’s leadership and command of complex financial obligations made him a valuable asset to the City’s executive team.

Joseph Wolfe Olympia WA second career highlight is his current role as the Grant Manager for the Thurston County Auditor’s Office. By providing technical and administrative oversight of grant-related programs and services throughout county government, Joe has achieved considerable success. From regulatory compliance to developing grants procurement processes, Joe Wolfe is a valuable asset to the Thurston County government.

Most recently, Joe developed a program to distribute coronavirus relief funds to affected communities in Thurston County, applying process efficiency and streamlining skills that have proven to be beneficial in supporting financial goals. Joe continues to serve the communities in which he lives and works, and is a shining example of what a financial leader should embody. 

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