Submitted by City of Yelm
City of Yelm Mayor JW Foster recently became one of just 300 municipal leaders in the state of Washington to have earned the Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), since the program’s inception in 1997.
To earn this award, Foster completed more than 60 hours of training through a variety of AWC-sponsored workshops, and demonstrated an additional 30 hours of community service.
“Since joining the Yelm City Council in 2011, I’ve been taking advantage of the web-trainings, local seminars and conferences offered by the AWC to be the best leader I can be for our community,” Foster said. “As an elected leader, it is important to utilize the education and support offered by the AWC to continue to expand skills in budgeting, planning, and leadership.”
The AWC’s Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership program provides elected municipal leaders with training to effectively operate within the law, plan for the future, secure and manage funds, and enrich community and staff relationships.
Foster moved to Yelm with his wife Nicki in 1996 to raise their four children and spent many years coaching youth sports teams, volunteering for Yelm Community Schools, and working with local service organizations on a variety of projects. He was appointed to the planning commission before being elected to the Yelm City Council in 2011 and reelected in 2015. Foster was elected Mayor in 2017 after being appointed in 2016 to replace Mayor Ron Harding, who left to take work in Oregon.
Foster currently serves on the Sports Medicine advisory committee and as Chair of the General Advisory Committee for Career and Technical Education for Yelm Community Schools. JW and Nicki also volunteer for the Nisqually Land Trust, Rotary Club of Yelm, and Lions Club projects.
“The path to Yelm’s best future starts with a strong foundation in our local schools and organizations,” Foster said. “It’s always been a strong family value of ours to work with our neighbors to make our community better for everyone”
In addition to his local Mayoral duties and local involvement, Foster continues to engage at the regional level, serving as Vice-Chair of the Thurston Regional Planning Council, and engaging with other municipal leaders and military counterparts through the South Sound Military and Community Partnership.
The AWC is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan corporation that represents Washington’s cities and towns before the state Legislature, the state executive branch and with regulatory agencies. The AWC serves its members through advocacy, education and services.