Letter from the CEO: A Season of Giving and Time for Thanks


While we are entering a season of giving, it most definitely is a season of thankfulness here at Columbia Industries. We are so very thankful for our clients and families who entrust us with their care, mentorship, life skills development, career development and job placement. We are blessed to work with some of the coolest and most appreciative people you will ever meet. We are also thankful for the amazing community partnerships we enjoy. This includes the numerous businesses throughout the Tri-Cities who provide job opportunities for our clients. These businesses are helping us empower and enrich the lives of hundreds of individuals and in turn, they benefit from the dedicated and hardworking employees we place with them and the positive impacts to company culture they continually provide. 

Joel, Michael and Marie smile at the camera

Board Chair Joel Ockey, Michael Novakovich and Chief Administrative Officer Marie Lathim are all smiles at CI’s annual client picnic.

We also have many organizations and individuals who partner with us to deliver new and exciting programs to our clients. This also includes partners who provide grant funding for our mission services and resources that we refer to as wrap-around services that help stabilize individuals by satisfying basic needs. We are very appreciative of these partnerships and the trust that is afforded us by these businesses as they recognize our stewardship as we take care of our community. 

We are also thankful for the many individual and business donors like you who are helping us to provide an increasing array of services to our ever-expanding community and the emerging needs of Tri-Citians. You are the difference maker in what we do. 

On a personal note, I am so thankful for our incredible Columbia Industries team of passionate, skilled, and committed individuals who make a daily investment in individual lives and the betterment of the Tri-Cities. This team has also been outstanding partners to me as I have wrapped my arms around our unique business model since taking over the role as President & CEO in early July. Special people taking care of special people. Truly an amazing organization to be a part of. 

We are entering a season of giving and should you have a heart for our mission and the community members we are called to serve, I would encourage you to partner with us in one of many fun, and often filling, ways. This includes our Day of Giving with Wingstop Pasco, which is taking place on November 16th. Or join us for Giving Tuesday on November 29th as we focus on supporting our CI Community Center clients. But wait there is more, you can enjoy of cup of caffeinated goodness by visiting any Kennewick Dutch Bros. location on December 16th for another Day of Giving where $1 from every beverage sold goes to support Columbia Industries. More details to come on these impactful events!

If you missed our Evening of Miracles Gala, you may have missed out on our new original song and music video called The CI Shuffle. Get ready to tap your toes and learn more about Columbia Industries in the power-packed two-minute bit of fun. If you want to understand the incredible impact your investment in CI makes, I encourage you to watch testimonials from our one of our client and Opportunity Kitchen graduates, Deelani; Opportunity Kitchen graduate and now team member, Cristy; and team member, Nathan. Grab your tissues and know that your support is responsible for the opportunities we are able to provide. Also introduced at Evening of Miracles was our Experience Empowerment video that is the “why” behind CI. 

Thank you for your generosity during this season and throughout the year. Partnerships are how we are making meaningful impacts in the Tri-Cities and we are so very thankful for you.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays, 

Michael Novakovich

President & CEO

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