Cheryl Fambles, fourth from the left, recognized for her contribution at the Regional Innovation EXPO in December, 2021.
Anyone who has encountered Cheryl Fambles professionally knows about her strong leadership and commitment to the South Sound community. What they may not realize is that beyond her work for the past ten years as CEO of Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, Fambles and her husband Millison are dedicated philanthropists who support organizations throughout the region through their family foundation. Whether at work or in her personal life, Fambles is passionate about investing in people’s futures.
Cheryl Fambles in Eld Inlet on New Year’s Day at the, "Coldest Dash and Splash we’ve hosted in the 5 years since we started," said Cheryl.
PacMtn provides workforce solutions for employers and those needing jobs and family-sustaining careers in Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Thurston Counties. Fambles is retiring this year after a transformational tenure. She increased revenues and diversity of services at the agency, and both grew and strengthened relationships with the business community, educational institutions and community-based organizations.
In their personal lives, the Fambles created an investment fund with a portal that allows them to easily donate to any cause they support.
“We enjoy it,” she says. “On many occasions, I already know what I want to give to, but sometimes I’ll find something new. I can just enter how much I want to give and press ‘send’ and the platform takes care of it. It’s wonderful.”
Aside from financial support, the couple also donates time. In 1995 Millison, a pilot with Alaska Airlines, founded Eagles Aviation Camp in 1995 with a group of other African American pilots to expose underserved youth to opportunities in the airline industry. “Our daughter was in one of the first graduating classes, and she is now an eight-year first officer with Alaska Airlines,” Fambles explains. “Millison has been able to impact 1,200 students through the program. That’s what investing in people’s futures looks like.”
Before joining PacMtn, Fambles served as a volunteer for United Way and was one of the inaugural members of Women United, a group committed to creating a world of opportunity for everyone. She and Millison continue to contribute to United Way.
“I use the United Way as a magnifier,” Fambles says. “I trust that when I invest an amount of money, it’s going to go to good use. When we make investments in such organizations, we’re enabling people’s access to their own path to prosperity, which is the same thing I do at PacMtn.”
When she retires, Fambles is looking forward to having a pause to relax and reflect before taking any next steps. “I think about it as a chapter in a wonderful book,” she says. “I’m going to linger before I turn that next page. I know I’ll be traveling and visiting friends and family all over the country and making my husband’s life as amazing as possible during these last few years while he’s still working.”
Another thing she can be sure of: continuing to make a difference through how she spends her time, resources and energy. “I’m very thankful,” Fambles says. “I recognize the tremendous privileges that I have and hope to do some good by investing energy into the world with those privileges.”