Arlinda McKeen

Keeper of the Flame

April 1, 1994, was Arlinda’s first day of work at SPPG. Like everyone else, she had to tell a joke at her first staff meeting. Nobody remembers what it was, but it was probably moderately funny.

March 31, 2018, marks her completion of 24 intensely rewarding years with the company. It also marks her departure from the public policy company whose approach has allowed work in more issue areas and places than she could have ever imagined. Who would have guessed that this work would take her from Ukraine to American Samoa to Primghar over the course of 24 years?

Arlinda’s pre-departure SPPG web bio said she was a product of the events of her formative years, holding a deep-seated commitment to fairness and an impatiently curious nature. Some things never change. She recently mused that her formative years are increasingly relevant in today’s policy arena. She was in secondary school during the Kennedy assassination, civil rights unrest, the too-many other assassinations of key leaders, the 1960s rise of feminism, Roe v Wade, the Vietnam War, and so much more. If Arlinda can leave words of wisdom behind for Iowans and elsewhere, it’s to heed the lessons of that era and apply them appropriately in today’s much-different environment.

April Fool’s Day will mark a new era for Arlinda. First, she’ll have to learn how to relax a bit and take up additional pastimes.  She will have greater opportunities to enjoy her family. She can do what she’s longed for – no longer set the alarm clock and will be able to take a daily walk.

But wait – that’s not all. She will maintain that commitment to fairness and impatient curiosity as she will continue to plug in with the SPPG team from time to time.