Get to Know
SPPG + Essman Research

It’s always tough to explain to our families what we do at SPPG + Essman Research. Our roots are in our longstanding focus: working hard on a practical level to manage change and promote public policy serving the interests in the well-being of the people.

We believe people affected by public policy should be actively engaged in shaping those laws and rules all along the way. That means we get people involved. It doesn’t matter the public policy issue, the organizational issue, the topic, or the client. SPPG + Essman Research’s staff has it figured out. You name it, and we’ve probably worked on it – from homelessness to homeland security.

We help each of our clients set their own goals. SPPG + Essman Research crafts a path forward and provides the services necessary to get there. That means we may conduct community engagement, manage public policy development, or create a new initiative. It can be a years-long process to implement a new issue-based initiative. Or, it can be an evening’s Board retreat session.

Like all organizations, SPPG + Essman Research has grown and evolved with changing times. Some things have not changed, though. All of our work is connected in some way to public policy. SPPG + Essman Research is an issue-based consulting company, which means we take a non-partisan approach to solutions, but we have to understand the politics to be successful. We are based in Iowa, giving us advantages found in Iowa’s diverse economy and political spotlight. 

SPPG Staff

It’s hard to find a more interesting mix of people than the SPPG + Essman Research staff. With wide-ranging background and experiences, we team up in our common quest to create and manage change in interests and areas important to real people and in the policy systems that affect their lives. Call us passionate, insightful, funny, creative, smart, connected, or quirky – it fits. Take a look and see what makes us tick. 

Jackie Norris


Hannah Gebhart

Communications and Design Manager

Kasi Krehbiel


Briana Steirer

Senior Program Manager

Crystal Hall

Senior Program Manager
21CCLC Monitoring & Support Manager

Britney Samuelson

Senior Program Manager

John Norris

Of Counsel

Emilee Harris

Program Manager

Deborah Stearns

Market Research Director

How It Began

Arlinda McKeen

Keeper of the Flame

Tom Slater

SPPG Founder

SPPG + Essman Research

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© 2020 SPPG + Essman Research | 2910 Westown Parkway, STE 302 | West Des Moines, IA 50266