Tom Slater was always a bit off-kilter and quirky. He was also pretty smart, exceptionally intuitive, and had a knack for thinking up unconventional approaches to pretty much anything. When he left the Iowa Senate in 1984, he had one of those offbeat ideas to start a small consulting business. He learned from his years in the Senate that organizations, their leaders, and individuals didn’t really understand that they could achieve their goals through good public policy.
So Tom brought State Public Policy Group into being to provide organizations and others with the tools they needed to impact public policy. Now that sounds sort of idealistic and wonky, but it worked then and works now (if we let it). People told him he was a bit nuts to think he could make money in this business, but 34 years later, SPPG’s still doing it! Tom grew and nourished SPPG and its focus from 1984 until his retirement at the end of 2015.
Yet Tom’s spirit remains embodied in SPPG. While we will miss him, we keep the foundation, the attitude, and the sense of commitment to making our world a better place for the people.