With May upon us we’re seeing winter turned to spring, and spring heading toward summer. How fast the days go for the SPPG team with our ongoing work and new ventures! Spring seems to be the season for conferences, with Association of Iowa Workforce Professionals, Impact Afterschool, and the public-health focused Economic Health of Business regional summit. Add in other work such as our strategic planning work with the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, work on youth violence prevention, and continued focus on quality training to address the direct care workforce shortages, and you’d think that would be plenty.
And then there’s the additional excitement of new horizons for SPPG. Denise Essman of Essman/Companies announced at her 40th Anniversary Celebration on April 27th that the firm’s research division, Essman/Research, is being acquired by State Public Policy Group effective May 1. A longtime leader in marketing research, Des Moines-based Essman/Research provides a full range of qualitative and quantitative research services to companies and organizations in diverse industries. We are pleased that Deb Stearns, an 18-year veteran of Essman/Research will lead the research division for SPPG. Denise Essman, President and CEO of Essman/Companies, which includes Essman/Associates, will serve in an advisory role to assure a smooth transition of the research services. Essman/Research will relocate to SPPG’ expanded space in June. Denise Essman will retain Essman/Associates, an integrated marketing communications firm, and will also relocate to 2910 Westown Parkway. Feel free to visit us at any time to just say hello!
For those who spend any time in our office, you have noticed our penchant for interesting, original art that reflects work of Iowa artists, issues we work in, or other countries in which we have worked. Being hooked on art led us to the other new venture – taking on ownership and management of the ArtFest Midwest. With that coming up the last weekend in June, we’re finalizing artist participation, dealing with all the logistics, and welcoming volunteers to help during those days. It’s been fun to venture into the world of art shows, and it is heartening to see the arts thriving and supported so actively in the metro area.
As we think about it, Spring 2017 has truly brought healthy growth to SPPG in ways that allow us to continue to support issues of importance to our quality of life.