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Mixing It Up

Written by Arlinda McKeen September 22, 2014

What's all the fuss about SPPG turning 30?! That's a loooonnng time in terms of lifespan of a small business. According to Bloomberg, within the first 18 months, 80% of entrepreneurial startups have failed. That makes us at SPPG feel pretty proud, if not lucky.

Thanks from all of us at SPPG to those who have been part of our first 30 years. Truly, it's our clients and the issues they bring that fuel our work to manage change and help make life better for all.


So that's why we have been celebrating in one way or another all year long in lots of different ways. In September we threw a party, and as we dissected the evening in subsequent days, it was exciting to recognize that it was exactly what we had hoped. It was fun in an SPPG-like way that was true to our attitude and organizational culture. We held the party in a non-traditional venue – West End Architectural Salvage – which was located just a scant two blocks from our former offices downtown. “The more, the merrier” certainly held true. People came from across the state, and well wishes from around the country and the world. The mood was festive and light.


And, what a dynamic illustration of what we seek to do and accomplish! Together and engrossed in conversation came the old and young, people of all political persuasions, rural and urban dwellers, those working in private and public sectors, old white guys and those who aren’t, clients and family. (We could dissect further, but SPPG believes in a point of diminishing returns.) It was a social microcosm of our mission of engaging stakeholders in meaningful discussion around issues that shape their lives.


Then, think about all the public policy issues SPPG has worked on over the years that were represented in one place at one time. Just a sampling: foster children and families, housing, homelessness, economic and community development, people with disabilities, public health, quality child care, emergency management, immigration, disproportionate minority contact, direct care workers, workforce development, communications interoperability, out-of-school time, and aging in Iowa.


SPPG was surely an entrepreneurial undertaking back in 1984, or "one of Slater's harebrained ideas," as some may have thought. But an idea that’s proven itself throughout its first 30 years.  The years have flown by – and we can see why. Let the fun and good works continue! 

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