250: The Blog
Press Shop | 07.11.2018
Old hands at the state capitol refer to the governor’s office simply as “250,” which is the office number for the governor’s suite on the second floor. Two-fifty is painted in gold at the top of the glass in the door that opens into the suite.
Eighteen inches down, you can read the name – also painted in gold -- of the state’s highest-ranking elected official: Governor Asa Hutchinson, 46th governor of Arkansas.
If you peer through the glass of 250, you will see Jennifer Siccardi, a lightning bolt of energy and happiness, seated behind the receptionist’s counter. If you actually walk through the door – and she wants you to – her sonic blast of a welcome will blow your hair back: “Welcome to your governor’s office!”
Whatever else guests may remember about their visit to the state capitol, they most certainly will remember Jennifer Siccardi, who for a dozen years has been joyfully welcoming hundreds of your basic sightseers, students, police officers, firefighters, pastors, state legislators, directors of state agencies, governors from other states, movie stars, rock stars, Razorback football coaches and athletic directors, federal officials, reporters, photographers and the occasional clown in full costume.
She chose her trademark “Welcome to your Governor’s Office” because she wanted people to feel comfortable immediately. “For some people, walking in that door is a scary thing,” Jennifer says. “I asked the Lord to give me something to say to them.”
Jennifer’s job also includes answering the main telephone number into the governor’s office. She spends hours listening to constituents and directing them to the right person. People call with all manner of problems, such as the owner of a clothing boutique who sought the governor’s help after a snake slipped into her store.
Jennifer’s job with the Governor is an honor and a big deal, a career stop she didn’t seek or anticipate. “I know how Dorothy felt,” Jennifer says, “when she got to Oz and looked down and saw those red slippers on her feet.”