Evelyn Arnold shares a story as Secretary Wyman (middle) and Elections Director Lori Augino (right) listen.
Evelyn Arnold, former Chelan County Auditor and King County elections official, has joined the Office of Secretary of State as financial services manager.
Monday was her first day on the job and it was “old home week” at a Capitol reception in her honor. She and Secretary of State Kim Wyman are old friends, dating back to 1991, when Arnold was a new county auditor and Wyman was beginning her career with the Thurston County Auditor’s Office. Sam Reed, both as Thurston Auditor and Secretary, was a mentor to both women. Other old acquaintances welcoming Arnold to Olympia: Assistant Secretary Ken Raske, Deputy Secretary Mark Neary, state Elections Director Lori Augino, state elections official Sheryl Moss, Corporations Director Pam Floyd & Assistant Director Dan Speigle, and Policy Director Katie Blinn. State Librarian Rand Simmons, Deputy Archivist Terry Badger, Special Programs Director Stephanie Horn and others joined the gathering. Each had a story or a word of welcome for Arnold.
Wyman said she was delighted that Arnold is joining the team, bringing her CPA skills, broad knowledge in elections and other fields, an inspiring and collaborating leadership style, and warm relationships with the Auditors and elections officials in both parties.
Wyman said Arnold has been a mentor to many. She added:
“Evelyn was always someone I looked up to and admired. It’s amazing how things work out, and that she’s now here working with our team. She is a leader and a mentor. And I love that Evelyn is from Eastern Washington and that we keep the farmers and some`geographic diversity’ in mind!”
Arnold said her career has had some unexpected twists, including her first bid for office when the incumbent suddenly moved to another county. Her husband Randy, a railroad engineer, transferred to the Seattle area, and she eventually joined him and took a top position in 2009 with Sherril Huff, the elected director of elections for King County. The Arnolds have moved to Steilacoom, but still farm 50 acres of pears in Dryden. She brought a boxful for her new colleagues.
“Working for the Secretary of State will be an adventure, and I’m an adventuress,” she said.