Today is my 65th birthday. It doesn’t feel any different, but contemplating the day’s approach for the past few months has provided some opportunity for reflection and thought about what happens from here. I never have been one to think about “retiring” and heading off to Sunset City once I reach 65. Now that I am here, that view certainly hasn’t changed. But as I have reflected over the past few months, I have realized also I have the resources and opportunity to rearrange my priorities at this point if I have the desire to do so. And I have realized that I do.
While it is somewhat cliche, I always have believed that it’s important to give back to the community where you make your home. Over the last few years I have stepped up those efforts by increasing, for example, the level of my support for the Anchorage and Fairbanks Concert Associations, the Institute of the North and other endeavors, and also, in a different way, by engaging in independent expenditure efforts the last two campaign cycles focused on state-level public policy issues that I believe are important. The desire to intensify those efforts is what has motivated me as I have reflected on approaching this day.
After practicing law for 35+ years, including the opportunity to lead the oil & gas practice at two global law firms for the final 20+ of those, over the past three years I have focused most of my time and effort on the consulting firm I founded in 2013, Keithley Consulting, LLC. As time was available the last few years, I also have worked some on a couple of side projects: a blog, a fairly regular radio commentary and some related publications captured under the umbrella title of “Thoughts on Alaska Oil & Gas,” and a “cause” to bring about needed fiscal policy reform at the Alaska state level, loosely captured under the umbrella title of “Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets.”
Going forward I am going to reverse the priority. While I will maintain Keithley Consulting, over the past couple of months I have positioned it to be able to throttle back significantly — and likely, entirely — on the work taken in there. That frees up the majority of my time to focus instead on what previously have been the side projects. Because I believe strongly that the issue is critical to the future of our state, going forward I am going to focus most of my energy and effort on the Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets project. That means a stepped up speaking schedule, more outreach and organization and an even more concentrated effort on outlining what I believe is a better way forward for Alaska.
This blog and the remainder of the “Thoughts on Alaska Oil & Gas” efforts will continue as well. As it has increasingly over the last couple of years in any event, the commentary portion will largely complement the Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets effort. We also will maintain the news portion of the blog and the Alaska Oil & Gas Daily, because maintaining a consistent flow of objective information on oil, gas and fiscal issues remains critical to developing solutions to Alaska’s situation.
Taken together, these steps will allow me to redirect whatever accumulation of experience, resources and energy I have gathered over the past 40 years as a lawyer and consultant toward helping to develop solutions for the most important public policy issues facing the state today. To help bring additional focus to the new priorities (and reduce the cause-related clutter my music and other friends have endured on my personal page), I recently also have established a new social media page, Brad Keithley, which will provide an additional outlet on those issues. Those interested are welcome to follow along there.
Thank you to those who have wished me well on this birthday. I am looking forward to what lies ahead.