Member Spotlight: Anjela Shutts
Anjela (Anjie) Shutts is a Member at the Whitfield & Eddy law firm in Des Moines. She was born and raised in Grinnell, Iowa and is a graduate of Luther College (1993) and Drake Law School (1996). She started clerking at Whitfield & Eddy in May of 1994 and has been there ever since. She practices exclusively in the family law area, including doing collaborative divorces and serving as a mediator. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone number is 515-246-5536.
Question: Tell me about your family.
Answer: I am married to Peter Kitundu, who is also a lawyer (we were law school sweethearts who met on Pete’s second day of law school). Peter is the Director of Compliance for Wellmark Insurance. We have two daughters – Mary Elisabeth who is 11 and Lillian who is 8.
Question: What are some of your notable achievements?
Answer: Peter and I have been happily married for 15 years, which in my area of business, is a notable achievement. Otherwise, I would say that I am a past president of the PCBA, PCWA and IOWA. I am currently a member of Whitfield’s three-person executive committee and a member of the Polk County Judicial Nominating Committee. I was just appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court Steering Committee Task Force regarding civil justice reform in family law matters. I am the immediate past president of the Downtown School PTA.
Question: Why you do what you do?
Answer: Doing family law means that there is never a dull moment, and that you really get to help someone out of a crisis but are constantly challenged in your work.
Question: What do you do to get away from work?
Answer: Our kids have reached that age that they are very involved in activities. So when I am not at work, I am usually driving them around. Otherwise, I love to spend time with my family (especially Peter), run and read.
Question: Tell me what you like to do to give back to the community.
Answer: I have been a volunteer for the PCBA VLP since the moment I passed the bar. I served as the president of the VLP for a number of years. I am a Sunday school teacher at St. John’s Lutheran Church and volunteer regularly with my children’s school.
Question: What is the best thing about the Polk County Bar Association?
Answer: The opportunity to meet and get to know on a personal level many interesting and entertaining people.
Question: What would you say are your words to live by?
Answer: “Build a bridge and get over it”.
Question: What is your favorite book?
Answer: “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Question: What is the best place to visit in Polk County?
Answer: The State Capitol.
Question: Would there be anything you would change about Polk County?
Answer: Improving the quality of parks.
Question: What is your Leadership Philosophy?
Answer: “Lead, follow or get out of the way”.
Question: If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor and why?
Answer: I have been lucky to have many in my life, but there are two main ones – My father and Maureen Roach Tobin, my law partner. My father was a true public servant – as a police officer, then a county employee running the county relief department and then as a member of the board of supervisors. Not only did he demonstrate to me what hard work and sacrifice was, his entire life was focused on conflict resolution and leaving ones community better because you were a part of it. Maureen was the first female attorney I met and really got to know. Not only did she show me how to practice law in an ethical way, she demonstrated to me that you can be a good lawyer, a good mom, a good sister, friend, etc. all at the same time.
Question: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Answer: I was going to be either a lawyer or a truck driver.
Question: What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Answer: “Shama Lama Ding Dong” (the song I heard the night that I met Peter because he kept playing it at the party we were at), “Classic” by MKTO (because my kids LOVE that song), anything by No Doubt and Gwen Stefani.
Question: Last movie you saw?
Answer: I watched the Mighty Ducks with my husband and our kids over Thanksgiving. We are really in to exposing them to our favorite movies from years past.
Question: If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Answer: Mary Poppins. Because she has all the answers when it comes to parenting.
Question: If you could learn to do anything, what would you choose to learn to do and why?
Answer: Water ski. I have tried and I can never do it.