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Franny the Flamingo

Recently I asked Lisa Schwartz, "Why is the flamingo ITSM Academy's mascot?"  

"Franny has a long history at the Academy. At our very first conference, we were just two ladies with a dream, traveling to Long Beach CA for an early itSMF show. The frame to our booth came - think silver scaffolding - but the beautiful art panels I designed and ordered, didn't arrive on time. 

Because we are in South Florida, our booth theme was Beach, and the giveaways were koozies, beach balls, etc. I also had ordered a somewhat sizeable inflatable flamingo, which I bought because it was 50% off. 

Well, we just had the silver scaffolding, so what's a girl to do? 

ITIL Training

I blew up all of the inflatables, including the flamingo,  who we immediately named Franny. 

I shoved the beach balls into the silver frame and hung Franny from the top, using a conference lanyard.* Thinking, Klassy with a K.

Sadly - and shockingly - I don't have a picture... but at the time, I was pretty upset! I had ordered well in advance. 😠

But then, the darndest thing happened. Person after person, after person, stopped to tell us how cool our booth was. With comments like, 'I've never seen anything like it before.' And, 'I can tell you all are fun, I would like to train with you.'

So over the years, with many physical and virtual versions of Franny - she has had some escapades. 

🦩 She was lost in Vegas.

🦩 Stolen in DC. 

🦩 And spent well over a year out on a fla-mingle, traveling from one team member's house to the next. #wemakememory

She has become a symbol and a constant reminder. Even when things don't go the way you planned, smile until you are actually feeling happy and work with what you got. 

Pandemically speaking, we've learned a lot from Franny. When things get rough, take a deep breath and three... two... one... flaminGO

In the end, all that really matters is that our amazing alumni are being served high-quality education experiences." #Flamingoals

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*Oh, and I found out years later, that some of the folks at the conference thought our pink flamingo had something to do with another training provider who also has a pink animal associated with them. I was simultaneously mortified and highly amused by that.

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