Who is Willard, you ask? He is a snake plant or Sansevieria, pronounced (san-se-vi-ee’-ri-ah) and is a member of the Lily Family. Those are the facts, but here is his story and how he came to be a member of our team:
One day Christy and Annemarie were leading professional development with an out-of-state colleague. Our colleague graciously invited them to lodge at her home with her, her husband, her dog, and LOTS of houseplants. As they toured the house, Christy began to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over all of the beautiful houseplants.
Our colleague extended her generosity from hospitality to inviting Christy to take home a plant. Annemarie and Christy walked around the house, looking for the perfect souvenir plant. Simultaneously, their eyes landed on a beautiful snake plant (they didn’t actually know the plant type until later), and they both pointed, “That’s the one!”
As it turned out, selecting the perfect plant was the easy part. Getting it home was a whole other story! Early the next morning, as they loaded their suitcases and teaching materials into the car, they realized that the plant should have been loaded the night before. But Christy had already gained a fondness for the plant and was determined to get it home. As she lugged the 4 1/2 foot tall beauty into the back seat of her car, black liquid flowed from the planter onto her (thankfully black) skirt. Still, she was not deterred, and the plant made it to the car to rest while Christy and Annemarie led their PD.
At the end of the day, they began their road trip home, except this time with a third passenger. For some reason, the plant no longer seemed like an inanimate object, but a live person. Or maybe a mascot? A mascot who needed a name. It didn’t take long for them to land on the name Willard, named after the street of his former home.
After Willard settled into his new home, Annemarie and Christy introduced him to Jenna. Without even meeting him person-to-plant, Jenna immediately fell in love with him, too! Since we already had some growing, gardening themes threading through our website, it was unanimous that Willard should become our official mascot.
There you have it: the story of how Willard came to be our official mascot!