By: Lori Perkins
I’d been consulting with Zoo Advisors for well over a year and was both excited and nervous to move into a full-time position in July — it’s a little scary to leave behind the kind of zoo operational and leadership roles that I’d had and loved for so many years. But at least both professions had the word “zoo” in the name, so moving to Zoo Advisors felt like a career evolution that made sense.
So, the first thing the company does after I start is change its name. 😑
I wasn’t initially sold on the new name, Canopy Strategic Partners. It was one of those changes that I had to try on and wear around for a while, like a new sweater, before it felt comfortable. And now I’ve come to love the new name! I think it’s the perfect concept to convey the core of the work on which our team thrives: fostering community connections, developing networks of experts, elevating leaders, and supporting the long-term growth of our partners, colleagues, and clients.
“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.” – Garrison Keillor
David wrote recently about the decision process to change the company’s name. I’m excited that Canopy Strategic Partners is growing to serve a wider range of mission-driven, environmentally-focused organizations. Some of you have heard me refer to the zoo and aquarium community as having a mission to save the world, and I almost always add “no kidding” – and, okay, yes, usually an emoji, too … 🙄 – to the end of that statement, because it sounds impossibly ambitious. But I’m convinced that that lofty goal must indeed be our narrative, and I’m equally convinced that we need to embrace as many partners as we can in writing the story, because the current state of the world just can’t be the final chapter. We need more storytellers and we need a changed narrative.
“If you want to change the world, you need to change your story.” – Michael Margolis
So, off we go! A new name, a new brand, a new logo, and new stories to develop, share, and advance with a wider array of mission-driven partners. New colleagues and friends and roles for me to learn. Not always easy for an introvert like me, but if you’ll promise not to tell anyone, I’ll admit that I’m finding it to be … fun! Wow, who knew?! For me, one of the critical pieces of any endeavor is to be able to laugh – laughter is how I find comfort, it’s how I break down walls. Once we find laughter, we can find common ground. It’s how we build the broad canopy of relationships needed to save the world.
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” – Mary Poppins
Let’s talk about what’s next. Let’s grow together. And let’s have fun while we do the work of writing the story that will save the world.