Editor’s Note: Spreading her wings

A plastic pink flamingo on the cover. How have we not thought of this sooner?
Maija inveiss hugging a flamingo
Courtesy of Maija Inveiss

A plastic pink flamingo on the cover. How have we not thought of this sooner?

If you don’t get how very “Madison” this is, you must be new here. Back in September 1979, students Leon Varjian and James Mallon of the university’s student government, Pail and Shovel Party, covered Bascom Hill with 1,008 of the kitschy lawn ornaments as a campus prank. It has since turned into a yearly tradition to cover Bascom with plastic pink flamingos as a fundraiser. And it’s now Madison’s official city bird.

A flamingo also paired perfectly with our “Paradise City” theme for this year’s much anticipated Best of Madison list. Once again, Creative Director Tim Burton has outdone himself by creating another fun, memorable cover that will soon be displayed in hundreds of local businesses as a symbol of their 2022 readers’ poll win.

I already know Associate Editor Maija Inveiss is going to flip when she sees it. Of course, she’ll have seen it by the time you read this, but I’m writing this on production week and I haven’t circulated the cover to my two associate editors yet. Maija is a UW–Madison grad, and her dad made a donation in order to give Maija an official UW–Madison flamingo when she graduated with her bachelor’s in 2017.

I still remember the photo of her, dressed in her cap and gown, hugging her flamingo in that adorable way only Maija can achieve. I’ve been doing a lot of retrospective thinking about Maija lately, especially with this edition, because it will be the last full issue she works on for Madison Magazine. She’s going back to school to pursue her MBA in marketing at the Wisconsin School of Business.

What a fitting issue for her to cap her five-year career with us. Not only because of the flamingo, but also because it’s the Best of Madison issue, which is a massive editorial project that Maija has overseen for the past several years. Maija was a brand new hire and former intern for us when her flamingo photo was taken. I think one of her very first tasks as an intern was to count every single Best of Madison winner in the issue. Now she manages the entire project like the seasoned pro she is.

Good coworkers are such a gift. Maija, a jill of all trades, is not only talented, clever and incredibly hardworking, she is the human embodiment of joy. To have the privilege of working with someone like her for five years? I really don’t know how I got so lucky.

Our whole staff has been in denial about her departure for months, and the hole she leaves in our tight-knit team will be gaping. But we are so happy for Maija as she takes this next step in her career.

I just hope she might be willing to pause studying every now and then when we very inevitably have questions about the next Best of Madison project. Or about the website. Or about social posting. Or when we need a pick-me-up in the Pets Slack channel.

Maija, we love you. And thank you.

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