Have You Met?

Oh the young and the fabulous!  With her winning charm, beautiful welcoming smile and abundance of positive energy, Radhika Mahanty is a stunner….   With an effortless style all her own, she’s already learned how to handle the world of event marketing and PR like an old pro.  Radhika, the Marketing & Events Manager for the Larimer Square/Larimer Arts Association, is consistently coming up with new ideas - and doing her part - to keep Larimer Square on the radar screen.

Radhika’s family comes from India, and she has traveled there many times.  She observes:  “India is such a beautiful country, although the poverty you see in certain areas tears your heart in two.”  Radhika goes on to say:  “No matter what situation we are in, we are very lucky to live in this country.” 

Radhika has a “can-do” core strength that pushes her to excel.  She’s strong, reliable and connects well with everyone she comes in contact with.   

No doubt, Radhika Mahanty is on a roll, and she has what it takes to weather any storm.  Radhika isn’t just a shining star – she’s a shooting star!  Look for this young lady to ride any wave and always come up a winner.      

Radhika, what are you up to these days?   I am working hard of course!  Larimer Square always has something going on; and we  are planning La Piazza dell’Arte too – the Italian street chalk art event in June.  It’s one of my favorite events-  our artists are so talented! And we are planning the Crested Butte Food & Wine Festival – our newest event.

Personally, I am newly engaged to Christopher Black, and I try to get out to San Diego as much as possible to visit my new nephew Benjamin.

How did you get started working for the Larimer Square/Larimer Arts Association?   Actually another events colleague of mine let me know of the opening while I was freelancing, and I came in and met them and the rest, as they say, is history.

What non-profits are you involved with at this time?  I’m on the Kempe Alliance Board and the Kempe Champions Board.  I try to attend as many events supporting Denver’s community as possible.  Larimer Square has supported and partnered with numerous non-profits that I have had the opportunity to be involved with such as:  Huntington’s Disease, the Elephant Rock Ride, Sushi, Sake and Sumo for cancer, the Starz Denver Film Festival, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts – and many more. 

What event do you look forward to going to each year?   I love the Little Hearts Luncheon, the Starz Denver Film Festival, Western Fantasy - and of course, the Kempe comedy night. 

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do?  I love to go to movies, read, hike and camp, and I even still play competitive volleyball as much as I can!  I love spending time with Christopher and my dogs, Belladingo and Elroy. 

What never fails to make you laugh?   My dog Elroy. His ears go on forever! And…. The Family Guy. Sorry, I know it’s not exactly highbrow, but Stewie does make me laugh.

What do you look for in a friend?   Loyalty, a sense of humor and adventure, and a genuine spirit. I like to surround myself with people who make me strive to be a better person – through learning and living. 

What’s your favorite book of all times - and movie?  Too difficult a question! I love so many of both!  For books:  I love A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, The Robe, Lamb, and poetry by Pablo Neruda.  I could go on and on here, for me books are like old friends.

For movies, the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings Trilogies; The English Patient, Juno, My Fair Lady, Snatch, Office Space, Elizabeth, Shakespeare in Love, An Affair to Remember, Big, The Goonies, I Heart Huckabees, Bull Durham  - I could go on and on here too,  – seriously, there are so many favorites!

What magazine or publication can’t you live without?   Entertainment Weekly is my guilty pleasure.

What’s your favorite junk food – or are you a total health nut?   I try to be healthy but I adore pasta, dark chocolate and big red wines – zin or cab for the most part!

Who is the wisest person you know – and what advice did they give you?  My grandmother.  She told me so many wise and kind things - and if I could ever emulate someone it would be her. She had a lot of sage insight. One of her simpler phrases of  advice that rings true for me in day-to-day life is : “ Just do the best YOU can.” I know it’s simple, but it’s so true!

What advice do you have for the young job seeker right out of college today?  I always tell our interns and assistants to willingly do anything that is assigned to them, and to try to go above and beyond their assignments with a good attitude. The biggest detriment I have seen  is those with an attitude of entitlement – it’s usually the first thing that would set them back in a job where they are with senior professionals who have been working hard their whole lives. 

How have you changed in the last 10 years?   Definitely I hope for the better.  I feel better, more balanced and with a sense of direction, and I’m so glad. I was kind of nutty in my 20’s- maybe, some would say, even a little out of control.  But it was fun and good for me too – every experience is part of life, right?  I think every year is getting better and better, and I only look forward to the future!

Is there any particular activity you try to make time for every day?   I try to make time to spend with my family – no other distractions or events, at least a little every day.

What do you do to find balance in your life?  Anytime I can get to yoga – I do. I’ve never done an activity like that where you really emerge with a mental and spiritual peace, and a sense of life balance by the end of the class. Unfortunately I never get there as often as I would like.  I also like to take long walks at the end of the day – it really helps me re-center just to be outside.

What do you love most about Denver?  I love that we are somewhere between a big city and a small town. It is so nice to run in to friends and colleagues at events, but at the same time there is so much new going on!  I am so proud of our thriving cultural organizations, our hip downtown and more, we have come a long way.  I feel very lucky to work downtown in this amazing energy every day.  I love that so many people in the Denver area are so involved in giving something back to the community.

Do you feel there is a good group of future young philanthropists ready to pick up the ball from some of the older community leaders?  I think we are lucky in Denver because many of our current patrons who are supporting so many non-profit fundraising efforts are setting a really good example for their kids and grandkids.  You can see them starting to get them involved, asking them to be on committees, asking them to attend events, etc.  I think we have some good role models to follow.  I also feel like this is happening nationwide.  I don’t want to make this political, but it seems like in the last year, a lot more conversations have taken place in our communities about how we can all come together in a grassroots way, and how we can really make a difference even with small efforts  - just by doing them together.   

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?  Oh, I don’t like to see myself too far ahead, I’m trying to celebrate the moment that I’m in.