It’s no surprise to us at Gavin Advertising that the Central Penn Business Journal chose our president, Mandy Arnold, as one of the 2014 Women of Influence. Influential in her company, industry, and community? Check.

Solid reputation based on her experience, integrity, leadership, and accomplishments? Check and check.

But there are some things about Mandy that even us G-Peeps were surprised to find out. In the spirit of the awards program, which honors 25 women in the midstate, we present 25 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Mandy.

    1. She was a breakdancer and has trophies to prove it.
    2. Growing up, she wanted to be a Fly Girl on “In Living Color,” a sketch comedy TV series that aired on Fox in the 90s.
    3. She grew up in Hamilton in Baltimore City.
    4. She has three degrees, but relies heavily on spellcheck.
    5. She doesn’t have kids, so she named her business what she would have named her firstborn — Gavin.
    6. She led the Designated Boater Program in New York for Anheuser-Busch in the late 90s.
    7. She managed national publicity for a big behavior-targeting tech company and helped to get AOL to buy them out for millions of dollars.
    8. After her design won the overwhelming vote of her classmates, Mandy’s high school administration asked her to censor the controversial mascot she designed before they put it on T-shirts.
    9. She started her first business at age 10 selling Christmas décor made out of macaroni (Today, it would be a top-performing pin on Pinterest, no doubt).
    10. She was accepted to the Maryland Institute of Art, but went to West Virginia University instead. (Let’s go Mountaineers!
    11. She started as pre-med in college, but quickly discovered her ability to communicate and persuade — and graduated with a BS in mass communications and public relations.
    12. She once took a trip to Switzerland and almost didn’t come back home.
    13. She taught her husband how to drive a standard transmission and smoke cigars.
    14. Her first car was a 1974 Volkswagen Beatle with holes in the floor so large that when she changed lanes she could see the yellow lines underneath.
    15. Her nickname is Panders (Thanks, Mom).
    16. She almost died at a water park (seriously, they gave her CPR).
    17. She was an aspiring fashion designer and choreographer (until about 11th grade). Her plan was to go to FIT in NYC.
    18. Her honor as a Woman of Influence is not her first from the Central Penn Business Journal — she was named an Emerging Business of the Year finalist after being open at Gavin Advertising for less than 14 months.
    19. She only reads non-fiction.
    20. She’s nationally recognized as a leader Advertising Age’s Insights Report profiled Gavin for smart agency growth after being open for less than 12 months.
    21. She grew Gavin 83 percent in 2013.
    22. She has been with her husband for 16 years (he’s a nice guy and a chef).
    23. Which is great, because she is such a bad cook she once caught a pot on fire boiling water — we have no idea how.
    24. She was never told she couldn’t do something growing up.
    25. She had a letter to the editor published in Advertising Age (years and years ago when she was a junior staffer at an agency) telling agencies the industry needed to change their approach in order to change the industry.
  1. At Gavin Advertising, she’s well on her way.