Editor’s Note: Five years ago we had an idea. Being a woman-owned publication, it made sense to celebrate women who were making a difference in the industries we cover. So, we started a feature for Women’s History Month called “Reel Women.” Over the last four years, we have gotten to know leaders, mentors and visionaries from a variety of creative industries. This is our 5th Annual REEL WOMEN. For the month of March, let us introduce you to some very special women like director of sales, director of development and promotions, and a lifetime of fascinating experiences, Surita Mansukhani.
Surita Mansukhani is the Director of Business Development and Promotions for What the Hale, Hootenanny, Tyler Curtis-photography, SMG, and most recently Pogi Studios and Hometeam, who have been named one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies in 2023.
How did she become a director of development and promotions? Well that’s the fascinating part.
Let’s meet Surita.
What’s your origin story?
I’ve always believed anything you put your mind and heart towards you can make happen.
Someone once told me that was not true and I laughed so hard I almost fell off my unicorn…..
So…Once upon a time I was a magician’s assistant, and at a secret magicians only meeting in Vegas I met Siegfried and Roy, who invited me back to their home to meet and play with their tigers…sadly did not go.
Was Miss India USA and toured India with my Mom (I’m half Indian)…do not let the blond fool you!
Had a girl band — Party Girls. We had record deals in London and Europe — traveled, and had all the fun! After that owned nightclubs with my sister Shar.
How did you get into the Advertising world?
While working in the band, Ken Hale who wrote and produced for the Party Girls, started a jingle company. What the Hale, that I did business and development for.
Not knowing anyone in advertising and making cold calls, Johnny Zee Zwierzko was the first one to give us a chance. I hooked up my friends Eric Burden and Dr John on Oscar Mayer commercials with Johnny Z and Ken Hale, that was my beginning into this crazy lovey world of Advertising!
Who were your mentors?
When I started I was extremely lucky to meet the most amazing, talented women who to this day are still some of my best friends, sisters-partners in crime and my mentors coming into the ad world, Debby Fries, Helen O’Brien, Tracy Bernard, Snake, Carolyn Bergen and Chach.
While there will be others, what do you consider your biggest achievement to date?
To be able to work in this business with so many amazing and talented people, create great work and have fun doing it while still learning and being inspired.
What drives you to create?
Is there still a boys club in your?
Yes but now there is also a girls club!!
Coffee, Lunch or Happy Hour. Name a famous woman (living or dead) you would like to attend each function with.
Coffee with Maya Angelou — start the day right!
Lunch with Mata Hari…love to learn her secrets!
Happy Hour with Cleopatra, Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Talyor, and my Mom and sister, now that would be a fun happy hour!
What’s up with Beyoncé being nominated for 4 Best Albums of the year but never winning?
Though she may not have won those awards she has won the title of Queen Bee!! Say no more, Say her name!!
ALSO READ: MORE REEL WOMEN
ALSO READ: REEL 360 — REEL WOMEN
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