Mendhi Audlin Interview with Marcia Walsh April 25, 2017
Q: Where did you grow up?
I was born in Texas where my family has lived for three generations. My father was in sales for a water treatment company. My mother worked for Social Security. My parents met in college and were both on the tennis team. I had an older brother and a younger sister. The three of us were all born within four years.
My sister was unable to pronounce my given name, Melinda, so I became “Mindy” (which I later changed to “Mendhi”).
I had a speech impediment as a child which was addressed in the 6th grade; I believe that good usually comes out of any struggle and that challenge made me a good listener. Like my mother, I am an introvert although I do enjoy socializing. My energy has always come from solitude, long walks and nature. Every year we vacationed in the San Juan Mountains where we enjoyed hiking, fishing, and bird watching. I’ve always loved Colorado.
Q: Did you play sports?
I was a competent tennis player, but I preferred reading, writing, music and poetry. My parents, my brother and his children are excellent tennis players.
Q: Tell us about your education.
I attended Texas Tech where both my parents were alumni and double majored in broadcast journalism and English. While there, I worked at the college radio station working my way up to be operations manager. I enjoyed training the DJs. When I was hired as an intern by a CBS affiliate station in Dallas, my childhood friends were surprised as they thought I was the “least likely to become a radio DJ”!
Q: Tell me about your work experiences.
I met my first husband, a musician and carpenter, in school and followed him to Connecticut where I continued to work in radio. We moved back to Texas; I chose the state to be nearer my family and he chose the city, Austin, for its music. I attended the Unity Church outside of Austin which provided support for me after my divorce.
After the divorce, I moved to Baltimore, where I met my husband Shawn. He was an Outward Bound instructor. I was a corporate facilitator for Outward Bound. My roommate was a staffer at Outward Bound  and Shawn and I attended staff parties together. We co-facilitated a retreat in West Virginia for members of the House of Representatives and really hit it off. We often joke that it took an act of Congress to get us together. We moved back to Texas and were married in 2004.
Soon after we were married, I became the Spiritual Leader for the Unity Church of Wimberley, Texas. Our daughter, Jenna, was born in 2007: a real “church baby”!
We moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area in 2009 to be closer to my family and the city. We missed the beauty and community of a small town, and moved to Colorado in 2015.
I now work as speaker, author and consultant in the area of personal development and spiritual leadership. I created the SpiritGroups small group ministry program, providing leadership training for mission-driven churches based on five principles: communion (prayer/meditation), connection, compassion, community service, and challenge.
Once a year, I host a conference for groups using my program where we share stories based on our experiences practicing the above. This year, we are convening in Austin, Texas.
Q: Tell us about your daughter…
My daughter is very talented and the joy of our lives. I am her Girl Scout troop leader which lets us spend a lot of quality time together.
Q: How did you get to Evergreen?
We chose to move to Colorado. We originally rented a house on Brook Forest Drive and later bought a house after our home in Texas finally sold. We have one dog, a rescue-mutt named Bailey. Our family back in Texas enjoys coming to visit and is beginning to appreciate our great choice to move to Evergreen.
Q: Define yourself as a shoe:
It has to be boots because I am a Texan. Boots are also warm, casual and comfortable.
Q: What led you to Rotary?
I was a speaker at RYLA in Texas for over a decade without ever joining a Rotary club.
I came to an Evergreen Rotary meeting shortly after we moved here to promote a house concert I was hosting to raise funds for children’s programming at the Evergreen Nature Center. I found the Evergreen Rotary club to be more diverse than the clubs I had attended in Texas.
I am proud to say that my father joined a Rotary club 6 years ago and was elected the Rotarian of the Year in his District last year. I believe that one of my gifts is feeling people’s loneliness and believe that a service organization like ours can provide a spiritual community and connections with others.
Q: What words of wisdom do you have?
Inspire infinite connections. Love is the power that grows everything.