Getting to Know Them -BIOs
A graduate from Mississippi University for Women, Renee majored in accounting and started her career at Iowa Power and Light as a corporate accountant. Years later she joined PricewaterhouseCoopers in Manhattan, New York. After earning an MBA from Saint Leo University, she completed the first year of the PhD program in Organizational Leadership. Renee retired from PwC as a Director in the Corporate Treasury Practice.
A retired businesswoman, Renee recognizes the value pageantry provides a woman in her career. Confidence, poise, and mastery of interview skills are a few of the transferable skills pageants offer. On-stage Q&A prepared Renee’ to become a national presenter at Treasury related conferences and gave her experience relating to a variety of impromptu situations with grace and composure. As a pageant coach, she shares her experience with women who have the desire to reach their full potential.
As a member of the Mississippi Association of Pageant Judges, Renee' has a deep appreciation of pageants. She has spent years in the pageant industry in various roles including judge, emcee, tabulator, contestant, and coach.
Currently she holds the title of 2021 MS Senior World Leadership.
Maria Beall is a long-time pageant veteran who has held titles such as Mrs. Virginia-America, Mrs., Galaxy, Ms. World Elite and Ms. US of America. Maria has competed for 21 years and has held over 40 titles. Maria is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a degree in Community Wellness, Cum Laude and holds a business degree as well. She is an American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Physiologist and a 200-hour RYT Yoga Teacher. She lives in Richmond, VA with her husband Michael of 33 years where they make wine and invest in real estate. They have 3 grown sons.
Pam Bolter is no stranger to the world of pageantry. Beginning her own career in pageantry at the age of 13, she has won 8 national titles and countless local and state titles and awards. Serving 17 years as a very successful State Director for a major Mrs. pageant system, opportunity knocked and Pam opened the door. She is now the proud Owner and National Director for the American Queen Pageants, known as "The Pageant With A Purpose!" This pageant celebrates women of all ages, during every chapter of their life. Ladies ages 20-80+ years, women of any marital status, will enjoy a healthy, positive, fun, and fulfilling pageant experience in Las Vegas. Check out more details at AmericanQueenPageants.com
The mother of one two-legged and many four-legged children, Pam and her husband of 32 years reside in Palm Coast, Florida. They enjoy long walks on the beach with their fur babies, traveling, antiquing, and the thrill of the hunt at estate sales and thrift stores looking for hidden treasures.
Crystal Cavey is your current Mrs. Galaxy 2020!!! Crystal loves the Galaxy and Belleza Latina International Pageant Systems and is a cross over winning both the Ms. Belleza Latina International 2018 title as well as the Mrs. Galaxy 2020 title-and is so excited to share this journey with her husband Billy and both children Tori and Raymond. Crystal has been in the Belleza Latina and Galaxy Pageant systems as Ms. Illinois Belleza Latina 2017, Ms. Belleza Latina International 2018, Mrs. Latina Galaxy 2019, Mrs. Illinois America, and Top 15 at Mrs. America 2016
As well as America’s Ultimate Queen, Mrs. Royalty International and US National Miss!! She has made over 600 appearances in 6 years! Some of her favorite hobbies are running, exercise, having coffee with close friends and traveling anywhere with her family. Crystal loves fashion and having fun being herself!! Her culture is so important to her and her family is her #1 priority.
Hines VA Hospital, Visual Information Specialist and acting Public Affairs assistant, helping to promote all the good that is being done for our United States Veterans, "One of my best achievements and very proud to work for and with Veterans." Daniel DuVerney, a native Chicagoan, served in the U.S. Army as a photographer for NATO while stationed in Europe. His duties included photographing dignitaries, diplomats & upper echelon officers as part of his work for European and U.S. military publications. After military service, Daniel attended Columbia College (Graphic Design), and Ray-Vogue College of Photography, graduating with honors. Daniel opened his own studio in 1982. He has photographed models & actors, both national and international, who have appeared on television and in major motion pictures. Executives and politicians have never looked better on digital. Fashion designers have also sought his services on national and international levels. Just a few of DuVerney's major products/clients/magazine covers include: Johnson Products, KISS-FM billboards, Mark Roscoe, Chicago Bulls (Scottie Pippin, Ron Artess), Leo Burnett, ComEd, Anheuser-Busch (Michelob Golden Draft Calendars), recording artists Linda Clifford, Jason Antone, Baby Face Edmonds, Billboard Magazine, Cabaret singers Terisa Griffin, & gospel singers Darius Brooks and Angela Spivey. A few of the magazine covers his artistry has graced include: UPSCALE, PASSION, International Hair Magazine, Nuestra Imagen Hispana, Sophisticate's Black Hair, N'DIGO, PRIDE Magazine (food issue), & the Polish fashion magazines EXPRESS and ON. His client's ads have appeared in VOGUE, HARPER'S BAZAAR, and SALON SENSE and ALLURE magazines. A seasoned judge, Daniel has judged for the Miss IL USA, Mrs. America, & International, as well as other distinguished systems.
Laura is a resident of Fernandina Beach, FL where she is actively involved with the Amelia island Museum of History, and church. She enjoys traveling, both internationally and nationally, reading and dance. Laura has been involved in pageantry for over thirty years. She has held local, state, and national titles and has judged, audited, or emceed state and national pageants. She has been a certified Miss America Organization judge. Undergraduate education: Fashion Design/Commercial Art, Humanities, Education (Secondary English and Communications), Graduate: Special Education (Behavior Disorders), Technology in Education. Community involvement includes Amelia Island Museum of History: walking tour guide, living history presentations, museum camps, Victorian Teas, fundraising creation, and development. In addition, Memorial United Methodist Church: International Missions, Visuals Team, liturgical dance, youth education. Platforms: Alzheimer’s Research and Awareness. Cancer Research and Awareness. Pageant Systems Experience: Global America, US/Universal Achiever, All Nations of America, All American, Mrs. International, American Elegance, Mrs. United States, American United States, Us/International Sophisticates, and Mrs. America.
With over 23+ years of vocal, piano and pageant training experience, owner, Diana is bringing her skills to this award-winning company! She is classically trained pianist. She has been singing for over 30 years. Diana has performed throughout Florida, Georgia & aboard Carnival Cruise Lines. She has performed for special events and is a church cantor. Her solo CD is entitled, Sleep in Heavenly Peace. She has appeared on Good Morning Jacksonville Saturday morning show with White Dove and for First Coast News at 6 pm with a women's quartet during their "Songs of the Season" series. As a Choir Director, Diana has owned and directed, Sing-Along Jacksonville KIDS. A Jacksonville based children's show choir (K - 5th grade) that performed all throughout Jacksonville and recorded a CD for September 11th relief. Diana has directed two children's choirs & musicals. She has written and directed a musical! As a private instructor, she has been bringing the love of music to students ages 4 1/2 - 72 years old! She believes that the best method in teaching is by creating an environment where learning is fun & fosters an excitement to gain confidence & develop a particular skill. Her pageant experience spans two decades. She has been a national judge for the Sunburst pageant system & wrote, directed, and produced her own pageant entitled, Take Me on A Sea Cruise. Diana was featured in Pageantry Magazine as the first recipient of the prestigious "Winner's Circle" award. Diana is a member of the National Association of Professional Women and is a featured article in the Women of Distinction magazine
Stephanie Grady a native of Worcester, Massachusetts is a Market Research Manager for the largest entertainment company in the world. That’s right folks, Walt Disney World. She is an advocate for the advancement of youth and seeing them fulfill their dreams. She was introduced to pageants by way of dance. She began doing the hair and makeup of her fellow ballerinas and was asked to style one of them for a local pageant. This led her on the path to become a makeup artist, stylist, pageant judge, coach, stage manager and producer. She has had the opportunity to see young ladies and gentlemen shine through these many areas of pageantry. Her skills as an interpreter for the deaf have afforded her to provide a unique perspective to contestants both hearing and hearing impaired. Her desire to develop the next generation has allowed her to enjoy 20 plus years in the pageant industry. Her motto is ‘Each of us is a beautiful flower. Bloom where you are planted’.
Tasha is a Model, Influencer and Pageant Mogul. She has been a signed model since 2006 seen in print for Nordstrom, Macy’s, Clinton Kelly and more. Tasha made history as the first Black recipient of a Global Beauty Award (The “Oscars” of Pageantry) in 2018. Seen in PEOPLE Magazine, Essence Magazine, Plus Model Magazine, Venus Diva Magazine and Seattle MET Magazine. In addition to being a pageant show producer, she is a highly sought-after judge and coach. Tasha authored her first book – “Choose you, Change your path and Walk in your Purpose,” which is about her three-year healing journey from life traumas. In August 2020, she launched the Tasha Haskins Show, a weekly video podcast which discusses the silent topics that truly hit home pertaining to Mental Health, Inner-Success and Purpose!
Rhonda Howdyshell holds a B.A. in business with advanced studies in design, executive leadership, and fundraising management at Mary Baldwin College, the Harvard School of Business, and Indiana University’s School of Philanthropy.
Rhonda served 14 years as executive director with Habitat for Humanity and 16 years as a director with the Frontier Culture Museum of VA. She is married, has 2 children and 1 grandchild. Rhonda is the President and the inventor of CrownClips, a company that produces and installs the device that holds a crown on your head without ugly elastics or bobby pins!
Rhonda founded and serves on the Board of Directors of the Cinderella Project of the Shenandoah Valley -- a non-profit charity that helps families afford the cost of prom attire – by dressing their graduate from head to toe – absolutely free!
She is also a certified Miss America judge, who has judged many local, state, and national pageants. She has won a few too – including 4 state titles, 4 national titles and 3 international/world titles.
Rhonda believes pageantry fosters self-esteem and offers real world skills in preparation, presentation, and community relations! She wishes everyone congratulations on challenging themselves to compete today!
Susan Jeske has been involved in the pageant and entertainment industry for over 36 years and is currently the CEO of the Ms. America Pageant. She has traveled to 26 countries as a goodwill ambassador and Presidential envoy for the United States and has been a spokesperson for Fortune 500 Companies. An advocate for volunteerism she has received many awards and in 2004, she received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the President of the United States for the thousands of hours she has donated through the years to all kinds of causes and charities in the United States and world-wide. Since she was 17 years of age as a competitor, judge, pageant producer, director, and owner. She has held many local, state, national and international pageant titles and in 1997 at she was crowned MS. AMERICA®.
During her reign, Susan used her “Crown for a Purpose” and created the “Student’s Against Violence" one-hour assembly program where she traveled to high schools across the nation speaking to students about non-violence in schools. For her program she received more than 30 Awards, 15 Keys to the City and Proclamations for her presentation, including a personal letter from the President of the United States. During her reign she was invited by The Knights Templar in the UK and flown to Scotland where she was “Knighted” by Prince Michael at Sterling Castle for her numerous charity services throughout the world. In 1992, Susan was invited by the Thai Arts and Cultural Committee in Thailand to organize a delegation of 12 National and International Beauty Queens to travel to Thailand for the Queens of Thailand’s 60th Birthday Celebration. The delegation included Miss World, Miss USA, Miss International, Miss International Beauty, Miss Flower Queen, Miss All Nations, Star Search Model Winner, Miss California, and Miss Teen USA. During their two-week stay they made over 42 scheduled appearances, featured in 50 newspapers, 10 national TV shows and was on the cover of 3 magazines. The delegation raised $92,000 for the Queens favorite charity – a poor children’s hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Susan served as a Presidential Envoy for Presidents Clinton and Reagan delivering personal birthday greetings from the two Presidents during a private meeting with Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
A professional singer, Susan has performed at more than 1500 events before audiences that include 7 United States Presidents, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Queen of Thailand, Opening of the Ronald Reagan Library, the STS 102 Space Shuttle Discovery Launch of March 2001, President George W. Bush Inauguration, Denver Broncos Televised Super Bowl Victory Party, LA Angels playoffs, several Prime Ministers and Ambassadors all over the world. In 1985, as Miss California American Beauty, she was invited to entertain the troops on a USO Tour to Turkey, Italy, Greece, and Spain. In 1993 Susan, set the World Record, published in the Guinness Book of World Records for singing the National Anthem at the most events in a 24-hour period raising $93,000 for children charities. Her world record was featured in 8 Guinness Book of World Records and to this day no one has been able to break her World Record although there have been 7 attempts.
Dr. Mayra Joli
Dr. Mayra Joli is an immigration attorney, activist, founder of the Joli Law Firm PLLC, a Brickell based boutique firm, exclusively practicing immigration law, and is one of South Florida’s most intriguing attorneys. A true innovator and change agent, Mayra created Fashion Night on Brickell, an annual fundraising event that generates charitable contributions to support legal services for those faced with critical legal problems who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Beyond her law degree, and pageant work, Mayra is a strong voice for the vulnerable. She cares deeply and compassionately for children’s causes and is a powerful force to be reckoned with within her community and sphere of influence. Cultivating a personal sense of style, she uses her social media platform, enabling her to walk confidently in a new world order, speaking with passion on the most pressing issues tugging at her heart.
Amrit Kaur Kaler, MD
Dr Amrit Kaler is a Professor of Pathology with an experience of 15 years in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students. Currently, she is pursuing her passion in molecular pathology and Cancer genomics at HCG Cancer Care, Bangalore. She became the first Indian to win an international title of Mrs. United Nation International in 2016 after winning Mrs. India in 2015. Subsequently, she was nominated as World Ambassador United Nation 2017 held by UNIP. She has been commended with many awards to include “Indian women Achiever award” and “Times of India Rising star” for her work on cervical cancer. She was selected among the Top 50 Most influential Indian Women by Elite Club, UK London in 2019.
Deborah Kaufman is a Realtor and the small business owner of IM=X Pilates & Fitness in Louisville, Kentucky. Deborah is a multi-million producer in the Kentucky real estate market. Deborah is also a real estate investor and currently owns multiple buildings in the Louisville Highlands neighborhood. Deborah is a native of New York City and graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Prior to moving to Louisville in 2005, she spent nine years in Los Angeles where she worked as a literary agent and represented Hollywood writers, producers, and directors and also as a VP for Development at Universal Studios.
Nova O. Kopp
Nova is currently Ms. Transcontinetal Universe 2019. Nova is a philanthropist and an ambassador for domestic violence through Hillside which spreads awareness about the needs of children affected by mental illness, trauma, abuse and neglect, working toward increased education and funding. Nova is herself a survivor and her personal success story against all odds would resonate with women and children around the world. Professionally, she is Director of Training for AT&T, and also a a life coach and works with people to share her message that is never too late to become the person of their dreams. Nova believes in always delivering your best self and is passionate about helping people improve their personal situation. Whether it it be career, relationships, health, financal or spirtual growth.
Nova has conducted formal presentations on personal branding and transformation to various AT&T sales teams, the Human Resources (HR) organization, and to non-profit agencies in the Atlanta area.
Nova is passionate about communiy involvement and helping others in need. She has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including:
HillSide, Inc., an organization that provides cutting edge behavioral treatment and education to children and their families.
CCYA Inc., an organization that provides a home and support programs for youth who have been abused, neglected, and/or abandoned by their caregivers. Its programs serve multiple counties throughout Atlanta and the surrounding metro area.
Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, InsideOut is our high school ministry. Our goal is to create environments where students are encouraged to make wise choices, positively influence their friends, and experience personal ministry through serving others.
Nova holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Business Management at Kennesaw College. She was selected by the MBA faculty for the University’s highest award, “Class Scholar.” She now coaches MBA students. Nova’s certifications include Six Sigma Green Belt and Managerial Coaching.
The proud mother of two children, Lauren and Christopher. She is a grandmother of Pierce, Easton, Ava and Isabella, Nova lives in Roswell, Georgia with her husband, Mark.
DeeAnna Krier - Visionary Achievement Award
DeeAnna Krier, Ms. Senior World North Texas 60 started her marketing company, Mercer Events in Dallas, TX. in 1980. Producing countless events in DFW Metroplex she added restaurant owner to her resume in 2000, moving to Parker County with her husband.
A mother of two daughters, Krier has a passion to mentor future and current female entrepreneurs. Leading by example, she is highly active in her community. Volunteers for the Children’s Advocacy Center, Center of Hope, Senior Center and two Chamber of Commerce’s in Parker County.
Named the Top 100 people to meet in Parker County 2014 and 2019. Her BBQ restaurant still thriving over 21 years. Awards including: Top 50 in Texas, New Business of the Year 2002, People’s Choice Award 2015 and Business of the Year 2020.
DeeAnna is a first-time pageant Queen in the Ms. Senior World Pageant system in Biloxi Mississippi.
Her moto is “OPEN COMMUINTY”- Prosper your neighbor, Prosper yourself. Teaches The Three C’s to keeping your business open. Commit, Contribute, and Commerce. With 41 years of entrepreneurship experience, she educates female business owners the rewards and challenges to expect along the way so they won’t give up. Keep your business open!
Wendy Lerian is a former Rookie Firefighter and EMT has been a foster parent for high-risk children for 28 years, specializing with prenatal drug and alcohol exposure and attachment disorder. Wendy is the mother of 7 children, 4 were adopted from around the World. She is an International Adoption Ambassador and 25 years ago founded TOYS- Together Our Young Survive, promoting the importance of adoption. Wendy has been involved in pageantry for 33 years and is the reigning Mrs. USA 2021. She will compete for the title of Mrs. Universal in September in Punta Cana, Dominica Republic. She is proud to be a Two Blue Star Military Mom.
Reggie Lewis is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He holds an MBA from Troy State University, a BS in Business Administration from Mercer University, and he is a Certified Internet Webmaster. He completed a second master’s degree in Information Technology Management and is pursuing a PhD in Management.
Reggie has worked as a model and actor appearing in VH-1’s Single Ladies, Lifetime TV’s Series Drop Dead Diva, Joyful Noise, Tyler Perry’s Have and Have Nots, and the Three Stooges movies. He also taped a TV pilot, Hail Mary with Minnie Driver, the first season of Lee Daniel’s Star, and he had the opportunity to work with Real Housewives of Atlanta star, NeNe Leaks taping a segment for the Style Network’s series, The Amanda’s (a fashionable home improvement show). He can also be seen on an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta.”
The former Mr. International UA 2005 was also the first man to hold the title of Mr. United American 2004. He was also America’s Fit Mr. 2013. Prior titles include Mr. Tourism World USA 2003, Mr. Georgia (Mister America) 2002 (where he was 3rd Runner Up to Mister America) and Mr. Nubian America 2002.
Nancy Nguyen Liles, MBA
Nancy Nguyen Liles, MBA serves as Mrs. Petite USA 2021, a mom of two toddler girls, Fire Captain’s wife, and the owner of Sweet T Salon. After earning her B.A. in Spanish at N.C. State University and studying in Peru, Nancy established her career in Chicago while earning her M.B.A. in Leadership from DePaul University. Nancy’s “Business + Beauty” podcast show highlights the entrepreneurial success of pageant Queens. To be born in a Filipino refugee camp after the Vietnam War, overcome the challenges of poverty and non-English speaking parents, to serving as a pageant coach with Win a Pageant ® is a dream come true.
Dr. Val Margarit
Dr. Val Margarit is a Professor of Education and Sociology, faculty trainer, speaker, and author. Her work focuses on the complex relationship between education, neuroscience, and social behavior. She has won numerous teaching awards, including Teacher of the Year, and the Free to Choose Excellence in Education award. She created a massive open online course on Udemy “The Complete Guide: Achieving Success in College and Beyond” and has been teaching and training online for the past 10 years. Her books include the best-selling Why Now You? How to Become an Empowered Woman and The Successful Student Mindset. Dr. Margarit has adventured widely throughout her lifetime. At 16 years old she left her village in search of a better life. She rose from the “ranks” of a factory worker to a university professor and academic leader. As a first-generation college graduate, Dr. Margarit is passionate about creating value and transformational learning experiences using neuroscience, social behavior, and innovation, bringing to life the hidden potential of people and organizations to create a better future and solve world’s problems.
Woman of Achievement, Founder & Executive Director
Marlena is no stranger to pageantry, leadership, and exceptional mentorship. She is the Founder & Executive Director of the Woman of Achievement (WOA) organization. “The mission of Woman of Achievement is to recognize and develop women leaders in their communities. The organization hosts two signature events for women: the International Woman of Achievement Leadership Weekend inviting women from cultures worldwide to present women's issues they face in their home countries as well as U.S. Leadership Weekend to do the same.”
Denise D. McKnight is a two-time international pageant winner. Her past titles include Mrs. Galaxy International 2006 and Ms. World 500 International as well as hundreds of titles throughout her pageant career. She began competing in pageants at the tender age of three. She has competed at Mrs. America bringing home the prestigious Mrs. Congeniality Award. She also has competed at Mrs. United States and others representing her beautiful home State of Louisiana. Denise is happily married 23 years to Brian, has 3 children and one precious grandson. She is a Master Hair Stylist and makeup artist. She is also a former pageant director, Judge, and coach.
Dr. LaKeischa Webb McMillan
Dr. LaKeischa McMillan was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She earned her undergraduate degree in Biology (cum laude) from Oakwood College, now Oakwood University, and continued her studies at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. In addition to her academic degrees, Dr. LaKeischa is certified in the use of the DiVinci Robotic System for Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Surgery. Because of her passion for teaching, she was awarded the distinction of Resident Teacher of the Year, an honor bestowed by fellow residence. A gifted speaker, Integratigve OB-GYN, hormone specialist, and Amazon Best-Selling Author; Dr. LaKeischa has a passion for helping women struggling with depleting hormones. By helping woman get their hormones balanced, Dr. LaKeischa helps them regain mental sharpness, have energy to last the entire day and they begin to remember how beautiful and vital they are. If you want to become a Hormone Hottie follow Dr. LaKeischa on all social media @drlakeischamd.
Vera Morris - Emcee
Vera Morris is currently residing in Cary, North Carolina. She is a Consultant at Yardi Systems, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina and a Professional Model with Marilyn’s Agency, Greensboro, NC and recently signed with MMG, New York City. Vera received her Associates of Arts degree from Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication, from the University of Georgia. Vera fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming Miss North Carolina USA in 1998. She was awarded the Miss Congeniality award at the televised, Miss USA 1998 pageant. In 2015, Vera became an Ambassador for Susan G. Komen, in which she would raise awareness about breast cancer, and speak at events. For a second year, Vera will be a Honorary Chairperson for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Charlotte NC, where she was marketing events for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and attending fundraiser events. She also is an Ambassador for Pretty In Pink Foundation, Raleigh, NC. She recently was a Panelist for Tigerlily Foundation’s Patient Advocacy in Policy Change to End Health Disparities series. Vera’s platform “Treasure Your Chest” was created based upon the numerous women her in life that have been impacted by breast cancer. Vera recently started a “Treasure Your Chest” blog that features stories from women and men impacted by breast cancer, that is found on her website www.veramorris.com. Vera is the reigning United States of America’s Ms. 2021. She was awarded Ms. Congeniality by her fellow pageant sisters and placed in the Top 8 at the United States of America’s Ms. 2021 National pageant in February in San Antonio, TX.
Lisa Opie, is the creator of Vizcaya Swimwear, the LadyCode Shop, the founder of women's empowerment platform LadyCode and Beauty by LadyCode. With a social media presence of over 400,000 followers, Lisa is dedicated to using her influence to promote women's empowerment and wellness. Lisa has over 10 years of experience and was trained in New York by Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian's favorite makeup artist. As a former beauty queen herself, Lisa taught herself how to do her own hair and makeup for competitions. Lisa has held local, state, and national titles in the Miss United States, Miss USA, and Miss Nationwide systems, and placed in the top 5 at Miss United States 2012.
Hunter Raye, JD, PhD
Dr. Raye is a nationally recognized Television Host, Attorney, Author, Motivational Speaker and Humanitarian. For over a decade, Hunter has been an acclaimed on-air personality at ABC Action News and nationally on Lifetime Television. Over her career she has interviewed political leaders, CEOs, authors, celebrities and been featured on shows like E! Entertainment, Maury, and Extra. Hunter is also the reigning Ms. International World USA. Hunter has been repeatedly honored for her humanitarian endeavors, including special recognition by the President of the United States for her work with the National Humane Society. Today, her nonprofit programs Teen Edge and Kidzsafe provide life-changing leadership and life skills worldwide.
Wendi Russo, a Veteran Host of the TV Home Shopping industry, now seen on HSN Channel and holds a degree from the University of Vermont in Business Administration, a Broadcast Journalism degree from UCLA and is an Accredited Jewelry Professional (AJP) with the Gemological Institute of America. An active volunteer and Wish Granter with Make-a-Wish, Wendi is also a licensed Benefit Auctioneer & Fundraising Consultant, helping charities raise money virtually and with live events.
Wendi has seen all sides of Pageantry in the last 13 years, from pageant Judge, Title Holder to Full-service pageant coach. She has been dubbed by her clients as ‘The Queen Maker” for her ability to transform girls & women into Queens regardless of their pageant experience and abilities!
With 25 years of Corporate Sales experience, Wendi has found that her ability to ‘Pitch’ anything in 4 minutes or less, has enabled her to teach women how to successfully ‘sell’ themselves as a title holder quickly in interview.
Earning her first title of Mrs. Minnesota America at 41 years old, Wendi was awarded best swimsuit, Best Evening gown and won all 5 judges votes. After learning the art of Pageantry by winning Mrs. MN United States (1st ru), Mrs. United Nations, Mrs. Royalty International, and Mrs. Premier World, Wendi was inspired to start her own Pageant Consulting business “The Winners Way”.
Tisha Savage moved to Nashville in 2018 to further her Business in Music City. She is a Graphic and Web Designer from South Florida who owns her own Company, Savage Management Group. Her well known clients she has worked with include Jake Owen, Chris Lane, the Miami Marlins, Nashville Soccer Club and DJ Vinny Vinsane from ABC's The Bachelorette. She has created some of the top designs for Entertainers such as Grammy nominated band Midland, Morgan Wallen, Chase Rice and for Pageant Contestants competing around the World. She has won Best Ad Page in Several Systems and even has produced artwork for Miss USA. She has over 17 years of experience in the Entertainment and Advertising Industry where she has been a Talent Agent and cast in HBO Films, Various Runway Shows for Oscar De La Renta and USA Network's Burn Notice. She has used her background in Talent Management to create an application called Booth Life which will be launching in iTunes in 2021 which is sure to be a game changer in Bookings for Entertainment. Booth Life has also branched out into Booth Life Records and she is currently Managing additional Artists and signing them to the Record Label. Tisha is no stranger to Pageantry as she is a Former Ms. Florida United States and Miss Florida Galaxy. She currently is the Director of a National Level Pageant called Miss Hope United in which she has created a Body Positivity and Mental Health Awareness System that welcomes all body types. Tisha and her team are currently raising money to help out of work Hospitality Employees, Musicians, DJs and Event/Gig Workers who are suffering to put food on their table or pay their bills due to COVID-19 with her "Hope Isn't Canceled" Online Music Festival.
Krystle Bell Saulberry, MPA
Krystle Bell Saulsberry is a 2011 graduate of Auburn University Montgomery with a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Krystle is the AARP Community Programs Instructor for the Birmingham, Alabama market and the Grant Writer for the Black Girls RUN! Foundation. She has 19 years of pageantry experience as a titleholder, judge, coach, emcee, stage manager, and content creator. She is the Owner & Founder of Krystle Clear Pageantry where she helps ladies take the next “Krystle Clear” step so they can go from uncertainty to confidence towards the crown.
Kris is originally from the state of Ohio. However, for the last 13 years, she and her husband made new roots in Roanoke, Indiana. Kris is a Master of Science graduate from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a concentration in Social Work, Family and Child Studies. She has been and continues to be a dedicated social service professional of 25 plus years working with families from diverse social and economical backgrounds. Subsequently, she has worked for a county child protective service agency, adults with physical and mental limitations, domestic violence and the last 13 years within a healthcare setting. Kris has held multiple leadership roles, such as: coordinating the monthly Kinship Care and (NICU) Neonatal Intensive Care support groups, organizing annual 5k charitable run(s), holding former electoral Presidency/Vice Presidency position(s) of the (OGKC) Ohio Grandparents Kinship Care Coalition and testified on behalf of Kinship Care issues in front of the Ohio Legislative and State Finance Committees. In 2000, Kris was humbled to receive the Ohio Child Protection Worker of the Year and to receive nomination for the Indiana 2012 Martha Goodrich award. In 2020, Kris was also nominated for the Indiana Allen County Linda & Jerry Dandebeer Community Impact Award followed by County Commissioner recognition.
Kris strives to make a difference locally and afar. For six years she was CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) advocating for abused and/or neglected children. Locally, Kris volunteers for a Children’s Horse Therapy Farm working with children with physical and/or mental health aliments. She also serves on their 501c3 Board. Kris and her dog Trouper enjoy visiting residents within a nursing home setting. With the assistance from her local church, Kris led a disaster relief mission team to Henryville, Indiana. Most recent, Kris and her husband started volunteering for the Allen County Big Brother Big Sister Program. From afar, Kris has participated on several mission teams to Africa, India and Korea working with children in orphanages.
In 2015, Kris implemented LUCKY RACER, a junior ski racing scholarship program which strives to build champions On & Off the slopes. On an annual basis, one to three recipients ages seven to 18 years old and/or an adult with exceptional needs is awarded with a $300-$2,000 scholarship. In April 2021, Kris placed as a silver medalist in the platinum level at the NASTAR Nationals in giant slalom ski racing in Snowmass, Colorado. Furthermore, Kris was a former Mrs. American Achiever and Global America US Ambassador. Humbled and honored, Kris currently represents her home state of Indiana as the 2021 Mrs. Indiana All American Woman.
Dreisa Jordan Sherrill
Mrs. Dreisa Sherrill of North Myrtle Beach, SC is a graduate of Catawba College with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Commerce, Appalachian State University where she earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, and completed doctoral coursework at UNC-Greensboro. She retired as a school administrator with the Iredell-Statesville School District and at the present time she is Assistant Manager, Pageant Consultant and Wardrobe Stylist at the Foxy Lady in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
For over 40 years she has participated in almost every aspect of pageantry as a judge, emcee, entertainer, choreographer, director and titleholder. She is a member and former president of the Carolina Dogwood Festival and has volunteered with the Iredell County Junior Miss program and Miss North Carolina organization. Currently she is the reigning Ms. Senior World 60s and is an advocate for senior Americans while promoting positivity for all.
Having a great love for music, she has served as a church music/worship director and has been a featured vocalist at numerous community events.urchmusic/worship director and has been a featured vocalist at numerous community events.
Corrin Stellakis is a two-time international, two-time national & four-time state titleholder. In 2014, she began her pageant career when she won the title of Miss New York Teen USA. In 2015 she continued her role in pageantry as Miss Missouri World and placed in the top 12 at Miss World America as the youngest competitor. In 2016, Corrin competed for and won the title of Miss New York Earth USA. She later went on to compete nationally at the Miss Earth USA pageant. After winning the crown, she competed internationally in the Philippines and later was crowned Miss Earth Fire 2016. In 2017, Corrin continued her pageant career as she represented America at Miss Multiverse in the Dominican Republic. She won the international title of Miss Multiverse and starred in the DR reality show “I am Multiverse.” In September of 2017, Corrin opened her own business, “Fit to Reign.” Fit to Reign was created to empower women! Corrin wants every woman to view themselves in a positive light and work their very hardest at becoming the best version of themselves mentally, intellectually, socially, spiritually, physically, & emotionally. As a self-development coaching service, Fit to Reign offers personal training, interview and public speaking preparation, wardrobe and image consultations, modeling technique/instruction, makeup artistry, and of course pageant coaching! Corrin is dedicated to helping all women become Fit to Reign. Corrin has a bachelor’s degree in communication and Psychology with a minor in Christian Counseling from Liberty University.
Yolanda Stennett was Mrs. Maryland America 2018 and made top 15 at the 2018 Mrs. America pageant. Mrs. Stennett currently works as a Program Director in telecommunications and is just 2 classes away from completing her 6th college degree. Yolanda has over 25 years of experience in pageantry and has held numerous international, national, and state titles, including Mrs. Earth 2008, Ms. Belleza Latina 2009, and Ms. Galaxy 2011.
Lisa Tallarigo, Mrs. Curve Italy Globe 2020
Lisa has been in pageantry for more the 36 years holding titles on Town County State Country and World levels. An Entrepreneur, model, Inspirational Speaker, WIN Foundation/ Mrs. Globe Brand Manager, and a Bachelor of Arts. She is a Domestic violence advocate and volunteers helping people get safe covenant and restraining orders. A mother of three and grandmother of three grandchildren. Lisa believes volunteering is good for the soul.
A native of Charleston SC, Deborah Valis-Flynn has served the Federal Government as a Program and Management Analyst working to support various branches of the US Military across the United States and the Pentagon Annex. Deborah holds a master’s Certification from Villanova University in both Project Management and as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
Her pageantry titles include Mrs. Alabama International 1997, Mrs. Southeast International 2007, Ms. US America 2010 and Ms. International 2016. She currently holds the title of Ms. USA Classic Transcontinental. Ms. Valis-Flynn has been a strong advocate
for Domestic Violence Awareness and Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention for the past 25 years.
Mary is the Senior HR counselor at Emerald Coast Interview Consulting and has been with the company since 2010.
Mary has a degree in Criminal Justice and a Paralegal degree from Gulf State College. Mary has years of experience as an interview coach and has successfully completed interviews as a nursing school candidate, legal program candidate, and as a flight attendant. She ultimately chose the legal field and still enjoys reading medical and law books as a lifelong learner.
As an educator, Mary was responsible for teaching employability skills to displaced homemakers and developed a community resource program for students that were homeless or going through difficult situations. She held several leadership positions to include Chair of the Diversity program and Chair of Career counsel where she was awarded the Shining Star Award for the college. She developed, wrote, and edited the college’s first Career Counsel Newsletter. In 2009 Mary was awarded with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Award. While studying psychology in college, Mary gained experience reviewing and explaining career test results to students and went on to work with individuals to develop a plan to reach their academic, personal, and career goals. Mary’s experience also includes organizing and conducting interviews and dressing for success instructional workshops.
Mary has been very involved in the pageant industry since 1977. She has earned numerous local, State and National titles ranging from Jr Miss finalist and Ms. International finalist as well as earning the title of Ms. Florida 2000 and Ms. U.S. World fitness 2001. Mary has organized, judged, and emceed competitions and trained numerous candidates who went on to become finalists and title holders at the State and National levels. Mary is the founder of the awareness program “The Crown of Hope” where her mission is to bring awareness about acquired and traumatic brain injuries and is a devoted advocate for Autism Awareness. As Ms. Florida, Mary traveled internationally as a goodwill ambassador for a variety of charitable organizations.
Mary is a former National Smooth Dance Champion and in her free time enjoys teaching ballroom dancing and writing children’s books for her grandchildren. Mary is happily married and is a proud mom and grandmother to a blended family of five children and six grandchildren.
Dr. LaVena Wilkin
Director of the PhD and Graduate Management/Author
Dr. LaVena Wilkin is the Director of the PhD and Graduate Management programs at Sullivan University, a position she has held since June 2013. Prior to that, she was the Dean of the College of Business for Sullivan University and the Dean of Conflict Management programs. LaVena has facilitated workshops on workplace bullying, forgiveness, emotional intelligence, conflict and change, employee engagement, dealing with difficult people, and the P.E.A.C.E. © Model of Conflict Management. Her co-edited book, From Discord to Harmony: Making Your Workplace Hum, was published in March 2020. She is also the Editor for the Journal of Conflict Management.
Kimberly Wilson, PhD
Dr. Wilson is a professor at Wichita State University in the School of Education. She earned her PhD from Florida State University in Communication Disorders and Sciences, specializing in Literacy and Language. Kimberly has championed children for over 25 years within the profession of education. Along with her husband Teon, Kimberly co-founded Prime Fit Youth Foundation, a 501c3 with a charitable mission to provide resources, support, and mentoring to at-risk youth and families. In their spare time, Kimberly and Teon love to spend time with their children (all nine of them!), traveling, and going to the gym.
Linda O’Boyle Zaneski
Linda is a former Miss Pennsylvania who took home a community service and talent award at the Miss America Pageant in 1991. She was Mrs. Pennsylvania United States in 1996 and was a top 15 finalist in Las Vegas. She has been a certified pageant judge, director, contestant and loved many years of being a pageant mom.
Linda has been recognized for over 35 years of volunteer service with the Alzheimer’s Association and currently sits on Governor Wolfe’s State Task Force for Alzheimer’s. She is a certified Dementia Champion and a three time Walk Chairperson. Linda is also very active with Lions Clubs International- the largest service organization in the world. She is Club Secretary, North American Membership Initiative (NAMI) Champion, Diabetes Chairperson, and was elected as the First Vice District Governor for the District. She recently received the International Presidential Medal for Leadership- the second highest award in International Lions.
Professionally, Linda is employed at the VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre and holds two Masters degrees- one in Health Care Administration and one in Nursing. She has earned 2 certifications (gerontological nursing and case management) and maintains an active nursing home administrator license. She recently earned her Doctorate in Nursing and is currently working to obtain her Certification as a Dementia Care Specialist.
Linda resides in Edwardsville with her husband Stan. They have 2 children, Rebecca, who earned her Masters in Organizational Management in Healthcare from Misericordia University in 2020; and Stanley, a 2021 graduate with a degree in Communications, Management and Design from Ithaca College in New York and will begin his Masters in Entertainment Media in August 2021.