Panels' BIOs

Maria Beall

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

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

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

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. 


Daniel DuVerney

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 Giordano

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.


Diana Gonzalez

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

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’.


Rhonda Howdyshell

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

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.


Deborah Kaufman

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 Communiy 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.


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.


Wendi Russo

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

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.


Corrin Stellakis

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

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.


Deborah Valis-Flynn

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. 


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.