Laura Clark National Director of Miss Earth United States
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing National Director of Miss Earth United States; CEO/Owner of International Ms. Pageant. .
Name: Laura Clark
Pageant title: National Director, Miss Earth United States; CEO/Owner, International Ms. Pageant
Country/city: Washington, DC
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Green
Zodiac sign: Gemini
Titles won: Ms. United States 2011 (Virginia), Mrs. DC America 2014 (1st Runner Up)
Age you started to compete: 30
Favorite designer: Mac Duggal
Pets: My husband and I foster & train Labrador retriever puppies who are going to become service dogs
Hobbies: Cheering for the Kansas City Chiefs & Royals, Traveling, CrossFit
Platform: Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that breeds, trains and matches service dogs to people in need, at no cost to the recipient. My husband and I are puppy raisers, keeping the future service dogs in our home from age 8 weeks to 1.5 years
Favorite place to visit: Vienna, Austria & Puerto Rico
Status: Married for 5 years
Dislikes: Icy weather
Favorite food: Eggs & avocados
World Class Beauty Queens: Hello Laura, thank you for taking the time to Interview with us. Tell us about yourself.
Laura: I was born in Kansas City, an only child of two hard working, smart parents from Iowa. My mom was a valedictorian biochemist and my dad an architect and business owner. They taught me the importance of dreaming big and working to achieve your goals, staying active and healthy, being reliable and honest. This is really the foundation of who I am.
World Class Beauty Queens: Let’s talk about your pageant journey how it all started. What inspired you to do pageants?
Laura: I first fell in love with performance as a dancer. I danced throughout my youth, competitively in college, was a dance instructor and choreographer, and an NFL cheerleader. When I “retired” from NFL cheerleading, I found an outlet to perform by competing in a pageant. I was 31 years old, so there were very few opportunities to challenge myself compared to my life as a dancer. The pageant helped me stay motivated to be in shape, to work on my public speaking and interview skills, and to keep my image polished. I was new to the East coast, so it was a great way to meet others and get involved in my community!
World Class Beauty Queens: Let’s talk about your current position as the National Director of Miss Earth U.S and the system itself.
Laura: Miss Earth is nearing its 20th year as a top ranked pageant. I became United States national director in January 2016. Since that time, we have been named as pageant of the year by Art & Beauty Magazine, declared “pageant to watch” by Missosology, and many other accolades. We have added new divisions - three of which go on to international competition, and we have aligned with major sponsors like Mac Duggal, Planet Beach, Pixton Design, The Pageant Planet, EarthWater, and even more exciting news coming soon!! Miss Earth has proven itself to be the most relevant pageant organization, providing a very important platform to delegates focusing on environmental responsibility and eco-tourism. We create opportunities for delegates to travel the Earth and make an impact. In the past 2 years, our titleholders have been to Austria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Nicaragua, Hong Kong, London, Puerto Rico, Panama and Ecuador. As the national director, I create the vision and image for the program, hire state directors and national staff, connect with sponsors, organize the national pageant venue, coordinate our travel and appearances. My goal is to make Miss Earth a household name in the USA!
World Class Beauty Queens: What made you decide to take on this responsibility?
Laura: I had been a state director and marketing director for other pageants, and I loved my career. I loved getting to work with girls who dreamed of winning their state and national titles. When I learned of the opportunity to be the national director for Miss Earth, I researched the program more and knew there was great potential for this to be the next big pageant in the USA. I was ready for the challenge, and it’s been an amazing experience so far!
World Class Beauty Queens: What is the biggest joy of being a Director?
Laura: The greatest joy is enjoying the national pageant and celebrating all of the state delegates. Only one winner can be crowned, but I try to create opportunities for awards and recognition, and always remember that the national experience will shape these young women whether they win or lose.
World Class Beauty Queens: How would you describe a perfect reign of your winner?
Laura: Currently, Miss Earth United States is crowned in early August, then she has less than 2 MONTHS to prepare for the international competition, so it is quite the whirlwind once she is crowned. In those two months, we have to coordinate competition wardrobe, her eco beauty video, arrange for travel in the USA and overseas, and overall - we want to shape her attitude and knowledge to be the winner of Miss Earth. In a PERFECT situation, she would compete for 4 weeks and win Miss Earth, and we’d be naming our 1st runner up as the new titleholder :) Whether she wins or not, she only has 365 days to make a difference in her title, to see the world, to connect with people. Future plans and partnerships for Miss Earth United States will give the winner a little more time to prepare, and will position her to easily travel, appear in the media, and work with environmental organizations throughout the year.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are top things Queen should do during her year as a winner?
Laura: She should be the voice of the organization in service and recruiting. She should work with her directors to create projects that are her own, that she contributes to and feels accomplished by watching them come to fruition. Ideally, she would create a program that carries on beyond her year as queen. She should wake up every day with the goal to serve the crown she was awarded and the legacy of the Miss Earth organization. She should be ready to work, travel, give back, and thank people. The queen should act like the host of a party, not the honoree.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are some biggest mistakes winners do during their year?
Laura: The biggest mistakes, I believe are 1) Failure to honor sponsors, staff, previous queens, and the state delegates who wanted that crown; 2) Waiting for others to plan something for them; 3) Expecting to get paid for appearances - we are a not for profit, and the queen has been selected to serve our mission.
World Class Beauty Queens: Which Queens were your shining example of excellence?
Laura: Well there have been many remarkable queens over the years, but of the queens I have had the chance to work with, I’ve been most impressed with Miss United States 2011 Ashley Smith, Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, Miss Teen United States 2015 Andreia Gibau, and our reigning Miss Earth 2016 Katherine Espin. They have all shown humility, initiative and determination.
World Class Beauty Queens: What do pageants mean to you?
Laura: Well, I think that people who say, “I work in pageants,” are not approaching the industry in the right way. The definition of a pageant is “public entertainment consisting of a procession of people in elaborate, colorful costumes, or an outdoor performance of a historical scene.” So the pageant itself is actually the event showcasing the delegates. FOR ME, entering a pageant and winning a title is more than just walking across a stage, modeling and being photographed. It is the opportunity to have your voice heard, to motivate others, to bring positive attention to the mission of the organization.
World Class Beauty Queens: Please tell us about your platform and all your achievements.
A platform should be someone’s inner purpose. Something they connect to and know they can truly make a difference. Since 2013, my personal platform has been serving Canine Companions for Independence. My husband and I wanted to get a dog, and when we heard we could foster the cutest Labrador retriever puppy and train her to become a service dog to help others, that became my daily charitable focus. Now with Miss Earth United States, the work I do for environmental responsibility is a LIFESTYLE. I’ve been trained as a climate leader and work to educate others about recycling, water conservation, and supporting companies that are kind to our planet.
World Class Beauty Queens: What legacy would you like to leave behind?
Laura: My legacy is to empower women. To showcase our intelligence, determination and independence. To remain honest and respectable.
World Class Beauty Queens: And the last question. How did competing in pageants helped your life?
Laura: For me, it created a very worthwhile career and a family. I don’t do anything just to check it off the list and move on to something else (except ziplining in the rainforest, that I can check off the list). Pageants have allowed me to meet the most remarkable people who have influenced my career and personal life. It’s allowed me the opportunity to develop a voice and confidence in speaking to others. It has given me the chance to travel, experience other cultures, learn new languages, and appreciate this Earth.
World Class Beauty Queens: If someone would like to sign up and compete how can they do that?
Laura: 2017 state pageants are taking place now. In addition, some delegates can apply, interview and be invited to compete directly at nationals. Delegate applications close June 1st and the national pageant is August 2-6 in Washington, DC. 2018 contest entry will begin in the fall, as we are moving our national pageant to an earlier date in summer 2018. Contestants can inquire or apply at www.missearthunitedstates.com/apply-now!
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you to such an inspiration as Laura Clark. Thank you for allowing us to enter your world of National Directorship for such an acclaimed system as Earth Pageant itself. We look forward to seeing your Queens make a positive impact on this world.
Laura Clark National Director of Miss Earth United States Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief Mr United Nations 2018 Platform: Women Empowerment Ambassador to International Foundation for Orphans iffocares.org
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