• Derek Tokarzewski

Melissa Hetzler Burton Mrs. Richmond VA 2019


Melissa Hetzler Burton, Mrs Richmond VA 2019, World Class American Royalty Magazine, Picture 1 and 2 by Photography by Lechele, Picture 3 by Melody Smith Portrait

World Class American Royalty Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Melissa Hetzler Burton Mrs. Richmond VA 2019.

Full name: Melissa Hetzler Burton

Title/Year: Mrs. Richmond VA 2019

Pageant System: Mrs. America

Age: 34

Zodiac sign: Pieces

Platform: “Beauty Comes In Every Size”

Years competed: 1 st year

Countries visited: USA (almost all of the states), Bermuda, Jamaica, Mexico, Haiti, Canada, Puerto Rico, Barbados, St. Lucia, Bahamas, St. Maarten, Cayman Islands

Likes: Church, Family, Singing, Cooking, Movies, History

Dislikes: Ketchup, people without compassion

Status: Married


World Class Beauty Queens: Please tell us about yourself.

Melissa Hetzler Burton lives in Chester, VA and has worked for the last 12 years at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond VA. She and her husband Trevor have been married for 7 years, and she is a stepmother to two wonderful children (Emily, 16 and Jacob, 12), and owner of two beagles (Jamie and Trinity). When she is not performing her duties on the VCU Medical campus as the financial and academic coordinator in the Vice President’s office for the Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care, she is busy reaching out to her community in many different ways. She graduated as valedictorian of the Richmond School for Urban Ministry, obtaining a Bachelors in Christian Education, and used this to advance her ministry for at risk youth and work with teenage girls in the area of purity and confidence. She was an on staff youth minister for 5 years, and has worked in youth ministry and been a youth evangelist for many years. She is a recording artist and the lead singer of the Zechariah’s Song Band, where she sang and spoke over 100 times a year for many years and hosted a radio show. She still sings and performs at least 3 times a month at community events. After losing 160 pounds 3 years ago, Melissa has written a Sugar-Free Cookbook and spoken about health and wellness at numerous places such as the Richmond Health Department, VCU Medical Hospital, J. Sargent Reynolds, Richmond Health Disparities, Richmond Health Magazine, and many others. Her family grows a garden each year and she cans extensively, and does meal prep for clients who don’t have the time to make healthy meals on their own. She is very involved in homeless, addiction, Kenyan orphan and widow, and pregnancy center ministries and founded the Abundant Life Tour to raise money and supplies for these causes through the power of music. She is an advocate for debt free living and loves to thrift and coupon. She does interior decorating and crafts and loves to help her husband with his house design company “Heavenly House Plans”. She is a website developer, caterer and event planner, and wedding coordinator.

She does not watch TV but loves to read and is an avid movie collector. She and her family travel almost once a month mainly to visit historical sights. They have also enjoyed visiting the Major League Baseball stadiums in the US. They have been to 6 in the last 3 years and plan on visiting 3 more this year. When asked why she would want to be famous she said: for kindness! Most people think her talent is singing but she believes her talent is deeply seeing people and being able to connect others for the greater good of humanity. She would like to thank Jesus for his mercy and salvation and her family and friends for their love and support.

World Class Beauty Queens: What does women Empowerment means to you?

I believe that we are all beautiful and powerful in our own right. Just because I know something that you don’t does not mean I am smarter than you. We are smart in different ways. We all have strength and weaknesses, but our biggest strength is lifting up others in spite of their weaknesses. Kindness and compassion and being a cheerleader for everyone brings true empowerment to yourself and others.

World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your pageant history.

I have always been the biggest girl in every room I have ever walked in. After losing 160 pounds 4 years ago, I started a journey of encouraging women to love the skin they are in no matter what stage they happen to be on in their health journey. This was one more step in being confident in myself and holding the torch for women who are considered bigger to step out and try something new. This will be my first pageant and I have been so encouraged and met so many wonderful women through it.

World Class Beauty Queens: What inspired you to do your first pageant?

A friend told me about it and I am always up for new things. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and be the best me I could and show the world that everyone is beautiful in their own way.

World Class Beauty Queens: Why did you choose to compete for your current title?

I thought that the Mrs. America pageant was very reputable and the most in line with what the common man knows about pageants. Saying yes to trying for Mrs. Richmond was easy. I am very eclectic and love many things which allows me to relate to many people. I think having someone from the heart of our state can embody what Mrs. Virginia really is. I am fun and breezy like our beaches to the East, I try to be posh and historical like our nation’s capital to the North, I’m a little bit rugged and country like the mountains to the West, and I have the down-home family life of our communities to the South. Most importantly I am involved in fighting for our citizen’s rights and a real Richmond foodie who has a passion for her capital city. Mrs. Richmond is the center of it all and provide something for everyone, and I hope that shines through in everything I do!

World Class Beauty Queens: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about?

Mrs. America was the first and remains the foremost competition for the married woman in America.  Now celebrating it’s 40th year it is considered to be the premiere pageant for married women. it has epitomized excellence, professionalism and the celebration of family values, and is supported by an office and full time director in every state in America and the District of Columbia.


World Class Beauty Queens: What are you being judged on during the competition?

Interview – 50%

Ball Gown – 50%

Bathing Suit – 50%

World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your experience during the competition.

Even before the pageant started, the women in our state formed a sisterhood. It was an amazing experience to be among some of the most amazing, talented, successful women in our state and I felt like a queen the whole time. It can be daunting to walk into that room when you are a newcomer to the pageant world, but everyone was so welcoming and helpful. Once I hit the stage I knew I was home because of all the love and support I was given by so many people.

World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your platform or what cause do you volunteer for.

I wish to use the role of Mrs. Richmond VA and Mrs. Virginia to encourage others through their personal journey. After losing 160 pounds three years ago, I have been an advocate of health and wellness and sugar free living while still being a strong supporter of loving the skin you are in! I want the world to know that "Beauty Comes In Every Size”, and true beauty comes from the heart and the confidence you show to others. We all have insecurities and things we want to work on, but if we change our outside appearance and don’t work on our character as well then we will never be satisfied with what we see in the mirror. I want to build others up and show them that you don’t have to be a magazine’s definition of perfection, because your true beauty shines through your kindness to others.


World Class Beauty Queens: What appearances have you done with your title?

January 25, 2019 – Application Accepted for Mrs. Richmond VA

January 26, 2019 – Belle Grove Plantation Mary Poppins Event

February 3, 2019 – Zayla’s Cause Fashion Show

February 4, 2019 – Child Fund International Sponsor Booth

February 8, 2019 – Philanthropy Conference, Las Vegas

February 12, 2019 – VCU Cosmetic Care Sponsorship

February 13, 2019 – It Works Seminar

February 15, 2019 – Simply Sugar Free Living Consultations

February 16, 2019 – Belle Grove Plantation Valentine’s Event

February 16, 2019 – Smooch a Pooch Rescue Dog Fundraiser

February 16, 2019 – Lularoe Sponsorship Event

February 17, 2019 – Chesapeake Conference Center Daddy Daughter Dance

February 21, 2019 – Chesterfield Republicans Open House Event

February 23, 2019 – CLARION Interprofessional Competition

February 23, 2019 – Galentines Vision Board Event

February 24, 2019 – Class and Canno Cosmetics Sponsorship

February 24, 2019 – Mrs. Congeniality Mrs. Meeting

February 26, 2019 – Mother Against Drunk Driving Planning Committee

February 27, 2019 – Contemporary Christian Music “Red Carpet” Committee

February 27, 2019 – Thomas Dale High School Talent Show Audition Judge

February 28, 2019 – Elizabeth Davis Middle School Recycling Drive

March 1, 2019 – Leesburg First Fridays Event/Book Signing at VA Store

March 2, 2019 – Sleep In Heavenly Peace Event

March 2, 2019 – Raegan International Airport Honor Flight Event

March 2, 2019 – The Wharehouse Event Washington DC

March 4, 2019 - Contemporary Christian Music “Red Carpet” Committee

March 7, 2019 – Fellowship of Christian Athletes Fundraising Banquet

March 8, 2019 – Blingo Bingo Networking/Fundraising Event

March 9, 2019 – Cinderella Dreams

March 10, 2019 - Cinderella Dreams

March 12, 2019 – Richmond Urban Ministry Institute Homeless Event

March 13, 2019 – Health Disparities Nutrition Talk

March 14, 2019 – Humphrey Fellowship Transforming Public Health Conference

March 15, 2019 – Thomas Dale High School Talent Show Audition Judge

March 16, 2019 – Simply Sugar Free Living Seminar

March 16, 2019 – James Madison Birthday Remembrance Event

March 16, 2019 – Life with Lechele Radio Event

March 17, 2019 – Chester Presbyterian Women’s Tea

March 18, 2019 – VCU Allied Health Ribbon Cutting Event

March 19, 2019 - Overcomer Movie Premier

March 20, 2019 – Thomas Dale High School Talent Show Audition Judge

March 21, 2019 – Colonial Height Chamber of Commerce Yearly Banquet (Sing)

Future Engagements:

March 24, 2019 – Richmond Southern Women’s Show Expo

March 28, 2019 – Teach “Leading Change” Seminar

March 29, 2019 – MC and Perform at Thomas Dale High School Talent Show

March 30, 2019 – Disney Princess Performance

March 30, 2019 – “Unplanned” Movie Red Carpet Showing/Event

March 31, 2019 – Prison Ministry

March 31, 2019 - “Unplanned” Movie Red Carpet Showing/Event

April 9, 2019 – J. Sargent Reynolds Nutrition Class Guest Speaker

April 13, 2019 – Central Chesterfield Little League Opening Day

April 13, 2019 – Belle Grove Plantation Titanic Event

April 14, 2019 - Belle Grove Plantation Titanic Event

April 20, 2019 – Co-host and Team Leader – mothers Against Drunk Driving 5k

April 27, 2019 – Host Blended Family Conference

May 4, 2019 – Belle Grove Plantation Civil War Event

May 8, 2019 – VCU Fashion Show

May 18, 2019 - Hopewell Beauty Pageant

May 23, 2019 - Teach “Leading Change” Seminar

June 20-22, 2019 – Kingfest Concert Series

July 14, 2019 – Richmond Gospel music Fest

September 7, 2019 – Emergeprenewer 2019

September 28, 2019 – Chesterfest

October 12, 2019 – Mothers Against Drunk Driving INOVA 5k

November 2, 2019 – Propel Women’s Conference


World Class Beauty Queens: What are some of your achievements?

2019 Voice of Richmond Finalist (top 3 competition March 24, 2019)

My Brother’s Keeper – 2017 Community Award for Service Excellence

Myrtle Beach Great American Gospel Fest Division Winner

Richmond Gospel Fest Finalist/Performer

VCU Homecoming Talent Show Winner

Our Health Richmond Magazine – Feature Article on Weight loss


World Class Beauty Queens: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over?

I hope to let my true beauty shine through with confidence, grace and kindness in my interview, lots of blingy jewelry, a killer red ball gown, a pep in my step on stage, and the knowledge that I have come so far in my journey and I am already a winner by just being on that stage!

World Class Beauty Queens: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls?

I bring a fresh look and perspective to the stage. I am not a treat to anyone, because for me it is not competing against the other women … it is about serving them and letting the chips fall where they may. I have joy and confidence because I know I am a winner no matter what a judge may say on competition day.

World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner.

I really still don’t know how I came to this point in my life. In my mind I will always be the “fat funny girl” who helps her friends pick out pretty dresses for the ball. I have transformed my life and this is just one more step up in my journey. No matter what happens at the pageants, the next day I still have to hold my head high and keep doing all the charity work I help with and trying to make the world a better place one smile at a time … this time I just get to do it with a crown! My life has become surreal and I know now more than ever that I have be destined to inspire women who normally wouldn’t have a voice at the table.

World Class Beauty Queens: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen?

Beauty for me is from the inside out. You can lose weight, die your hair, get a tan, do your nails, hire a makeup artist, and even get plastic surgery … but if you heart is not kind then no amount of outward beauty can cover that up. I think it is great that we have all these things to enhance our beauty and make us feel confident, but if the world spent half as much time, effort, and money on their character we would have a much better world.

World Class Beauty Queens: How did competing in pageants helped your life?

The first thing is the sisterhood. I grew up with brothers so to have a group of ladies that I can be inspired by and call in an emergency has been really wonderful. I sang and spoke at least 4 times a month but this title has opened so many new doors to interact with people and find new causes to champion. Knowing that there are always more opportunities if you want them is magnificent.


World Class Beauty Queens: How did pageants helped your selfesteem and body image?

It has made me realize there will always be someone prettier or skinnier than me, but I can’t let that dim my light. I have to walk on that stage in the grace and beauty that is me and show my best self. That’s all anyone can do and that really levels the playing field. To see the most beautiful women in my state go through the same hardships and doubts has opened my eyes to the truth that we are all just trying to be our best selves and we need love to make it through.

World Class Beauty Queens: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel?

I didn’t realize how much I impacted others until people I hadn’t talked to in years started telling me how proud they were and how they had been following my journey. You never know who is watching and that is an exciting and scary thought. We all have the power to effect change and perception and that is a great responsibility.

World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk?

“If you want to change your direction, If your time of life is at hand Well don't be the rule, be the exception, A good way to start is to stand. Put one foot in front of the other, And soon you'll be walking & cross the floor

Put one foot in front of the other, And soon you'll be walking out the door”

- Santa Clause Is Coming To Town Movie

World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for choosing right pageant dress?

If it makes you feel like a princess then others will see you as such. I like old Hollywood glam. I love sparkle, but the classics really shine through.


World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for winning interview?

Look everyone in the eye and be genuinely happy to see them. If you engage them with kindness then they can’t help but love you.


World Class Beauty Queens: How did you prepare for your competition?

I exercised more. I ate a little less. I went to everything anyone asked me to do because I believe people should be able to use my title to help out their causes.

World Class Beauty Queens: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it?

Acting like I didn’t care about the crown. I know if I win or lose I will be ok, but I wouldn’t want others to think it isn’t important to me.


World Class Beauty Queens: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest?

Everyone has their moments, but in the end nothing you do is a mistake because we can use mishaps to learn and grow. The only thing I would say is I wish everyone viewed each other as family and not competition (I have seen that in life in general).

World Class Beauty Queens: Any modeling or acting experience?

I am a singer, character actor (specialty is Disney characters), and have molded for theme photo shoots.

World Class Beauty Queens: What are your plans for 2019 as a Queen?

I plan to get into even more places to talk about all the organizations and causes I am passionate about, help as many people as I can, and spread love wherever I go.


World Class Beauty Queens: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

I want to encourage others to love fiercely, believe in yourself and others, show grace and kindness especially those who are not like you, and show my daughter that no matter what the world says … she is beautiful because she wonderfully made by the creator of the world.


National Director: David and Elaine Marmel

Local Director: Darla Cline

Website: https://www.mrsvirginia.com/ (state) https://mrsamerica.com/ (national) World Class American Royalty Magazine would like to say thank you to Melissa Hetzler Burton Mrs. Richmond VA 2019 for this wonderful interview.

Melissa Hetzler Burton, Mrs Richmond VA 2019, World Class American Royalty Magazine, Picture 1 and 3 by Photography by Lechele, Picture 2 by Melody Smith Portrait #WorldClassAmericanRoyaltyMagazine #WorldClassBrand 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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