• Derek Tokarzewski

Nancy Nguyen Liles Mrs. North Carolina Petite 2020


Nancy Nguyen Liles Mrs. North Carolina Petite 2020, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Photos by Pink Owl Photography

World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Nancy Nguyen Liles Mrs. North Carolina Petite 2020.


Full name: Nancy Nguyen Liles, MBA

Title/Year: Mrs. North Carolina Petite 2020

Pageant System: USA Petite

Age: 38

Zodiac sign: Taurus

Hobbies: Traveling, Instant Pot, Podcasting, Blonding Hair

Platform: Connect with Confidence

Years competed: Since 1995

Countries visited: Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, Peru, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Bahamas, and Mexico

Likes: Eating

Dislikes: Onions

Status: Married 

World Class Beauty Queens: Please tell us about yourself.

I serve as firefighter's wife, a mom of two toddler girls and trilingual entrepreneur. I was born in a refugee in the Philippines to Vietnamese parents who escaped a War and raised me in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

As a first born, First Generation American, and first in the family to graduate from college, I believe that the United States has many opportunities for everyone.  I have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc.com. My Amazon book, The Networking Diary aims to help college grads, job hunters, and entrepreneurs Connect with Confidence. After earning a degree in Spanish at NC State University, I established my career in Chicago while earning an MBA from DePaul University. While majoring in Leadership and Change Management, I worked as a HR Intern at the Chicago White Sox and City of Chicago's Department of Human Resources.  After returning to Raleigh, I married a Raleigh firefighter. We rode the same school buses from elementary to high school but didn’t know each other then. I served as a Board Member for the Raleigh Little theatre and  have organized coat, school supply, and coat drives for local non-profits. I currently own Sweet T Salon in Raleigh, NC and podcast host "Business + Beauty with Nancy Nguyen Liles".

World Class Beauty Queens: What does women Empowerment means to you? Reminding girls and women that they are always good enough.

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

In 1996, I won Miss Jr. Teen Raleigh and it changed my life forever. Since that year, I have served as our high school's homecoming and prom queen, Miss Congeniality 6x's, and Miss Chicago in the International system. In 2011, I was crowned Ms. Corporate America and was later honored with the Lifetime Queen award. Currently, I am honored to serve as Mrs. North Carolina Petite 2020 in the USA Petite pageant. 

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

After attending Barbizon modeling school in 1995, I wanted to apply my skills in pageantry. In my very first Jr. Teen pageant, I won Miss Overall Photogenic and then competed in a national pageant in Orlando, FL. There, I won Miss Congeniality and decided to compete in the same pageant again.

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

As a 4'10" and 95 lbs. petite business mama, I love how USA Petite recognizes women of my stature. My goal is to help women Connect with Confidence in business and pageants.

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

USA Petite was founded in 2009 to be a platform for petite women (5'6 or less) in the pageant industry. It is the nation's largest pageant system for petite women and is proud of its history and past queens. The USA Petite pageant offers titles for four different divisions: Teen, Miss, Ms. and Mrs. across 50+ different states and regions and across the United States. 

The USA Petite pageant is the official preliminary to the Universal Petite pageant, where petite women from all over the world compete for the coveted Teen and Miss Universal Petite title.

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

35% Personal Interview with panel

25% Fun Fashion 

25% Evening Gown

15% On Stage Question

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

As a Petite Queen in Quarantine, I have had limited opportunities for in person appearances. Therefore, the use of technology to show up at conferences, meetings, and more has been essential during this pandemic. Our national competition in Chicago, IL has been moved eight months out to ensure the safety of everyone. USA Petite Queens have met via Zoom and continuously offered support to each other. 

World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your platform or what cause do you volunteer for. Connect with Confidence aims to help people network with purpose. While I was serving as the Vice President of DePaul University's MBA Association, many people asked me about how to network. My book, "The Networking Diary" provides real life networking stories and principles to help people Connect with Confidence. As a salon owner who created the Sweet T Salon brand, I am passionate about helping Mom-and-Pop business owners to also Connect with Confidence. I hope that the work I have done in entrepreneurship and pageantry will inspire entrepreneurs and beauty queens to confidently get their message out. 

It is an honor to be an ambassador for the Brian Hamilton Foundation where we believe in Entrepreneurship for all. The Brian Hamilton Foundation provides an 8-weeks free virtual entrepreneurship education resource for all. Whether you already own one or want to start one, the Starter U and Starter High virtual courses are available for any aspiring entrepreneur worldwide. As a trilingual entrepreneur, and daughter of diesel mechanic and beautician, I love how the Brian Hamilton Foundation removed the socioeconomic barriers to the possibility of entrepreneurship. With this pandemic, we small business owners need a lot of support. I hope inspire those who have always wanted to be an entrepreneur through my platform- Connect with Confidence.

World Class Beauty Queens: What are some of your achievements? Selected as Diversity MBA Magazine Top 100 Under 50, National Asian M.B.A. Global Emerging Leaders, Ms. Corporate America 2011, Entrepreneur of the Year by ACHI Magazine, Founded Sweet T Salon, published "The Networking Diary", and launched "Business + Beauty" podcast show.

World Class Beauty Queens: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls? I serve the public as a salon owner and firefighter's wife daily. As a former national titleholder, I have spoken at seminars in several states. As a serial entrepreneur, I believe my experience with finances, leadership, and business growth will help me serve with confidence if selected as Mrs. USA Petite. As a mom of two girls, I am passionate about building confidence in women. My experience as an HR and Leadership and Change Management major helps me lend experience as a recruiter, event planner, and servant. The relationships I built while living in Chicago also helps me bring unique connections to our pageant.

World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner. I was thrilled to be selected to represent my home state of North Carolina in the upcoming USA Petite pageant. I first thanked God and asked how we would like me to serve in this new role.

World Class Beauty Queens: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen? It means to be a woman on a mission to serve, empower, and represent with kindness and good etiquette. As someone under 5'0", people don't understand how could ever compete in beauty pageants. A Beauty Queen also kindly educates others on the purpose and relevancy of pageantry. To me, a Beauty Queen does not mean a crown and lots of rhinestones, but rather a lady who sees something in this world that she wants to bring a positive influence to. A lady who works hard should take the steps to make that influence happen. Lastly, a Beauty Queen understands that her crown is not about her, but rather about shining the light on her mission and representing her organization with class.

World Class Beauty Queens: How did competing in pageants helped your life? As a teen, it helped me get involved with volunteerism. As a college student, pageantry helped me present anything in school with confidence. After college, pageantry helped me land two coveted internships. As Business Owner, pageantry has helped me understand the importance of branding. Today, pageantry provides a network of working moms who have really supported me on this parenting journey.

World Class Beauty Queens: How did pageants helped your self-esteem and body image? I get "skinny shamed" often because I have been nursing babies for four years now. Although I am genetically petite, people will say, "Did someone forget to feed you?" "You look scrawny," or other "skinny shaming" comments. Pageantry not only helps you respond with a smile, but it connects you to other women who go through the same thing. At USA Petite, I have met other moms who have heard the same comments. However, pageantry has helped me want to be the best version of myself so I focus more on strength training.

World Class Beauty Queens: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel? As a refugee who arrive with her parents to the United States with nothing, I want to continue to humbly serve through pageantry, business, and podcasting. I feel that it is a big responsibility to show girls that success is not about sexy selfie online, but about obtaining an education and using it to help others.

World Class Beauty Queens: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over? To grace the stage with confidence while truly showing your heart with everything you have practiced.

World Class Beauty Queens: How did you prepare for your competition? I created several google excel sheets to organize my connections, budget, and wardrobe and worked from there. 

World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk? Hire a coach, go to walk classes, contact Jackie Schiffer and Lu Sierra, practice, and listen to my podcast show.

World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for choosing right pageant dress? I believe that finding a dress can be harder than finding a husband. If possible, get one custom-made. Foxy Lady Boutique in SC can help. If not, use Poshmark, Queenly, or Pageant Planet.

World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for winning interview? Know Thy Self.

World Class Beauty Queens: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it? Not hiring professionals to help.

World Class Beauty Queens: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest? As a judge, I have seen girls be too "pageantry".

World Class Beauty Queens: Any modeling or acting experience? While living in Wilmington, NC. I got to be on set with Martin Lawrence and Serena Williams as a movie extra. I loved the modeling training at Barbizon. One day, I hope to have more time to audition for commercials. 

World Class Beauty Queens: What are your plans for 2020 as a Queen? I recently launched my "Business + Beauty" podcast show featuring queens who are businesswomen. With only three weeks in, we have garnered over 300 listeners. As a 2020 Queen, I am going to continue to provide tips and interviews to help women Connect with Confidence business and pageantry. Currently, I am building my website to provide free entrepreneurship training through the Brian Hamilton Foundation. My goal is to be an instrument to help entrepreneurs navigate through this pandemic. Prior to nationals, I will launch my Connect with Confidence course to share the networking principles in my book. Many parents say, "I want to send my daughter to you." This course will give them the tools to network with purpose. I have scheduled live Facebook appearances, radio/podcast interviews and hope that I can share my S.E.T. (Set Goals, Eliminate Obstacles, Time) framework with women entrepreneurs worldwide. Since our Petite pageant system also has Universal Petite, I plan to schedule appearances where I can speak Spanish too.

World Class Beauty Queens: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? I want girls to know that you may come to a foreign land, grow up poor, or not have parents who understand what your gifts are, but you can succeed with confidence. However, confidence should not stem from your awards and accolades, but from humility and God's love.

International Director: Hazely Lopez

National Director: Jenna a Kienbaum

Pageant website: www.USAPetite.com

Name of the Photographer: Pink Owl Photography

sponsors: Commit to the Crown (Jackie Schiffer), Ally Bowen (Fit to Sparkle), Eskew Consulting, Win a Pageant (Alycia Darby), Pageant Planet, Lu Sierra, Wendi Russo, More than a Crown (Jacque Georgia), Stephanie Rose Photography (Raleigh, NC), Foxy Lady Boutique, Liz Everett Glam, and Crown Talk with Byrgundy.

World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview.

Nancy Nguyen Liles Mrs. North Carolina Petite 2020, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Photos by Pink Owl Photography

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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