HALL OF FAME
MS. AMERICA INTERNATIONAL
Slogan: Empowering Women Across the Nation and around the World
Motto: Crown for a Purpose
Headquarters: Costa Mesa, California, U.S.
Official language: English
CEO: Susan Jeske
Ms. America International is not associated with the Miss America, Miss USA, Miss United States, Ms. United States or Miss International, Mrs. International or Miss World pageants.
Ms. America International is part of the Ms. America Pageant, Inc. system. The beauty pageant has been developed to promote and honor women, celebrate their accomplishments and use their “crown for a purpose” to support and encourage involvement in volunteer service.
Ms. America Inter-Nationale name was first used in a full-page article in Pageantry Magazine Fall Edition 1994. A new pageant system for women over 24 years of age was going to take place in Galveston, Texas June 25 – July 1, 1995 at the Grand 1894 Opera House. Due to a lack of support in the pageant community, the national pageant was cancelled on April 27, 1995.
Ms. America Inter-Nationale, Inc. went on to produce the Ms. America Pageant in Luxor Las Vegas Hotel on December 7, 1997. On September 14, 1998, Susan Jeske purchased the Ms. America Inter-Nationale, Inc. including all its assets. Among the assets were the titles Ms. America and Ms. America Inter-Nationale and all modifications and derivatives and the exclusive right to the use and ownership thereof.
Early Years 2001-2006
From 2001- 2006, Ms. America International titleholders were crowned so they could travel to other countries representing the United States and compete in the international pageant systems Miss International, Miss Earth, Miss Asia Pacific International and Miss Globe International. The purpose was to not infringe on other pageant trademarks in the United States such as Miss USA or Miss America.
The Ms. America International title was first used when Eleana Thompson from Lake Elsinore, California was crowned Ms. America International 2001 on June 2, 2001 at the Hyatt Regency in Anaheim, California. Her prize was to represent the United States at the Miss International Pageant in Japan on October 3, 2001. The pageant took place at the Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo, Japan where she competed against 52 contestants around the world. Miss Poland, Malgorzata Rozniecka was crowned the winner. Eleana Thompson left for Japan 14 days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America at the World Trade Center Towers in New York City.
Casey Marie Burns from Long Beach, California was crowned Ms. America International 2002-03 at the Multi-Cultural Festival in Westminster, California on June 29, 2002. 30 contestants competed for the title in national costume, evening gown, on-stage question and swimsuit. Her prize was an all-expense trip representing the United States at the Miss Earth 2002 Pageant on October 29, 2002. The Miss Earth Pageant took place at the Folk Arts Theater in Manila, Philippines where she competed against 55 contestants from around the world. Miss Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dzejla Glavovic won the title but was dethroned and Winfred Omwake from Kenya was formally crowned Miss Earth 2002 on August 7, 2003.
In 2003, Jessica Schilling from California was crowned Ms. America International 2003-04. Her prize was to travel to the Miss Earth 2003 Pageant in Manila, Philippines. The pageant was organized by Carousel Productions and is a beauty pageant that promotes environmental awareness. The pageant took place on November 9, 2003, at the University of the Philippines Theater in Quezon City, where Jessica competed against 56 contestants from around the world. Miss Honduras, Diana Prince was crowned the winner. On November 27, 2003, Jessica Schilling died at the age of 19 in a car crash in Palm Springs, California.
Raquel Beezley from Barstow, California was crowned Ms. America International 2004-05. She traveled to Guangzhou, China, to compete in the 36th Miss Asia Pacific International Pageant, March 15 – April 9, 2005. The organizers were the China International Culture Exchange Center and Miss Asia Pacific Quest Institute. The theme of the pageant was “Asia Pacific Glamour Blossom in China.” Commemorative stamps were specifically designed and published to honor Gaungzhou, China as the host city. The final competition took place at Tianhe Stadium where Raquel competed against 52 contestants from around the world. Miss Costa Rica, Leonora Jimenez Monge was chosen as the winner. epresenting Barstow, California Raquel Beezley was crowned Reina Internacional del Pacifico 2005 held in Mazatlan, Mexico. In 2008, Beezley represented California at the Miss USA 2008 pageant live from Las Vegas, Nevada on April 11, 2008 at the Theatre for the Performing Arts. She placed in the top 15.
Stephanie Brownell from California was crowned Ms. America International 2005-06. Her prize was to travel to Tirana, Albania and compete in the Miss Globe International Pageant, August 31 – September 15, 2005. The owner of the Miss Globe International was Charlie See and the pageant was organized by Deliart Association. The final competition took place at the Palace of Congresses in Tirana, Albania, where she competed against 41 other contestants from around the world. Stephanie placed fourth runner-up and the winner was Miss Slovakia, Lucia Liptakova.
Tram Ho from Westminster, California was crowned Ms. America International 2007 at Verdugo Hills Country Club in Glendale, California on January 27, 2007. A hairstylist, Tram started “Haircuts for Love” where she donates free haircuts to the homes and orphan children. Born in Vietnam, Tram came to the United States with her family in 1991 and became a United States citizen in 1997. Tram is the first Asian-American to win the crown.
From 2008-2010, no one was crowned Ms. America International.
Kimberly Vodang from Panorama City, California was crowned Ms. America International 2011 on January 30, 2011 at the Doubletree Guest Suites Anaheim Resort in Anaheim, California. Born in Vietnam, Vodang came to the United States in 1989 with her parents and became a US Citizen in 1994. In 2009, she was crowned Mrs. Asia USA. A vegan, she is the producer and host for the TV Show 24Vegan which is both aired on television and is available on YouTube.
Carla Gonzalez from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was crowned Ms. America International 2012 on April 15, 2012 at the Doubletree Guest Suites Anaheim Resort in Anaheim, California. She received the “Crown for a Purpose” award in recognition of her traveling to schools throughout Oklahoma giving educational presentations on Anti-Bullying, Internet Safety and Teen Violence.
Robin Griffin from Laguna Niguel, California was crowned Ms. America International 2013 on June 23, 2013 at the Hilton Orange County Hotel in Costa Mesa, California. Robin is an actress and mother of twin girls.
Laura Hunter from Washington was crowned Ms. America International 2014-15 on August 9, 2014 at the Curtis Theater in Brea, California.
A Colorado native, E-Dee Martin was crowned Ms. America International 2016 at the Curtis Theater in Brea, California on August 29, 2015.
Tracy Rodgers from Henderson, Nevada was crowned Ms. America International 2017 at the Curtis Theater in Brea, California on September 3, 2016. Five years before the pageant, she was critically injured in a car crash where doctors feared she would never walk again. She underwent 29 surgeries and hours of therapy vowing to one day compete again in a pageant again.
Presidential Volunteer Service Award
Since 2007, the pageant is associated with the United States government agency Points of Light Foundation and the Presidents Volunteer Service Award where national titleholder who qualifies, receives an award for her community service during her reign.
Ms. America Pageant Corporation
The Ms. America Pageant is a California Limited Liability Corporation that currently owns and runs the Ms. International, Ms. America, Ms. America International, and Miss Pacific U.S. beauty contests. Based in Costa Mesa, California, the Corporation is owned by Susan Jeske who is the CEO.
Ms. America International Pageant titleholders
The following is a list of all Ms. America International titleholders over the years.