Letter From The Director

I’m honored to celebrate my eleventh year as Executive Director for the Mrs. New York America Pageant, Mrs. New York American, and Miss New York for America Strong Pageants!  The beautiful and accomplished women representing New York begin their journey to capture the crown, which is the first step toward becoming the next Mrs. America, Mrs. American, and Miss for America Strong!

I know firsthand how incredible this experience can be.  I was Mrs. Arizona America 2006, Mrs. America 2006, and Mrs. World 2007.   Although it took a couple of tries to win Mrs. Arizona, the work and preparation made it an experience of a lifetime possible.  I will always cherish the friendships I’ve made through this pageant system.   Many wonderful opportunities were made possible because of my involvement as Mrs. America and Mrs. World, like serving as Honorary Chair for Race for the Cure to beat Breast Cancer, ringing the NASDAQ opening bell, and traveling to Malaysia, China, Mexico, Vietnam, Russia, and across America during my reign.    

Although beauty is central to this prestigious organization, it’s essential that there is an authentic connection to family, platform, and community.   All participants in this organization are model women with strong character that has led to personal and professional fulfillment.  I had the privilege of getting to know each of these ladies, and the Mrs. New York America, Mrs. New York American, and Miss New York for America Strong Systems are stronger because of their involvement.  

To the newly crowned Mrs. World, and Mrs. New York America 2019, Kate Schneider, you have made us very proud during your year of service.  Kate’s community focus and life experience made her an inspiration while volunteering with children promoting childhood health, wellness, and nutrition.  Our Mrs. World Kate created an opportunity to travel the world and is building wonderful memories and strong friendships that will last a lifetime.  Kate, thank you for your integrity, insights, and positive energy.   And thanks to your husband Jimmy, and mother Marcy who are always present and engaged.  Your family always shows amazing support and love.  Congratulations Kate!

To Mrs. New York America 2020 Yasmeen Gumbs-Breakenridge, congratulations on your incredible year promoting your platform #ConfidenceComesfromWithin and serving as a Volunteer and Mentor for The Boys and Girls Club.  Yasmeen, you help build confidence through mentorship in all children.  Thank you for making a strong impact on the children of our future.   And thanks to your family, Joseph and Saige, for your love throughout the year.

To Mrs. New York American 2020 Marjorie Vail, what an awesome year you’ve had as our very first Mrs. New York American. You gave a spotlight and voice to women who have been suffering in silence over pregnancy and infant loss.   Thank you, Marjorie, for continuing to empower women to support each other and help raise funds for The Star Legacy Foundation.  By sharing our stories, we can help change our future. We appreciate you, your husband Roman, and your son Amaelian for your tremendous support. 

To Miss New York for America, Gabrielle Wright, congratulations to you for your leadership and contributions to the Best Buddies Organization. Gabby, you were extremely dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).  Thanks so much Gabby for doing an amazing job promoting both your platform Best Buddies and this Miss New York for America Strong Organization.  And thanks to Dalton, Aunt Kerry, Uncle Rick, and your Grandmother for their unwavering support.

There’s also a number of people who I can’t thank enough: my loving husband Roy, Mom and Dad, brother Vic, sister-in-law Kimmie, nephew Bryson, niece Brynlee, and Grandma Mary all help make this pageant a reality.   I love you all from the bottom of my heart.  Elaine Marmel and her late husband David, Founders of Mrs. America, and Mrs. World, I have been extremely fortunate to share many amazing adventures with you.  To my dear friends: Director Di, Susanna, Holly, Kate, Kelly, Nicole, Tracy, Raquel, Jessica, Alicia, Amy, Missy, Mai-Lea, Mrs. America State Directors, my Mrs. Arizona-America-World Sister Titleholders, thank you for your love, friendship and continued support.  

Finally, this event is possible thanks to our Judges Panel, Dance Choreographer Pamela Schickler, Pageant Staff, former Mrs. New York Americas, Vito at Taverna Productions, Vicky Wejko, MBDEV Boston, Julie Andrecolich, Joeval’s Formalwear, Kelly Breuer, Christopher Cardwell, Brody Wheeler, Laura Marino, Carlos Velez, Glow Sunless Tans, Josh Shapiro, Vitalize, Encore Events, Rizzo DiGiacco, Hern & Baniewicz CPAs, RIT Inn and Conference Center staff, Rapid Print and Marketing,, Corrin Stellakis, Roberta Whitney Hughes,  and all of our generous sponsors that came together to make this pageant a success!   We are grateful for your passion to support the goals and dreams of the women who enter this pageant. 


Diane Hardgrove

Close Menu