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news & views ● scoops News Reports from the World of Pageantry MISS AMERICA ORGANIZATION PASSINGS The Fashion Industry Loses a Champion Miss America Organization Announces New Leadership Team T he Miss America Organi- zation Board of Directors announced today the election of Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989, as the organi- zation’s new Chairman. The Board also approved the addition of Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, Miss America 2012, Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000, and Kate Shindle, Miss Amer- ica 1998 to the Board as Directors. Also elected to the Board were Jessie Bennett, formerly the Ex- ecutive Director of the Miss Arkansas Competition, and Ashley Byrd, formerly the Executive Director of the Miss South Carolina Competition, who were put forward by their fellow state Executive Directors. In addition, Karen Nocella was announced as the Ex- ecutive Director of Operations. Ms. Carlson stated that she and the new Board would immedi- ately work with all Miss America stakeholders, including the orga- nization’s state executive directors and former state titleholders, to continue an ongoing inclusive and transparent process to identify additional new board members and management. She added that the new Board also looks forward to working with the orga- nization’s many sponsors, seeking input while creating a viable, forward-looking Miss America Organization for this and future generations of young women. □ J ohn C. Portman, Jr., one of Atlanta’s great- est champions, died De- cember 29, 2017 at the age of 93. As an architect, real estate developer, en- trepreneur, artist and altru- ist, Portman had a dramatic impact on Atlanta's success and growth as a major in- ternational city and similar impact on other major cities through- out the world. Portman was raised in Atlanta. His family lived adjacent to the downtown area; his dad worked downtown and, as a teenager, so did Portman. He always had a great love of the area and for all its people. When success dictated building a new, larger building for the Atlanta Merchandise Mart, the leading fashion market for the glamour lifestyle industry, he made the decision to build it down- town to encourage further development, reenergize the city and save the area for future generations. In spite of many obstacles and huge financial risks, he did it. Before the Mart’s new million-square-foot building opened in 1962, Portman made the decision that its two restaurants would be Atlanta’s first integrated eateries open to all of his fel- low citizens. He made no big to-do about this and the restau- rants quietly flourished. □ MISS USA ORGANIZATION MISS UNIVERSE ORGANIZATION Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo Announced as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Rookie of the Year C ongratulations to Miss Uni- verse 2012 and Pageantry magazine cover girl Olivia Culpo on being named a rookie of the year in the upcoming Sports Illus- trated Swimsuit Edition. □ 26 PAGEANTRY Congratulations! Former Pageantry & PromTime Model Crowned Miss Connecticut USA J amie Hughes was recently crowned Miss Connecti- cut USA. Miss Hughes, who was featured in our Spring 2010 Pageantry & PromTime Fashion Issue, joins an elite company of Pageantry maga- zine models who have ad- vanced to compete within the Miss USA Pageant. □