February 28, 2009

NAMiss Indianapolis Open Call!

What a great day it was today at the Open Call sessions here in Indianapolis. We had a lot of enthusiastic families come by to learn about the National American Miss pageant system. A big thank you to our Miss Indiana Pre-Teen and Teen queens, Anna Garry and Mackenzie Klaes who greeted all of the families as they came in and then did the interviews for all of the girls.

Here are a few pictures from today's activities. We have one more session here in Indianapolis tomorrow at 2pm and then we are off to Fort Wayne for Monday afternoon. Have a great weekend everyone!

February 27, 2009

Pageant Friends from Nationals

I was e-mailed these pictures yesterday from Sarah Knight's mom; Sarah is our reigning National American Miss Indiana Jr. Pre-Teen Queen, these are some pictures from Nationals in Anaheim, CA last November. I say this all the time but my favorite part about this program is watching the girls gain confidence and make friends!

Here is what Sarah's mom Jennifer had to say: "The picture on top is of Miss Georgia (Tiffani), Miss Indiana (Sarah), and Amelia (former All-American Queen), and Miss Washington (Starley) glamming it up in Libby Lu and of course making their wishes with the fairy dust!!

The second one is the three girls walking around Disney together (love the three of them holding hands!) It shows how close they all get during that amazing week.

The third one is of Sarah and Alyssa (Miss Illinois) all dressed for formal wear!

Just thought you might enjoy them!! Even for the parents, this program allows for lifelong friendships to be made. We speak often to the family from Georgia that we met and are already trying to plan a visit!"

I think it is so cool the way you get to make friends from all over the country. I'm heading to Indianapolis this afternoon to host one of our Open Calls for new girls thinking about joining the pageant. Something new that I want to try tomorrow is giving the girls some time at the Open Call to do a sort of "meet-and-greet." Give them a chance to get to know the other girls that are signing up; if they can make a friend right now at the beginning and get to know each other as they prepare for the pageant, it will be that much more fun for them on pageant weekend!

My wife Megan was in the Miss Washington Pre-Teen pageant back in 1992 an 1993. Some of the girls that she met that weekend are still her best friends today from all over the country!

February 26, 2009

Miss Washington models for Nordstrom

Your Miss Washington National American Miss Pre-Teen queen, Hailey Sturgill, and her sister Gabriella have both landed a pretty cool modeling gig with Nordstom! You can't blame Nordstom, these kids are cute! :-)
Here are some pictures from http://www.nordstom.com/ in the kids section of both girls modeling some of the fall/winter clothes. This picture of Gabriella, top left, actually happens to be from her latest ad with Macy's.

Not to be left out, their youngest sister Lauren can be found modeling clothes for Hannah Anderson and Chasing-Fireflies. What a talented family!

February 25, 2009

NAMiss Queen on Stage!

Athenna Crosby, National American Miss N. California Jr. Pre-Teen Queen, is currently in the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with San Jose Childrens Musical Theater of San Jose. http://www.cmtsj.org/ Athenna's mom says that the girls in her group are very proud of Athenna for being Miss California, and one of them even signed up to be a contestant in the Jr. Pre-teen competition this summer.

The play runs February 26th - March 1st and tickets are still available through the http://www.cmtsj.org/ website. Be sure to say hello to Athenna!

Here is the play's description from the cmtsj website. The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable. Set to an engaging cornucopia of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock 'n' roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless.

February 24, 2009

NAMiss California Jr. Pre-Teen

Here are two great pictures of Athenna Crosby, your N. California National American Miss Jr. Pre-Teen Queen in local parades. Athenna has participated in three major parades at Tiburon, Sacramento, and Santa Paula, California. I think being in parades is one of the easiest and most fun opportunities our girls have as state representatives. Especially on nice sunny days like Athenna had in these pictures!

Thank you to her mother, Aida, for sending over the pics so I could share them with all of you! Aida shared that Athenna has volunteered at the Sacramento Autism Walk, made donation to the Lucile Packard Children Hospital, to the local Library, and raised money for her local Elementary School.

Aida says "Athenna continues to represent to the best of her capacity the importance of NAM as an organization that promotes so much learning in girls. People notice her composure, her grace, her mannerisms, her intelligent way of speaking, and her her poise, and very, very often have nothing but incredible remarks in regards to Athenna."

Great job getting out there and making a difference! Athenna Crosby is showing what National American Miss is all about!

February 23, 2009

NAMiss Queen in the American Girl catalog

Here is something fun that one of our previous Queens has been doing: the 2007 National American Miss South Carolina Princess Queen, Aria Surka, was featured in the American Girl catalogue! The American Girl line has become a HUGE success all over the country, what a great gig for Aria.

Recently she was also featured as the cover model for Smile Makers, a division of the Staples office supply company. Keep up the good work Aria, you are inspiring all of our NAM participants to get out and work hard at their dreams!

February 18, 2009

National American Miss Pageant Open-Calls

In the right-hand column on this blog I have started listing the Open-Call information for the 2009 National American Miss Pageant season. For those of you that are not familiar, the Open-Calls are informational sessions about the NAMiss pageant system. Basically a time for you come down, meet our team and learn about the program before you ever pay one dime. You may always just visit our website, http://www.namiss.com/ and fill out the online application there but sometimes it is nice for people to get to actually talk with someone, ask questions and really see WHO we are first. Either way works just fine.

If you have been in the program before, there is no need for you to attend the open call sessions. You already know all about the program! Former contestants keep and eye on your mailboxes, our 2009 Homecoming infoformation will be in the mail next week.

I'm only listing open call information for the three states that we direct, Indiana, California and Washington. If you are looking for information on another state, post a comment here and I will get you the information. Thanks everyone!

February 17, 2009

National American Miss girls are family

All of our National Queens made the journey back home after the photo shoot in Houston and the Renard's were nice enough to share some candid pictures with me today. Here's a look behind the scenes as the National Queens worked hard taking pictures all weekend long. One of the most important parts of the pageant is seeing the kids made new friends. These are pictures of our queens together but it's not just the girls that take home the title and represent the National American Miss Pageant as royalty; every girl in the program makes new friends that she takes home with her after pageant weekend.

If you are one of those girls out there reading this blog, send me some pictures of you and a friend you made at the pageant! I want to share your pictures with everyone else! Make it a great day everyone. :-)

February 16, 2009

NAMiss National Photo Shoot Final Day

Sunday was the final day of our National Photoshoot in Houston, TX. The new National American Miss Pageant queens were outstanding! They had a great weekend and all felt like celebrities. Here are a few more pictures and even a quick video from the day:

February 14, 2009

NAMiss National Photo Shoot Day 2

Day two of the National American Miss Photo Shoot in Houston, TX!! The National Queens are all having a blast. Here are few pictures from today's festivities; I should have a short video from the day for you tomorrow morning - see you then!

National Queen's Photoshoot in Houston, TX

This weekend is a big weekend at our National Office in Houston, TX. All 12 of our newly crowned National Queens were flown down to Texas for the annual National Photoshoot! (here's a link to the National Pageant results if you can't remember who won each age division: http://www.namiss.com/eventresults/national2008/) The prize package at Nationals last year was pretty awesome, don't forget-they won a brand new CAR!! But there was so much more included with their title including this trip to Houston for a fun weekend where all the girls really get to know each other and yes, take a ton of photos for National American Miss promotional materials!

Dawn Lee Costa, National Royalty Coordinator, as always is taking fabulous care of the girls. Here are two pictures that were sent to me last night: the first one is of the cool cake that was made for all the girls when they arrived! It might be hard to see in the picture but it has each of the queens names written down on the bottom. Last night all of the girls got to just hang out and have fun together. The second picture is of my very own national queen from California, Tierra Gonzalez-Hammonds, the National Pre-Teen Queen.

More updates from all the fun coming soon! Today is going to be a busy Saturday for the girls with multiple photographers set up to take literally thousands of pictures all day long. Happy Valentines Day everyone!

February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day - NAMiss style!

Tomorrow is the big day, Valentines day! Ladies don't forget to do something nice for the boys :-). Here is a great picture of Nicole Renard, your National All-American Miss Pre-Teen Queen with some ladies from the Red-Hatter society. Nicole took the opportunity to be a part of their Valentine’s Day Bingo and Pie Social. (Hopefully she got some free Pie out of the deal!) She got to emcee the event and helped serve pies. Nicole also got to speak for a segment on the local news; I'm trying to track down the footage and will post it here if I find it.

Once again Nicole shows that the National American Miss Pageants are about getting out and giving back. I had a chance to spend some time with the Renard family a few weeks back in their hometown of Kennewick, WA. They are such a classy family and it doesn't surprise me one bit to see them to see them out serving in the community.

Nicole, along with all of our other reigning National Queens are headed to Houston, TX this weekend to participate in the National Photoshoot - part of their prize package for winning the National Title. Have fun ladies!!

On a separate topic, here is a link to a news article that surfaced about a young lady named Katie O'Brien from Freemont, CA. She got her start in pageants through the National American Miss Pageant system and is off and running! Best of luck to you Katie! http://www.fremontbulletin.com/ci_11690469

February 12, 2009

Arianna Afsar American Idol follow up!

Update on our hometown girl competing in Ameican Idol! Arianna Afsar, you will remember her as a finalist from the Southern California National American Miss Pageants, we talked about her making it to Hollywood a few weeks ago for American Idol. Well........ she made it into the top 36!! It's almost time for our NAMiss fan base to turn it on and help her make it onto the live broadcasts!

Here's the video from Arianna's audition:

Here's a copy of the article:


Arianna Afsar is only 16 years old.

But the aspiring singer has already packed a lot into her short time on Earth.

This San Diego high school student competed in numerous beauty pageants as a child. Her home town also honored her with Arianna Afsar Day in 2005, in recognition of her efforts as a sixth grader for founding an "Adopt a Grandfriend" program.

Now, Afsar can add American Idol Finalist to this resume, as spoilers have revealed she's one of this season's final 36 contestants. Way to go, girl!

Does she deserve this honor? Watch Arianna's audition and let us know...

February 11, 2009

National American Miss Pageant "Open Call" Indiana!

We are beginning to roll out our National American Miss pageant "open call" schedule for the 2009 season! For those of you who are not familiar, "Open Calls" are basically fun informational sessions for people to learn about the pageant before they sign up. They are free to attend and give you a great chance to meet us, ask questions, and for the girls to experience a little bit of what the pageant is all about.

Our Indiana "Open Call" will be the first one and takes place the last weekend in February. You can pre-register on our website: www.namiss.com/MissIN

We will be in Indianapolis on Saturday & Sunday, February 28th and March 1st.
Then we travel to Fort Wayne for Monday evening, March 2nd.

Following the "Open Call" we will be having a workshop on Saturday, March 28th. This is a great way to meet the other girls that you will be participating with and make some friends before you even get to pageant weekend. The workshops are a chance to practice all of the activities on pageant weekend plus we will have some other great opportunities for the young ladies who attend. Don't worry, if you have already signed up for this year, you will get all of the information in the mail!

"Open Call" and Workshop dates for California and Washington coming soon! If you are from another state, get in contact with your state office for more information. Here is a list of all the National American Miss states: http://www.namiss.com/findyourstate/ Just click on your state and all of the office's contact information will be listed.

It's going to be a great 2009! Can't wait to see everyone on pageant weekend.

February 10, 2009

Thank you National American Miss

We frequently receive letters in the mail from families who have been in our program letting us know about their experience on pageant weekend. I love reading these letters, it is part of what motivates me to continue producing the best possible shows for National American Miss! This morning I came across a letter from the parents of Sarah Hazen, a contestant in our Southern California pageant last year. Thank you so much for writing!

I really appreciate this letter because she included some constructive criticism on how we can make the program better. Here is what they had to say and 2 pictures that were enclosed:

"Dear Mr. Brian Cournoyer,

Just a note to thank you for all your efforts regarding NAMISS, My husband and I are very serious about being good parents and keeping our little daughter from negative influences in the world. Our world is changing and in many areas not for the better. We have carefully evaluated the NAMISS program with many questions, observations and criticism and we have concluded we support and are thankful to the program for what it teaches. This is a very new thing for our family and we did not experience this new adventure without bumps in the road. I have to teach my daughter about her value as a person from the inside and not focus so much on the outside, but at the same time do not neglect her outward natural beauty. There was so much happening at the pageant it took a while to digest things and I may not have understood this program completely until the end.

I must give you some feedback regarding a song, I believe it was in the princess division, there was a song from High School Musical, "Fabulous." The lyrics went something like this, "I want it all, I want more,".... it was very self serving and self absorbed. My husband heard it and we both agreed there could have been a better song selected. I know that people don't always agree and everyone as individuals need to take responsibility about what we absorb. We would just like to give you some constructive criticism with the song selection in hope that you would reconsider another song.

I believe our daughter learned and experienced a lot of positive things during State and Nationals and we support her in attending another pageant. I think that it is a wonderful opportunity for Sarah to experience things at the pageant, she may not have had the opportunity to experience otherwise. I was amazed at how Sarah handled not getting any awards, I think not winning is in itself a valuable thing to experience. Sarah was so gracious that it made me realize how blessed I am to have her as a daughter. So again thank you for the value and the positive things NAMISS brought to Sarah."

I encourage anyone who has been in our program to write. I love hearing from the famlies and take your comments and ideas very seriously. Please also feel free to comment here on the blog. Our program has a lot to compete with out there in the pagenat industry, unfortunately most of it is not very positive. I hear the words "scam" and "beauty pageant" too often sometimes. With your help we can show families that there are programs out there like NAM that truly work hard to encourage and build-up their participants.
I am only a phone call or e-mail away. My personal e-mail is bcournoyer@namiss.com and our office phone is 210-558-3360 if you ever have any feedback or questions. Here's to making National American Miss even better in 2009!!

February 9, 2009

NAMiss and the American Cancer Society

Sarah Dahdouh, the National American Miss Northern California Pre-Teen Queen is at it again! These are pictures from the Relay for Life overnight fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. You can see Sarah with the coordinators of the event and motivating others by doing some laps. Sarah helped to raise thousands of dollars for her city's event.

If you aren't familiar with Relay for Life, it is the American Cancer Society's biggest fundraiser. Most Relay for Life events are run in individual towns, and they usually meet at a school or other large facility. In preparation for Relay for Life, teams are formed and each participant raises monies which goes to ACS. During Relay, team participants walk around a track (just like Sarah in the picture!) carrying a spirit stick which represents the team's theme for their relay. The most moving part of relay is the luminaria ceremony held at dusk the first night. Tents are set up for sleeping, if you get any and the next day concludes with a closing ceremony.

Very cool fundraiser! Very cool that the National American Miss pageant system was represented there by Sarah!

February 8, 2009

NAMiss 2009 Mustang Giveaway

The official page is posted for the National American Miss Pageant's 2009-2010 Ford Mustang giveaway!! www.namiss.com/car. And the best part about this years prize, anyone that qualifies and attends the National Pageant can win!

Let me say that again - ANYONE who qualifies at an NAMiss State Pageant for Nationals and attends the National Pageant Thanksgiving week in Anaheim, California has an equal chance to win! There will be an official drawing on Thanksgiving day and one lucky young lady will take home the car. How cool is that!

Check out the website for all of the details! www.namiss.com/car

February 6, 2009

NAMiss California Pre-Teen Sarah Dahdouh

As I've said before, these are some of my favorite e-mails to receive! I was just sent these great pictures of our Northern California National American Miss Pre-Teen Queen, Sarah Dahdouh, out serving in her community. She has been a busy girl!

This first picture is of Sarah making donations at the Teddy Bear Clinic, a community outreach to help children not to be afraid of the doctor. Sarah used her nurse ventriloquist doll to entertain children and helped with other duties as well. Sarah also used this as an opportunity to give under served children a teddy bear and/or a book. (Sarah donated books and bears from the state pageants community involvement program.)
The last two pictures are of Sarah at the American Heart Association. This is her 5th year as a volunteer for this organization. Here she is leading the Heart-Walk participants in a stretch and warm up and below is her with the AHA mascot. She even cheered and encouraged walkers with the Stanford University cheerleaders and band. Go Sarah!!
Great job, these are my favorite things to see our girls out getting involved in! National American Miss is out there making a difference because of wonderful representatives like Sarah.

February 4, 2009

NAMiss is giving away a Ford Mustag!

It's official! National American Miss will be awarding a brand new Ford Mustang to one lucky girl at our 2009 National Pageant held in Anaheim, California! This years prize package takes an exciting new twist because EVERYONE who attends nationals has an equal chance of winning!

Get fired up for your state competitions this year. All you have to do is qualify for Nationals at the state level and you are eligible to win the mustang! That's right, you don't have to win the National Title this year to get the car, just by qualifying for Nationals you are eligible. Show up at Nationals to be a part of the official prize drawing ceremony on Thanksgiving day, it's going to be so much fun watching them draw the winner right there for everyone to see.
Here is the official list on how you can qualify for Nationals at your state pageant: http://www.namiss.com/nationals/guidebook-qualify.aspx Look forward to seeing everyone this summer!

February 3, 2009

NAMiss National PT serves breakfast

Check out the 2008-2009 National All-American Pre-Teen Queen, Nicole Renard from Kennewick, WA! Last weekend she not only spent Friday afternoon and all day Saturday helping at the Family Expo's NAMiss booth taking pictures with local girls, she then got up before church to serve a pancake breakfast to a group of local senior citizens Sunday morning. I only wish I could have been there to have a pancake or two! :-)

If can be so easy to give back, and remember, you don't have to be a National Queen to do it! Great job to Nicole and the Renard family; once again a great example of what National American Miss is all about!

I had the opportunity to have dinner with the Renard family Saturday evening after the Family Expo - something else that they do a great job of is scrapbooking! Talk about capturing the memories! Don't forget to take pictures of all the fun stuff you and your family do; and hey, if you do something cool like serving pancakes to local senior citizens, make sure you send me a copy of the pictures too!

February 2, 2009

National American Miss Press Release

This press release is from a few months back but it is a great example for our other title holders on how you can promote yourself in your local communities. Emily Soloman, the 2008 Southern California Miss Queen, had the following article published in her local paper: http://dailytitan.com/1.754702-1.754702

The article is great! Emily made the most of it by sharing who she is and talking about the goals she has for the program; “If I win the nationals, then my biggest goal will to be working for Alzheimer's,” Soloman said. “I will have a much better platform to spread awareness of Alzheimer's and at the same time be a good pageant representative.”

Her quote at the end of the article says it all for me; “Every day I try hard to be the best version of myself that I can be,” Soloman said.

Now that's the National American Miss spirit! Great job Emily, keep up the hard work.

February 1, 2009

National American Miss at the Family Expo

We just wrapped up a fantastic weekend out in Pasco, Washington where we had a National American Miss booth at the Family Expo. What a blast! Nicole Renard, 2008-2009 National All-American Pre-Teen, Victoria Renard, National Jr. Teen Photogenic winner and Charlottie Cottier, National Cover Model, joined us for the 2 day event and took hundreds of pictures with future NAMiss state finalists.

We had a great booth set up where families could learn all about the wonderful opportunities National American Miss has to offer. Pam Renard, mother of Nicole and Victoria Renard, was on hand as well talking with parents and giving them first hand accounts of what National American Miss has done for her two daughters. Mike Bartils from Texas Digital Studios joined us and set up a photography studio right there in the booth where girls could have their picture taken with the queens. Here's a sample of 3
young girls and the picture we printed and gave them at the booth.

We all had such a great time sharing National American Miss with the Tri-Cities area! Do you know of a Family Expo in your area? Let us know!