Miss Amer­ica picks women for lead­er­ship spots

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS - By Wayne Parry

AT­LANTIC CITY » The Miss Amer­ica Or­ga­ni­za­tion is putting women in its three top lead­er­ship po­si­tions fol­low­ing an email scan­dal in which male of­fi­cials were caught mak­ing vul­gar and in­sult­ing com­ments about past win­ners of the beauty pageant.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion told The As­so­ci­ated Press Thurs­day it is ap­point­ing Regina Hop­per as pres­i­dent and CEO of the Miss Amer­ica Or­ga­ni­za­tion, and Mar­jorie Vin­cent-Tripp as chair­woman of the board of the Miss Amer­ica Foun­da­tion.

Cou­pled with Gretchen Carlson lead­ing the Miss Amer­ica Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s board of trus­tees, the group is mov­ing on from the email scan­dal with women firmly in charge.

“By putting fe­male lead­er­ship in place, we hope to send a strong sig­nal.” Hop­per told the AP. “We want young women to see Miss Amer­ica as a place where they can come and ben­e­fit and be em­pow­ered.”

Hop­per, a for­mer Miss Arkansas, at­tor­ney and TV jour­nal­ist, re­places Sam Haskell, whose emails about the in­tel­lect, ap­pear­ance and sex lives of for­mer Miss Amer­i­cas led to his de­par­ture and a re­vamp­ing of the group’s top lead­er­ship in De­cem­ber. She is a for­mer cor­re­spon­dent for CBS News, where she won an Emmy for her work on the show “48 Hours.”

The scan­dal be­gan when the Huff­in­g­ton Post pub­lished leaked emails showing pageant of­fi­cials ridi­cul­ing past Miss Amer­i­cas, in­clud­ing crass and some­times vul­gar com­ments about them. The emails in­cluded one that used a vul­gar term for fe­male gen­i­talia to re­fer to past Miss Amer­ica win­ners, one that wished that a par­tic­u­lar for­mer Miss Amer­ica had died and oth­ers that spec­u­lated about how many sex part­ners one for­mer Miss Amer­ica has had.

Haskell de­clined to com­ment on the new lead­er­ship.

Vin­cent-Tripp, who was Miss Amer­ica 1991, for­merly served on the Miss Amer­ica Board of Trus­tees. She is an as­sis­tant at­tor­ney gen­eral in Florida, and for­merly worked as a TV jour­nal­ist. As chair of the Miss Amer­ica Foun­da­tion, she is re­spon­si­ble

for ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic about the foun­da­tion’s val­ues and build­ing pub­lic sup­port.

Vin­cent-Tripp re­places Lanny Grif­fith, who along with MAO chair Lynn Wei­d­ner stepped down dur­ing the tran­si­tion.

Carlson, Miss Amer­ica 1989, was named chair­woman of the Miss Amer­ica board in Jan­uary af­ter the email scan­dal rocked the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Her sex­ual ha­rass­ment law­suit against Fox News Chair­man Roger Ailes led to his de­par­ture.

Hop­per said she hopes young women will re­al­ize that Miss Amer­ica is now be­ing led by women who have been through the pro­gram and have been helped by it, and that they will seek the same ben­e­fits from it.

Larry Hof­fer, a vol­un­teer at lo­cal and state pageants, said he is ea­ger to see what the new lead­ers’ vi­sion will be and ex­pects the women will leave the or­ga­ni­za­tion stronger.

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