FOUNDERS AND BOARD

The original members of the Founding Board of Governors were Carol Thomas, Kathleen “Kat” Ray, Connie Ross-Karl, Elizabeth Purtee, Mary McIntosh and Virginia Werner. They were joined by the Founding Ms. Senior Michigan Caren Mislinski. They are each dynamic, accomplished senior women who represent the North, South, East, West and Central Regions of the country, along with the U.S. Territories, with the intent to be as inclusive as possible to all of these areas and by so doing, encourage participation from all of the states, regions and territories.  

 

Kathleen Ray, Carol Thomas, Virginia Werner and Mary McIntosh have continued their roles into the 2018-2019 Pageant Year, and have been joined by more than a dozen highly qualified Queens and Advisors as this organization continues to grow. Thanks to the senior women on our Board, the reception and growth have been nothing less than spectacular. We are each personally in awe of every one of them, what they have accomplished and what they now and in the future have to offer the country and the world.

 

We also have an Advisory Panel from the entertainment industry and  work with other pageant families to provide more opportunities for our accomplished queens to compete regionally, nationally and on the international level.  Our social media program is up to over five million views per week, and we continue to build and update the Universe/USA website. We are recognized by the UN Commission on the Status of Women and have appointed members of the Board to serve as the Senior UN and World Ambassadors.

 

2019-2020 Trustees

Founding Queen Kathleen "Kat" Ray

Ms. Senior Universe Sherry Strother, International Trustee

Ms. Senior United States 2018 Nicole Duffel, National Trustee

Gary Duffel, Trustee at-Large

2019-2020 Planning Committee

Founding Queen Kathleen "Kat" Ray

Ms. Senior Universe 2018 Sherry Strother, International Trustee

Ms. Senior United States 2018 Nicole Duffel, National Trustee

Gary Duffel, Trustee at-Large

Ms. Super Senior Universe 2018 Sally Beth Vick

Ms. Senior United States 2019 Kathie Truitt

Ms. Senior USA 2019 Cherie Kidd

Ms. Super Senior USA 2019 Joanie Helgesen

2019-2020 Ceremonial Board of Governors

Founding Queen Kathleen "Kat" Ray, Founding Queen Emeritus Carol Thomas,

Founding Queen Emeritus Virginia Werner, Founding Queen Emeritus Mary McIntosh, Ms. Super Senior Universe 2017 Betty Aden, Ms. Senior USA 2017 Debbi Miller, 

Ms. Super Senor Universe 2018 Sally Beth Vick, Ms. Senior USA 2018

Sara Jo Burks, Ms. Super Senior USA 2018 Nancy Long, Ms. Senior

Universe 2018 Sherry Strother, Ms. Senior USA 2019 Cherie Kidd, 

Ms. Super Senior USA Joanie Helgesen, Ms. Senior United States

2018 Nicole Duffel, Ms. Senior United States 2019 Kathie Truitt, 

Ms. Sr. Sweetheart 2019 Peggie Fowler, Nancy Berhorst, Dr. Ida

White, Dr. Sharon Maloney, Grande Dame  Universe Marilyn O'Connell,

Emeritus Super Seniors Cindy Doumani, Elizabeth Garrison, Gladys Hughes

FOUNDING BOARD OF GOVERNORS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Kathleen "Kat" Ray

KatRay@MsSeniorUSA.org

1-800-225-0274 Ext 101

FOUNDING MS. SENIOR USA

FOUNDING MS. SENIOR UNIVERSE

Founding Member, Board of Governors

For over thirty years, Kathleen “Kat” Ray has been a national and internationally recognized business woman, community leader, and a single Mom while a top corporate Real Estate Broker and National Sales Trainer for developers across the country. Kat holds Gold awards and designations from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). As a top singer/performer, she has been Ms. Senior Las Vegas 2013, Ms. Senior Nevada 2013-14, Ms. West Coast United States, and the Founding Ms. Senior USA. Kat is presently a volunteer with the Las Vegas Shriners Children’s Clinic, which has been responsible for treating more than 80,000 local children over the years, and the Shriners Hospitals for Children FedEx Cup PGA Golf Tournament. Kat Ray has received a Certificate of Recognition from Governor Sandoval, several Congressional Commendations, and was honored with a Proclamation by the City of Las Vegas. in 2018, Kat Ray was a finalist in four (4) International categories of the Global Beauty Awards and received a special award for her work in response to the #Route91 Las Vegas Shooting.

Carol Thomas

Emeritus

MS. SENIOR USA 2016

Ms. Senior USA - North

Founding Member, Board of Governors

Carol Thomas is a Founding member of the Board of Governors of Ms. Senior USA and Ms. Senior Universe. A member of the State Bar of Michigan, including the Estate and Probate Section, the Elder Law Section and Health Care Section, she is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, including the Health Care Section, and is accredited with the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Carol was elected to the Board of Governors at Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She was also elected valedictorian commencement speaker at her law school graduation. Carol was also named Mrs. Michigan in 1988 and competed for the title of Mrs. America. In July of 2014, Carol competed for the Ms. Senior Michigan Pageant and went on to compete in the Ms. Senior America Pageant in Atlantic City. A classical pianist, who as a survivor champions the cause of breast cancer awareness, Carol is the Ms. Senior USA for 2016-2017.

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Caren Mislinski"

Emeritus

FOUNDING MS. SENIOR MICHIGAN

MS. SENIOR USA At-Large 2016

Founding Member, Board of Governors

Caren Mislinski is the Founding State Queen from the State of Michigan. Her unique skill set made her the obvious choice to Chair the Public Relations and Communications Committee along with Board Member Connie-Ross-Karl. Caren was born in Michigan, and currently lives in Harrison Township. Chrysler Headquarters in Detroit is where Caren’s career was fueled.  She gained valuable experience in the Customer Relations Department.  Caren authored and presented the “National Customer Relations Best Practices.  Due to the trust and respect Caren earned, she often assisted in the CEO’s office.  Caren received numerous awards and letters of accommodation.  Caren went back to collage at age 50 to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Baker Collage.  Following her retirement from Chrysler, Caren worked another five years as Assistant to the CEO for the Heinz Prechter Company, America Sunroof Corporation.  Currently, Caren and her husband are designing and building homes.  Caren believes now is the time to give back and inspire others.  Volunteer priorities for Caren are Veterans, American Red Cross, and Habitat for Humanity.  

Elizabeth Purtee

Emeritus

MS. SENIOR UN AMBASSADOR 2016

Ms. Senior USA - West 2016

Founding Member, Board of Governors

Elizabeth attended college at the University of Salamanca, Spain, allowing her to work on one of her five spoken languages. Elizabeth’s work includes presenting seminars nationwide to medical professionals and being a TV and radio spokesperson. Her interests include traveling, ballroom dancing, weight training, bicycling and Toastmasters, where she has become an award-winning speaker. While Elizabeth’s accomplishments have been many and varied, her greatestjoy is her family of 5 beautiful children and 8 adorable grandchildren. A Founding Member of the Board of Governors of Ms. Senior USA and Ms. Senior Universe, her natural gifts of persuasion and influence, have resulted in Elizabeth becoming the first Ms. Senior UN Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. 

Connie Ross-Karl

Emeritus

MS. SENIOR WORLD AMBASSADOR 2016

Ms. Senior USA - South 2016

Founding Member, Board of Governors

Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Connie is a summa cum laude graduate of Washburn University and the proud founding Director for the South region of Ms. Senior USA. Connie represented South Carolina in the Ms. Senior America Pageant in 2007, she was first runner-up to Ms. Senior America at the National Pageant in Las Vegas. Connie is a certified SC Miss America judge. She has lived in North Myrtle Beach since 2005, where she is a community leader, successfully working in sales, marketing, real estate and the hospitality industries along the Grand Strand. The decade prior she was a hotel/casino executive in the center of the Las Vegas Strip, as well as being the first director of marketing for the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. She later opened the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Las Vegas-style gaming. She was an award-winning co-host of Backstage Live and was named an Outstanding Woman in Tourism. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and currently is a Silver Sneaker Ambassador & Member Services Representative for LifeQuest Swim & Fitness and a licensed realtor for New Way Properties in North Myrtle Beach

Virginia M. Werner

VirginiaWerner@MsSeniorUSA.org

1-800-225-0274 Ext 103

MS. SENIOR INTERCONTINENTAL 2016-17

Ms. Senior USA - East 2016 & 2017

Founding Member, Board of Governors

Virginia Werner is a young 68 years old, married lives with her husband in Bellerose (Queens) New York. Virginia has worked in import/export, advertising and the garment industry. Virginia has varied interests including vintage cars, travel, sailing  and shares her husbands interest in model trains. In 1980 Virginia began studying Middle Eastern Dance.  For 25 years Virginia was the director of “Mystical Motion Dancers,” a company of volunteer Middle Eastern dancers. Her performances include the Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Cleveland Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History and Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was honored by Queens Newsday in January 2003 as an “Everyday Hero” for bringing dance to recreational therapy divisions at NYU Rusk Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital (Manhattan), Memorial Sloan Kettering, VA and many hospitals and senior citizen centers in NYC and Long Island.  Virginia represented New York at the Ms Senior America Pageant in Atlantic City in 2013.  Being a stroke survivor, Virginia's platform is Rene Marie's Language of Love Foundation for Stroke & Aphasia Awareness.  She has been a guest speaker on Rene's annual telethons and internet Madhouse TV Stroke of Luck programs and continues to support Rene's efforts to provide information and aid to stroke victims. She is honored and excited to be a Founding Member of the Board of Governors.  Her motto is “You CAN make it a better day for someone else.”

Mary McIntosh

Emeritus

MS. SENIOR NORTH AMERICA 2016 & 2017

Ms. Senior USA - Central 2016 & 2017

Founding Member, Board of Governors

Mary McIntosh attended Kansas State College in Pittsburg majoring in theater. She has studied piano for many years and is a trained vocalist and actress. She relished her time as a stay-at-home mother during the formative years of her three children and takes care of her younger grandchildren regularly. Mary mentors teens through the Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen Program, part of the Miss America Scholarship Program, to develop their self-confidence, talents and intelligence. In 1980 she started the first Aerobic Dance program in Franklin County, MO. She co-produced one of the first interactive internet shows and traveled extensively interviewing celebrities and politicians. She recently retired from retail management after 14 years.  She volunteers and entertains at rehab centers, assisted living, senior centers, care facilities, veteran homes and community events. She passionately heralds the efforts of the Mid-Missouri Addiction Awareness group that educates parents to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug use in their children. A large number of members have lost their children to heroin overdose, as Mary did in the loss of her son in 2007.