Nassau, Bahamas (MBO) June 3, 2013 – The nation’s premier beauty pageant organization has a new face, and the leadership of the Miss Bahamas Organization® (MBO) says it is the last piece of the puzzle needed to fulfill its vision. Some of the nation’s leading business and civic minds are now at the helm of a newly formed Board of Directors which will guide the organization as it branches out from one to four national pageants each year.
Members of the new MBO team. From L-R: MUB National Director Loretta Thomas; MBO President Michelle Malcolm; board member Beverly Saunders; Board Chairman Dr. Barry Russell; Events Manager Zhivon Young; Little Miss Sunburst Bahamas National Director Lisa McCartney. Photo by Ashley Taylor.
Serving as Chairman of the Board is orthodontist Dr. Barry Russell. In 1991, Dr. Barry Russell became the first Bahamian orthodontist to establish a practice in The Bahamas. The Bahamas Orthodontic Center has grown from a staff of two employees in 1991 to a current staff of twenty-one with practices in Nassau and Freeport, Grand Bahama. Dr. Russell is a past board member of the Bank of the Bahamas and a past Chairman of The Bahamas Dental Council. He has been a long supporter of MBO, serving as the organization’s official orthodontist and dental sponsor for several years. Coralie Adderley is on board as Vice Chair. Mrs. Adderley is the President of Creative Leadership and Management Solutions and an accomplished leader with over 25 years in public and private health care systems in the Bahamas and the United States. Prior to establishing CLMS, she spent seven years at Doctors Hospital Health System beginning as an Assistant Administrator and ending her tenure as the Senior Vice President for Doctors Hospital East. She went on to serve as Chief Hospital Administrator of the Princess Margaret Hospital, served for eleven years and holds the distinction as the youngest and longest serving administrator to date, bringing fresh energy and commitment to tackling systemic issues.
Other members of the board include international motivational speaker, best-selling author and Senior Pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International Dr. Myles Munroe. Dr. Munroe is a well sought after lecturer, educator, leadership and business consultant who travels the world extensively addressing critical issues affecting individuals social and spiritual development. The central theme of his message is transforming followers into leaders; leaders into agents of change; and the maximization of individual potential. He is the founder and President of Bahamas Faith Ministries International, and he is the executive producer of a number of radio and television programs aired worldwide.
Also serving on the board is CEO of Digicel TCI Mr. E. J. Saunders. Mr. Saunders started with Digicel TCI as its Project Director on 1st September 2005 and by January 2006 he was appointed CEO, where under his direction the company more than doubled its subscriber base and its market share. E. Jay’s experience in telecommunications includes his years spent with Cable & Wireless Turks & Caicos Islands (“C&W”) as Senior Manager for Information Services, where at the age of 24 he became its youngest Senior Manager.
Board member Mrs. Beverly Saunders serves as Vice President of Training & Organization Development for Atlantis Resort Paradise Island. Her portfolio includes Atlantis University; customer service training; orientation, technology training; student internships, and other talent development initiatives. She is a certified coach, performance consultant, motivational speaker and local and international speaker and workshop facilitator. Beverly is a member of the Society of Human Resources Managers (SHRM); and Past President of the Bahamas Hotel Association of Human Resources Professionals; Member and speaker for The International Third World Leaders Association and The International Leadership Training Institute; President of the Board of Directors for The Lead Institute; Member Focus Woman International where she mentors women and works with young career professionals in developing their careers
The board of directors forms the highest level of authority in the governance of MBO. Its role is to ensure that strategic decisions achieve the organization’s objectives in the most efficient way, including scrutinizing investment decisions and the expenditures required to support the organization’s efforts. An executive committee headed by MBO President Michelle Malcolm will answer directly to the Board of Directors. That committee will be supported by several working committees. Other new talent joining the executive committee includes businesswoman Loretta Thomas who will serve as the Miss Universe Bahamas National Director; veteran child educator and former Miss Bahamas Lisa Sawyer McCartney who will serve as Little Miss Sunburst Bahamas Director; former Miss Bahamas Michelle Collie who joins the team as Director of Contestants Enrichment Program; Former Director of the Cindy Thompson Miss Teen Bahamas Pageant and current marketing manager/home consultant at Arawak Homes Chakita Archer who will serve as Assistant Director to Ms. Collie; and VP of Public Relations and Marketing Bianca Carter, a businesswoman and social media specialist. Returning MBO alumni include Events Manager Zhivon Young; Legal Counsel Genell Sands; Accountants Christine Rollins and Latia Duncombe; Contestants Manager Anishka Lockhart; Assistant Contestants Manager Khandise Smith; fundraising coordinator Yvonne Gibson-Sands; Media relations manager Jerome Sawyer and Pageant Coordinator Leslia Miller.
Four National Pageants
MBO’s new structure comes at a time when the organization is experiencing explosive growth, branching out into three divisions. In order to solidify the distinction between its two major franchises, the organization is now separating the Miss Universe Bahamas and Miss World Bahamas pageants, holding two separate competitions instead of one event in which two winners were crowned. Its first Miss Universe Bahamas pageant will be held on August 11th at the Atlantis Resort which has once again partnered with MBO for the staging of the event. The Miss World Bahamas pageant is slated for later in the year. The reigning Miss World Bahamas De’Andra Bannister will compete in this year’s Miss World pageant in Indonesia this September.
Miss World Bahamas 2012 DeAndra Bannister. Photo by Farreno Ferguson.
In addition to the two “Miss” pageants, for the first time in its history MBO will stage a “Little Miss” pageant for girls between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. The Little Miss Sunburst Bahamas pageant will be held in the spring of 2014. It will be open to girls in three divisions: Pee Wee (5-6); Little Miss (7-10); and Pre-Teen (11-13). In keeping with its mandate of character development, the organization will place heavy emphasis on fostering self-esteem, social graces, and a sense of purpose in the girls who undergo the pageant program. Winners will compete at the prestigious Sunburst International Beauty Pageant which has a mission to provide wholesome competition that creates an environment where contestants can grow, mature, develop while exhibiting their talents, personalities, interpersonal skills, and sportsmanship. Sunburst provides opportunity and rewards that will further enhance their lives and provide direction as they pursue their ambitions. Winners have gone on to become Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Universe, doctors, lawyers, CPA’s, business entrepreneurs, engineers, actors, singers, dancers, musicians, and many other success stories over the years.
While the Miss Teenager Bahamas pageant will not be produced by MBO, it will be held under its auspices. MBO contestants’ manager Anishka Lockhart who is co-owner of the Miss Teenager franchise in The Bahamas, will serve as National Director of that pageant which will launch in the summer of 2014. Winners will compete in Miss Teenager International pageant.
Miss Universe Bahamas Application Process Now Open
Miss Universe Bahamas 2012 Celeste Marshall. Photo by Fadil Berisha.
On August 11th, Celeste Marshall passes the Miss Universe Bahamas title and crown to a new winner. Interested young women are being invited to apply as soon as possible if they wish to enter this year’s Miss Universe Bahamas pageant. A screening is scheduled for June 9th, 3 p.m. at The Balmoral – the new official home of the Miss Bahamas Organization – at which time applicants will be interviewed one-on-one by MBO officials. Applicants will need to bring along a Bahamian passport, birth certificate, a valid police record, a pair of high heels and a swimsuit of their choice. A non-refundable application fee of $100 will also be due payable. Naturally born females between the ages of 18 and 27 who are of Bahamian ancestry and/or citizens of The Bahamas may enter the Miss Bahamas Beauty Pageant. Contestants must be at least 18 years old by Coronation Night. However, all women crowned queen must be at least 18 years old and under 27 by February 1st in the year that follows their coronation. Candidates must be single, must not have children, nor have ever been pregnant or given birth. Minimum height requirement is 5′ 5″ and maximum height requirement is 6′ 2″. Weight must be proportionate to height. Candidates must be beautiful in face and figure, intelligent, and charming, while possessing poise, a pleasing character, and high moral convictions. The Miss Bahamas Organization reserves the right to refuse an application or dismiss a contestant, using the Organization’s codes and regulations as the basis for its decision.