So one of the questions I get the most is, “how did you get involved in pageants?” Well here’s the answer. I grew up in Hagerstown, Indiana. When I was 13 years old I started working for a DJ company call Heart Breaker Video Disc Jockeys. When I first started I was just a DJ helper at school dances, wedding receptions, stuff like that. As I got older I started working as an actual DJ for the company and worked for them all through high school and college. Well, in 1997 the DJ company gets a call from Steve Mayes, the Indiana pageant director at the time. He was at the Indiana pageant and wanted someone to come and do some lighting at the pageant. He literally found us in the yellow pages!
By this time I was one of the most experienced DJ’s in the company, so the owner, his son (Jason Black) and I went to the Indiana pageant to put up some fun lights. We had no idea what to expect. But as soon as I met Steve and Kathleen I immediately knew that this was a lot different than what I expected. I was figuring it would be like what I hear about on TV about youth pageants, boy was I wrong. I saw a staff that genuinely cared for the contestants, that had a goal far beyond giving out crowns, banners and trophies, they had a true purpose to see kids lives enriched for the better. I immediately knew that this was a program that I wanted to be a part of. After the Indiana pageant, I sat down with Steve and talked to him about working at some other events for him as a sound and light tech. That summer, I traveled to the Missouri and Washington pageants. The following year, I traveled to all the Mayes’ pageants doing the sound and lights. It worked out great since I was in college, it was the perfect summer job, traveling the country, working with an amazing group of people and mostly importantly, impact lives.
After about 5 years traveling with the pageants I started to express interest that I wanted to get more involved and in 2003, while I was working as an algebra teacher, Steve contacted me and asked me if I would like to be a state director. To say the least, I was more than honored that he would consider me. I said yes and that year I directed my first pageant, Tennessee. Then in 2005 they offered me Kentucky and South Carolina and then in 2008 I was offered Oregon and the rest is history.