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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Mrs. Summit International USA: Nancy Liles

You have to be a winner to be at The Summit International pageant, and Nancy Liles is a winner extraordinaire. This beautiful queen is an inspiration to be remembered and cherished. She is representing the USA

So, how did you get into pageantry? What made you want to compete? 

In high school, I had seen an ad for modeling school in a magazine. After showing my dad, he took me to the modeling school for an “audition”. My modeling instructors were the first mentors to help me enter pageantry.  During my first year of modeling school, a letter arrived the mail about entering a beauty pageant. My posture, skin, and self-esteem improved after my dad enrolled me that summer. I gained the confidence to ask my modeling instructor if I could try competing. She graciously drove me to the pageant.

The first time competing in a pageant, I won Miss Overall Photogenic and won a trip to Orlando, FL for Nationals to compete as a junior teen contestant. At Nationals, I won Miss Congeniality and met many amazing Sister Queens. During my first year of modeling school, our cohort learned about etiquette, skin care, runway, makeup, photography, and acting. After I graduated from the basic modeling program, I was selected to join the advance modeling classes. I asked my modeling teacher if I could complete in the same pageant again and later won the crown and traveled to Nationals again.

Entering the world of pageantry was a transformative experience that began in high school when I joined a modeling school. It not only boosted my confidence but also refined my communication and leadership skills. Winning my first pageant was just the beginning; it taught me the value of hard work, perseverance, and community. Pageantry has given me a platform to inspire others and promote causes close to my heart. As a Mrs. contestant at Summit International, I am excited about the opportunities to meet philanthropic ladies from all over the world.

What does beauty mean to you? It’s more than just looks, right? 

Beauty, to me, transcends physical appearance. It’s about grace, kindness, and serving others. My mission is to ‘Share God’s love through Service and Beauty,’ and I strive to exemplify inner beauty through compassion and a gentle spirit. As a mother, I hope to instill these values in my daughters, teaching them that true beauty shines from within when they show joy, grace, love, unselfishness, and gentleness.

What makes you special? What sets you apart from the other contestants?

What sets me apart is my diverse background as a trilingual First Generation American, business owner, and author. I’ve mentored many young individuals and women, promoting leadership and entrepreneurship. My ability to speak Spanish, English, and Vietnamese allows me to connect with diverse communities, and my personal journey from a refugee camp to a successful businesswoman embodies resilience and determination.

I am thrilled that Summit International is held in the Philippines this year because I was born in a refugee camp in Morong Bataan, Philippines. It is a dream come true to have the opportunity to finally visit my birth country. My parents and I left the Philippines when I was 6-weeks old. 

With just a 6th grade education, my dad was able to get certified as a diesel mechanic while my mom did screen printing at a t-shirt factory. If I wasn’t riding my bike through our trailer park with other kids, I was out in the country heat watching my dad fix diesel engines or at the t-shirt factory with my mom. She was able to slowly come out of hardships and poverty with a cosmetology license and later build her American Dream.

I have been able to use my cosmetology license, B.A. in Spanish, and M.B.A. in Leadership to help my mom rebrand her business. I have also helped thousands of people gain confidence with their hair, networking, and entrepreneurial endeavors. After studying business in Japan and Peru, I love opportunities to meet business people throughout the globe. Summit International has been an exciting opportunity to meet amazing people in the pageant industry. I am on a mission to help the next generation kickstart a career in entrepreneurship by “Building a Better World through Skilled Trades.”

If you win, how would you use your title to help others? 

As Mrs. Summit International, I will leverage my platform to promote skilled trades and entrepreneurship. My best-seller, ‘The Networking Diary,’ will serve as a resource for young entrepreneurs. Through multilingual workshops, media connections, and my podcast, I will empower the next generation with the skills and confidence to succeed. I aim to inspire by sharing my family’s journey from refugees to successful entrepreneurs, highlighting the impact of skilled trades on our lives.

My platform, “Building a Better World through Skilled Trades” helps the next generation kickstart a career in entrepreneurship through skilled trades. As a daughter of a diesel truck mechanic and cosmetologist, I have seen first-hand how my parents arrived to the United States as refugees and succeed as entrepreneurs. My husband serves as a firefighter and we have volunteered at SkillsUSA to help the youth excel in their trades. I love connecting parents, teens, and kids to career paths in the trades.

I have been in the pageant industry for 28 years and want to be able to lift up this Summit International by encouraging more women to see the international possibilities of the Summit system. My “Business + Beauty” pageant podcast show has already reached 54 countries. I share the entrepreneurial journeys of titleholders and tips for business, confidence, and leadership. As Mrs. Summit International, I will continue to create shows that with help women worldwide.

The message in my children’s book, “My Invisible Crown” has already been shared with hundreds of children worldwide. As a Kindergarten Sunday school teacher and mom of two young girls, I will use my title to reach even more parents and kids about finding self-confidence in God’s love. To serve as Mrs. Summit International would give me more opportunities to reach out to the next generation and their parents to share paths to success.  

What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned from being in pageants?

The coolest thing I’ve learned from pageants is the importance of teamwork and discipline. Both pageantry and entrepreneurship require a clear vision, meticulous planning, and effective collaboration. This experience has enhanced my leadership skills and taught me the value of community support in achieving success.

You have to be able to execute your vision by creating teams around everything. My husband and I have started businesses over the past 10 years. Each time we have had to coordinate with different mentors, professionals, conduct a lot of research, and clearly communicate expectations and deadlines. The same level of reliability is required when serving as a titleholder.

How do you deal with people who might say mean things?

I handle mean comments with grace and understanding. Recognizing that hurt people hurt others helps me respond with compassion. My experience as a business owner has equipped me with strategies to navigate negativity, which I share in my podcast on handling difficult people. I created a podcast show about how to handle mean people here: 

What kind of person do you think does well in pageants? 

A successful pageant contestant is passionate about serving others. Beyond the glamour, it’s about dedicating time and energy to make a positive impact. Those who thrive in pageants understand the value of community service and embody qualities like kindness, leadership, and a servant’s heart.

 In 1 Peter 4:10, God says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.” By discovering your individual gifts and finding ways to use them to serve others how people do well in pageants and in life. There are many roles to fill in the pageant industry (ie. mentor, coach, designer, owner, stage designer, marketer, coordinator, emcee, host, beauty professional, contestant, titleholder, family member, sponsor, etc.) 

To have a servant’s heart to fill any role in the pageant industry will lead to a rewarding experience. In our Win a Pageant community, we mentor and serve thousands of women to also help them do well in pageants.

Being in a pageant means a lot of people are watching. How do you stay yourself through it all? 

A: Staying true to myself means upholding my values and relying on my faith. As a business owner and public figure, I prioritize good character and integrity. By setting a positive example for my daughters and maintaining a supportive community, I navigate the public eye with authenticity and grace.

I serve as a business owner and my husband serves as a firefighter. We have both served the public for decades. There is a lot of pressure when you are in the public eye, but having good character helps in all scenarios. 

Providing the best customer service at all times is important. Keeping priorities in order helps in making good decisions. Not only is the public watching, but our two little girls are watching.

In my “Business + Beauty” private Facebook group, the members are titleholders in the public eye who have the passion to serve. I created this group to provide support and encouragement. 

What do you dream of doing in the future, pageant world or not?

My future dream is to continue mentoring young people and promoting skilled trades and entrepreneurship through my C.R.O.W.N. workshops. I aspire to model at New York Fashion Week, join the Global Beauty Awards community, and expand my impact internationally. Above all, I dream of being a role model for my daughters and nurturing their growth alongside my husband.

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