Live on ABC Sunday, September 14 at 9PM (EST)
LINWOOD, NJ – The Miss America Organization revealed today the star-studded panel of national judges for the 2015 Miss America Competition. The renowned panel that will determine the successor to the crown includes a former Miss America; US Military General; Supermodel/CEO; Entrepreneur Extraordinaire; Executive Producer/Writer; Olympic Gymnast and Football Player/Author.
This diverse group of celebrities will evaluate the contestants during the competition in Atlantic City on September 14. Broadcasting live at 9 p.m. (EST) on ABC from Boardwalk Hall, the judges will assess the contestants prior to the final night of competition. The celebrity panel will score the contestants’ performance in categories such as Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit, Evening Wear, Talent, Interview, and an On-Stage question.
Accomplished in their respective fields, these national judges are experts in areas where today’s young women excel. They exude intelligence, leadership, talent, physical fitness, and dedication to community service.
The national judges are…
Highly successful writer and executive producer of numerous hit television series and shows, Marc Cherry has surpassed expectations when it comes to creating award-winning material for television’s greatest networks. Beginning as a personal assistant to Dixie Carter on the set of Designing Women, his career has grown tremendously, serving as writer and executive producer of countless shows including The Golden Girls, its sequel The Golden Palace, Some of My Best Friends, The Crew, andThe Five Mrs. Buchanan’s. He uses his innovative and creative imagination to take audience viewers to unimaginable places to meet some of television’s most beloved characters.
Marc got his second big break in 2004 when his original Desperate Housewives script was picked up for production. To date, the show has won 7 Emmys, 3 Golden Globes, approximately 33 numerous other awards and 110 nominations.
Most recently, Marc’s highly-acclaimed drama Devious Maids has premiered its second season this past year, acquiring positive reviews nationwide. In 2011, he was one of seven illustrious judges at the 2011 Miss America Competition in Las Vegas.
This former Green Bay Packer is an all-time leading receiver, a Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars winner, New York Times best selling author and award winning humanitarian. Selected in the last round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, Driver overcame the odds to become the Packers’ all-time receiving leader in yards and receptions, as well as one of the most beloved players in franchise history. Donald parlayed his on-field success and charismatic personality into a spot on Dancing with the Stars.
On his way to clinching the competition and taking home the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy, Donald introduced himself to millions of new fans around the world and has since served as correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America nearly 10 times, shared fitness tips with People magazine, co-hosted the popular daytime talk show The View and came out with his New York Times bestselling memoir, Driven, which chronicled his childhood struggles with poverty and homelessness. It was these struggles that inspired Donald and his wife Betina to create the Donald Driver Foundation. With core focuses in education, homelessness, career development and health & wellness, the work of the Donald Driver Foundation touches thousands of lives each year.
Supermodel, CEO, and Chief Designer of her own company. Kathy Ireland Worldwide® (kiWW®) is the design and marketing firm founded in 1993 by CEO and Chief Designer, Kathy Ireland. The mission statement of kiWW® is “finding solutions for families, especially busy moms™.” kiWW’s unique capability to design and translate fashion trends for all markets and price points allows it to develop product for a wide variety of customer tastes.
Listed as the 28th most powerful brand globally by License Global Magazine, with annual merchandise sales over $1.9 billion, according to Forbes Magazine, the success of kathy ireland Worldwide® is the result of innovation, teamwork and dedication. According to Fairchild Publications, she is one of the 50 most influential people in fashion. Kathy’s non-profit commitments include: YWCA Greater Los Angeles, NOMI Network battling human trafficking, Dream Foundation, Providence Educational Foundation, 911 for Kids/AEFK, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As a powerful advocate for Israel, supported the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, with global leaders, including, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and President Barack Obama. Kathy is a member of WIZO, and is honored by the ADL and the JNF.
Shawn’s dream came true when she was named to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team and competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. She earned an individual gold medal in the balance beam and three silver medals in the individual all-around, floor exercise and team categories. In April 2009, she was named the 79th Amateur Athletic Union Sullivan Award recipient, one of the most prestigious honors in amateur sports.
Shawn became the youngest ever contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, where she danced her way to becoming Champion of season eight. On top of her successful gymnastics and fitness career, Shawn is involved in a number of philanthropic activities including The Ronald McDonald House and the “What You Do Matters” campaign for raising awareness about cancers affecting women. Shawn is also involved in programs that promote healthy nutrition and exercise and help build good character amongst youth across the country. In 2010, she was one of six illustrious judges at the 2010 Miss America Competition in Las Vegas.
General Anne Macdonald:
Brigadier General Anne Macdonald graduated from West Point in 1980 in the first gender integrated class, and subsequently served over 30 years in the Army. Anne is a senior Army aviator qualified as an UH60 Blackhawk pilot, a paratrooper and is air assault qualified.She commanded a General Support Aviation Battalion in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and a Theater Aviation Brigade in Korea. She completed two combat tours, one in Operation Desert Storm, the other in Operation Enduring Freedom as the Deputy Commanding General for the NATO Training Mission (Police Development) in Kabul, Afghanistan.
She holds a BS from the United States Military Academy and two masters degrees; one in System’s Management from the University of Southern California and the other in Strategic Studies from the US Air War College, Montgomery, Alabama.Macdonald retired from active duty in 2011 as a Brigadier General with multiple awards and distinctions. Post military, she serves as a senior advisor for a non-profit organization and is currently an executive coach and seminar facilitator with True Growth Leadership Academy. She resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, Major General John A. Macdonald, US Army Retired.
Celebrating her 60th Anniversary this year, Miss America 1955, Lee Meriwether is also an iconic actress and humanitarian. Her most notable roles were as Betty Jones in the highly successful series, Barnaby Jones, for which she earned nominations for the Golden Globes and Emmys, as well as the iconic Catwoman in the 1966 Batman; The Movie.
Lee has had starring roles in nine different series, including the original Today Show and her three-year run as Lily on The Munsters Today. She continues to work on stage, in television, and in feature films while staying active with her charity endeavors. She has served as Honorary Co-Chairman of the Crippled Children’s Society, recently renamed Ability First. Live theater is and always has been her first love, which is why you can usually find her at Theatre West in Los Angeles, California.
Gary Vaynerchuk is an ambitious entrepreneur, author, and CEO of VaynerMedia. He joined his family business in high school and became a lover of collecting wine, which lead to his first big e-commerce venture,WineLibrary.com and his video series Wine Library TV. Alongside his brother, he launched VaynerMedia (2009), an agency that helps Fortune 500 companies like GE and PepsiCo build their digital brands and social media voices.
Gary is a captivating public speaker and story teller who wrote four books including The Thank You Economy (2011), and Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook(2013). He is a strong voice in entrepreneurship and is well versed in the importance of hard work and responsibility that come with success.
Countdown to the Crown… Tune-in September 14th @ 8:00pm on ABC!
As these successful individuals come together, they will bring their expertise and knowledge of their respective fields to the judges table to help crown our new Miss America. Tune-in to ABC on Sunday, September 14th to watch our esteemed panel of judges evaluate our 53 amazing contestants as they compete to be Miss America 2015.
To view photos or read the full biographies of this year’s national judges, or for more information on the 2015 Miss America Competition, please visit www.MissAmerica.org.