Hometown: Evansville, Wisconsin (Population: 5,124)
Childhood Ambitions: To become an astronaut, dolphin trainer, pediatrician, TV anchor or Posh Spice. (I’m confident I’d still dominate at a Spice Girls-themed Jeopardy category.)
Life on the Farm: I was raised in a family of seven in a small farmhouse outside of town. Some of my favorite kid memories include showing sheep at the county fair, buzzing around our farm on an ATV with my little brother and heading to Lake Michigan for weekend fishing trips with my dad.
Farm Kid to Pageant Girl: While a journalism student at UW-Oshkosh, I decided to compete for the title of Miss Oshkosh 2010. (Note: I vowed at the time that this would be the only pageant I’d ever attempt.) As the emcee announced my name as 1st Runner-Up, another pageant girl was born: This is the moment that spurred a three-year journey to win a local title to advance to Miss Wisconsin.
Pageant Girl to TV Host: My involvement in the Miss America Organization revived my childhood dream to pursue a career in television. And so I did. Today I am one of the hosts of the nation’s longest-running tourism TV show. In addition to hosting, I manage all PR and #socialmedia efforts.
When the Cameras Aren’t Rollin’: I have an affinity for attempting new projects (from furniture redecorating to learning français!). I’m obsessed with all things Beyonce. I’m constantly on a quest for the next 101 class to sign up for (jack-of-all-trades, master of none…). I have five younger siblings with big personalities – love hanging out with them! Nerd alert: I’ve been known to watch two or three documentaries on Friday night (with a glass of red in hand, of course). I’m a competitive gamer (think Catchphrase, Scrabble and Charades). I love boating and bonfires and festivals in the summer and snowmobiling, snow fights and
skiing tumbling down the slopes in the winter.