Mrs. Michigan United States – Royalty in Review

One of my most cherished experiences was being chosen the winner of the 2006 Mrs. Michigan United States Pageant, representing my state at the Mrs. United States® Pageant in Las Vegas, and spending my year making appearances throughout Michigan. Since 1989, many women have worn the crown but sadly, as the pageant’s directorship has changed hands over the years, a comprehensive list of Mrs. Michigan United States titleholders has been lost to time. I hope this post will keep the legacy of Michigan’s royal past alive. Please contact me at or send me a message using the comment form below if you are a fellow Mrs. Michigan United States titleholder and wish to share photos from your reign and / or biographical information. Likewise, please contact me if I have used your photo(s) and you request removal.

Mrs. Michigan United States 1989 Carolyn Shy

Mrs. Michigan United States 1990 Dawn Stewart

Mrs. Michigan United States 1991 Natalie J. Miller

Mrs. Michigan United States 1992 Brenda Kay Burkhardt

4th Runner-Up at Mrs. United States®

Mrs. Michigan United States 1993 Sherrie Johnston

Mrs. Michigan United States 1994 Denise McKeown

Mrs. Michigan United States 1995 Christine Marie Melonakos, MBA, PhD

Christine is a media psychologist and psychology researcher exploring the intersection of human life and storytelling, past and present. She seeks to dignify those humiliated, promote post-traumatic growth, and enrich lives through the use of media, research, and story.  You can visit her website at

Mrs. Michigan United States 1996 Sandina Polgar

Using a dash of determination and a pinch of creativity, Sandina “Sandi” Polgar is simmering up a secret for success. In 1996, when she was crowned Mrs. Michigan, she was a caterer. Soon after her pageant obligations ended, she decided to spice things up and opened her own aptly named personal chef business, Dinner with the Mrs.

In 2004, she appeared in a television series on WTVS Channel 56 designed to encourage physical activity in children.  By cooking simple meals, Sandi was able to get children up and about.  Although she generally does her cooking out of her clients’ homes, she made an exception for the show and invited six children and a camera crew into her own massive, custom-built kitchen.

“I really love to cook. It really seems like it’s a dying art.” That love is a necessary ingredient in her business. Sandi spurns canned and packaged goods and goes the extra mile, growing her own vegetables and herbs.  “Just to know that it’s something I grew in my garden and I can put it on my table is so fulfilling.”

Mrs. Michigan United States 1997 Lisa Marie Bowman

Lisa Marie Bowman was a resident of Birmingham.  She was a 1987 graduate of Port Huron Northern High School and later earned her Bachelor’s degree from Oakland University. She enjoyed competing in pageants and went on to be crowned Mrs. Michigan in 1997. Lisa worked in marketing and sales for many years, enjoyed her golden retrievers, being on the water, reading, writing, and exercising.  Lisa passed away on March 11, 2020.

Mrs. Michigan United States 1998 Halcyon Burgess

Halcyon with the Mrs. United States® Class of 1998.

Mrs. Michigan United States 1999 Shelly M. Allen

Mrs. Michigan United States 2000 Shelly Steele Morehead

Shelly attended the University of Wyoming and is the successful owner of Street Savvy, a mobile fashion boutique in Avondale, Arizona.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2001 Reneé Lionelle Drummonds

2nd Runner-Up at Mrs. United States®

Reneé with the Mrs. United States® 2001 Top Five.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2002 Christine Stellino

Mrs. Michigan United States 2003 Iris Ingram

Iris is the lead singer and guitarist of Detroit-based modern rock band, Iris, which can be seen performing at venues such as the Fifth Avenue Ballroom in Royal Oak.  The band released a CD, “Outside The Lines,” which is available for purchase on Amazon.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2004 Jennifer Runz

Jennifer was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania and was raised in a suburb of Cleveland before moving to Michigan.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in nutrition, is a registered dietitian, and is board certified in nutrition support. She also has an MBA from the University of Michigan – Flint where she was president of her class.

Jennifer is a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Dietetic Association and the Michigan Dietetic Association. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Jennifer’s platform “Take a Diet from Dieting” attempts to change the public’s perception of obesity and its cure by promoting long-term lifestyle modifications.

Jennifer met her husband, Christopher, while working at Genesys Regional Medical Center.  After marrying in May 2001, they relocated from Grand Blanc to the Detroit suburbs.

In addition to being a wife, full-time professional, and volunteer, Jennifer is an active community leader.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2005 Jody Bernhardt

4th Runner-Up at Mrs. United States®

Jody served for four years in the United States Air Force where she received the John Levitow Leadership award in Non-Commissioned Officer Preparatory school as well as the Commendation Medal for meritorious service. She is an active community leader, participating as a volunteer for Special Olympics, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and the Law Enforcement Torch Run. One of her favorite charities is the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation which is committed to finding a cure for cancers that affect women and eradicating violence against women. Jody has lead an adult Sunday school class called “A Biblical Portrait of Marriage.” She also organized a drive to collect cellular telephones for victims of domestic violence, professional clothing for Teen Challenge, and developed a fundraiser for her local elementary school.

Jody enjoys a challenge and was selected as one of 50 finalists for the “Survivor 10” television show, earning an all-expense paid trip to California for ten days to test and interview with producers. Even though she was not selected to participate in the challenge of “Survivor,” she feels it was and exciting and rewarding experience. She hopes to spread a message through her platform “It’s a Balancing Act” where she helps women clearly identify and balance their priorities without neglecting their own personal needs, desires, and goals.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2006 Kristina Austin Scarcelli

Special Award Winner at Mrs. United States®

Kristina got her start in pageants in the Miss America Organization (MAO), where she held the titles of Miss Northwestern Ohio, Miss Central Ohio, and Miss Toledo and was eventually chosen as Fourth Runner-Up to Miss Ohio.  She is a Dean’s List graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication.

She has passions for music, photography, writing, history, cooking, gardening, birding, and lighthouse hunting. She also enjoys keeping active with her Labrador Retriever through hiking, bikejoring, and competitive dock diving. 

Having worked as a professional vocalist and musician since 1992, Kristina performed on a USO tour of Asia (86 concerts for American military personnel) and at some amazing venues such as The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and The Opryland Hotel.  She has sung the national anthem for the Ford Motor Company / AAA Student Auto Skills National Challenge at Ford World Headquarters, the Michigan Veterans Festival, the Detroit WalkAmerica at Hart Plaza, on the Fox Sports network for the Detroit Shock (WNBA) at the Palace of Auburn Hills, and for the Detroit Tigers and Toledo Mudhens to name a few.  She was also featured performer at the Hockey Has Heart Black Tie Celebrity Gala honoring Detroit Red Wings’ owners Mike and Marian Ilitch and former Detroit Red Wings’ coach Scotty Bowman. In 2018, Kristina was the winner of Princess Cruises’ The Voice of the Ocean singing competition.

She also enjoy working in the studio recording her own brand of country, Americana, and torch jazz music; researching and recording 18th – 20th century American folk music, learning antique and native woodwind instruments, and songwriting (BMI-affiliated). Kristina’s original songs have charted in the Europe Country Variety Airplay Top 100 (peaking at #18), Country Music’s Life – Radio Waves International Top 40, Red Rocket Records – Hollywood, California Top 40, France’s Country Music’s Life – Radio Waves International All-Time Top 2,000 Country Songs, and the Top Fifty worldwide on in the rock and adult alternative genres.

Her photography have been on display as part of the Plymouth Arts Council’s Pure Art of Michigan exhibit and have been used for several Pure Michigan tourism publications and as the covers for two Michigan history books and one poetry compilation.

Kristina and her husband Jason enjoy life on Rush Lake in Livingston County, Michigan.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2007 Stephanie Hunt

Winner at Mrs. United States®

Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Michigan University. While at WMU, she was president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. (Delta Chi Chapter) and an outstanding thespian member of Theta Alpha Phi.

Stephanie is a dedicated Flight Attendant for Northwest Airlines Inc. and has served on flights for the White House Presidential Press Staff, the Detroit Lions, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball.

Her true passion is as a volunteer for community service. She is a member of Airlines Ambassadors, an organization that is recognized by the U.S. Congress for its humanitarian efforts.

In 2005 – 2006, Stephanie was selected as a spokesperson for NORD®, (National Organization for Rare Disorders), which advocates new treatments and cures for patients suffering from rare diseases. But the organization she holds dearest to her heart is the Rubinstein-Taybi Family Research Fund. This group is dedicated to finding a cure for RTS, the rare condition the afflicts her son Donnie. Stephanie serves as an Executive Committee member of this organization. The RTS Fund has raised over $300,000 to support research efforts by world-renowned Nobel Prize winner Dr. Eric Kandel of Columbia University.

Stephanie is also the founder of “Every Child a Cure,” which benefits the Rubinstein-Taybi Family Research Fund. As Mrs. United States, Stephanie received a Congressional record statement by John D. Dingell (D-MI).

In addition to her work with rare disease, Stephanie’s ultimate goal is to encourage women to strive for their dreams throughout each season in life.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2008 Heidi Scheer

Heidi is a national spokesperson for Autism Recovery, and is actively working toward increased awareness and hope as an advocate with The Autism Society of America, Defeat Autism Now!, and the Judson Center.

One of the highlights of her crusade was meeting with Governor Granholm to establish April 5th as Autism Intervention Day. As a spokesperson, Heidi has participated in rallies from Lansing to Washington D.C. As a Rescue Angel for Generation Rescue, she has served as a contact for parents looking for guidance in treating their children’s autism. Heidi has appeared on Current Affairs with State Representative Kathy Angerer and was recently featured in The Detroit News front page story titled “Vaccine, Autism Link Explored”.

Heidi has traveled nationwide as a narrator for General Motors. She has worked as a print and commercial model and was featured in Supermodels Unlimited Magazine and The Observer Eccentric’s “PINK” magazine.

In 1991, she opened The Royal Treatment Boutique and is co-owner of Scheer Genius Productions alongside husband Doug. Together they perform, educate, and reach out to thousands of Michigan’s youth.

Heidi is most proud of her three precious gifts from God: Carson, Gannon, and Ella.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2009 Jeannette Greco Pawlowski

Jeannette graduated from Madonna University with two separate bachelor degrees in Education and in Public Relations / Marketing.

She is an active volunteer in the community and donates her time and efforts to help the organizations that are dear to her heart. Jeannette helps and gives to The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Camp Casey (a therapeutic horseback riding camp for kids with cancer), Generation Rescue (Jenny McCarthy’s organization to help find a cure for autism).

Jeannette is most proud and passionate about her own platform and charity organization Healthy Minds, a cause educating and finding help for adolescent mental illnesses. Teaching children the importance of not only being physically fit, but also being mentally fit!

Jeannette is married to her best friend Michael and they are raising two lovely daughters.  Jeannette’s hobbies include taking Latin dance lessons with her husband, horseback riding, working out, decorating her home, gardening, and photography. Her passion for traveling has taken her around the globe to adventures in over 24 countries.

During her reign, Jeannette donated 100 children’s books, several leap frog computers to Commerce Elementary School, sent 50 autographed photos to troop care packages in the Middle East, and donated 50 new DVD movies to the Detroit Ronald McDonald House family room. She also established of a scholarship in her name at Madonna University to be awarded yearly to a MU student who exemplifies outstanding community service.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2010 Kyla Marcial

Kyla is married to Michael and they are proud parents of three children, Malayna, Michael, and Mia. Kyla graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She then obtained her Master of Social Work degree from Wayne State University. Kyla has been a school social worker with special needs children for many years. She has also co-written and implemented a divorce recovery program for children called “Oasis”. She is also a small business owner of “Lil Fleur Designs,” making custom hair accessories for girls. Kyla has partnered with one of her community organizations and local hospitals to donate these hair accessories to children who have lost their hair to cancer.

Volunteering since the age of ten, Kyla actively promotes her platform that is very dear to her heart, “Every Child Deserves a Better Tomorrow.” She is dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of issues that impact children through the Pope John XXIII Hospitality House, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan, Feed the Children and Nino Salvaggio Charitable Foundation for Children in Need.

Kyla lives by her motto, “My life will not be defined by what I do, but what I do for others.”

Mrs. Michigan United States 2011 Annette Kelly

Top 12 Finalist, Physical Fitness Award Winner at Mrs. United States®

Annette is committed to providing a voice for mothers of special needs children. Her journey with her two boys inspired her platform: “Parents Plus, Restoring Hope for Parents of Children With Special Needs”.

She is an advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and was selected to travel to Washington D.C. for their JDRF Children’s Congress. While there, she and her son met with the President and successfully lobbied Congress for passage of the “Special Diabetes Bill” in an effort to continue funding for diabetes research. Additionally, Annette is co – founder of, “Jack’s Toy Box; Easing the Heartbreak of New Onset Diabetes One Family at a Time.” She has also worked as an advocate for the Michigan Autism Insurance Reform Coalition working with the Michigan Legislature to ensure the passage of Autism insurance reform.

Shortly after her crowning in 2011, Annette was selected as an official spokesperson for the Michigan Autism Insurance Reform Coalition and Autism Votes with Autism Speaks at the state capitol of Lansing.

Annette graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Journalism and minor in Dance. She worked as a radio broadcaster and later chose to focus on her passion for government working as executive director in county politics.

Annette and her husband, Dan, are blessed with two sons, Jack and William.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2012 Khristian Joy Alexander

It only takes a little spark to start a fire and Khristian Joy Alexander is that spark — igniting passion, creation, and action within young women wherever she travels. As co-founder of Empowering Beautiful Generations (EBG) and an educator at Oak Park Alternative Education Center, she is involved daily in the lives of students who are motivationally, emotionally, and academically challenged. Being committed to making a difference in the lives of at-risk youth, Khristian uses every moment to create an atmosphere that inspires, empowers, and instills self-esteem and that demands the students to take charge of their lives and to perform with excellence every day.

She does not limit the people she reaches. Through her platform Mentoring Others and Developing Equipped Lives (MODEL), Khristian provides an outlet that nurtures creativity, love, integrity, and responsibility among teen girls and women. Life and home skills are taught, gifting and talents are explored, and self-discovery is embraced. She facilitates educational programs about self-esteem, character development, etiquette, and HIV / AIDS Awareness, while helping individuals achieve and maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle through workshops in “Business, Brilliance, and Beauty”.

Khristian is also an advocate for the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem and a spokesperson for the Be The Match National Marrow Donor Program.

Khristian received her education from the University of Michigan and Henry Ford Community College with degrees in business administration and accounting. She is also a licensed cosmetologist and graduated from the Douglas J AVEDA Institute as a licensed cosmetologist instructor. Khristian’s passion for helping women with outer beauty and self-esteem and her education in the beauty industry has led her to pursue a career in the fall of 2012 as a practitioner of Trichology.

She is an active volunteer for many organizations such as The Boys and Girls Club of America, Brightmoor Community Alliance, Genesis New Beginnings Community Center, and Covenant Foursquare Royal Oak Church to name a few. In her spare time, Khristian enjoys the performing arts, reading, and watching movies.

Khristian and her husband Timothy Alexander have three children: Jordan, Jireh, and Khyair Ann.

Mrs. Michigan United States 2013 Jennifer McMahan

Mrs. Michigan United States 2014 Stacie Zotkovich

Stacie Zotkovich, a mother of two from Commerce Township, said she decided to compete in the Mrs. Michigan United States Pageant after celebrating her 40th birthday. “I turned 40 and I wanted to make my world rock. I wanted to go in with a bang,” she said. That bang included completing her first marathon in Chicago and earning a spot to compete for the Mrs. United States title.

“I needed the fulfillment. It made me want to get healthier and in better shape. I had to make sure that I took time out for myself. I wanted to be the best I could be,” she said. “I can do what I do on a daily basis, but having this extra title of Mrs. Michigan United States affords me the opportunity to impact women on a greater level.”

Although Zotkovich has been competing in pageants since she was a teenager, she says the pressure during the Mrs. Michigan United States pageant was unlike anything she had ever experienced.

“It was a lot of different emotions. I was trying on my own confidence because I was surrounded by all of these beautiful women who have had years of experience,” she said. “I hadn’t done a lot of pageants since I became married, so to throw myself in the same mix was challenging.”

Zotkovich, who works full time as a Physician Relations Director at the Detroit Medical Center, lives in Commerce Township with her husband Craig. Together they have a daughter, Samantha, and son, Zachary.

As a family they practice “random acts of kindness,” a practice Zotkovich grew up with.

“We might be at a restaurant and we’ll anonymously buy someone’s dinner,” she said. “We really, truly believe in giving back and making a difference in someone’s life. The difference is impactful.”

Zotkovich also leads her own fundraiser in which she “adopts” families for the holiday season. She is also involved with the Good Girl Comeback organization, which empowers teens to set goals that built confidence, kindness and personal fulfillment.

“It’s unbelievable how much more I can do now,” she said. “I still plan on working full time and being a full time mom and wife, but I am going to try and touch as many people as I can with this title. I want to make a difference.”

Mrs. Michigan United States 2015 Christina Ackerman

Mrs. Michigan United States 2016 Tonya Kornowicz

Mrs. Michigan United States 2017 Christina Josh Lee

2nd Runner-Up at Mrs. United States®

Mrs. Michigan United States 2018 Susan El-Naggar

Mrs. Michigan United States 2019 Unknown

Mrs. Michigan United States 2020 Jamie-Lynne Laskey

Women in STEM — Jamie is a woman with a successful career in technology yet she finds herself being the only female in a sea of males on a daily basis. As Mrs. Michigan, she wants to encourage women of all ages to pursue a future in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM). Currently, Jamie works with young women from local high school and middle schools who are interested in STEM careers by giving them a hands-on experience and face to face mentoring thought Believe Detroit.

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