A day after Miss America chairwoman Gretchen Carlson said the organization needed to "have a healing process" amidst its ongoing drama, 11 former Miss Americas signed an open letter addressing transparency issues and calling for the leadership to immediately resign.
The letter, addressed to stakeholders, state titleholders, volunteers and Miss America 2018 Cara Mund, was posted to a Miss America Facebook group forum Thursday evening. The post detailed the process taken earlier this year, after the organization's former CEO and Board of Directors resigned after a December email scandal.
Carlson, Miss America 1989 was selected to be the Chair of the Board of Trustees and Regina Hopper, Miss Arkansas 1983, served as an interim CEO, until her position was officially announced in May.
"A national search was to be done for a new CEO who would have the experience and business acumen to carry us through such a crisis and bring our beloved Miss America Organization into a new century." the statement said. "We did not get that." The letter alleges that Carlson selected Hopper, who previously served on the Miss America board, as a sole candidate to present to the newly elected board.
Since a June announcement of changes to the Miss America competition, including the removal of the swimsuit portion, a total of four board members resigned, followed by Marjorie Vincent-Tripp who stepped down as chair of the Miss America Foundation.
"While we supported our new leadership initially, we disagree with the way some decisions were made and communicated to the board, main stakeholders and public. We believe there should be an apology to the sponsors, volunteers and our state and local titleholders if anything was done purposefully or unintentionally to divide our program," the letter states.
The letter was signed by Miss America 1984 Suzette Charles, Miss America 1991 Marjorie Vincent-Tripp, Miss America 1992 Carolyn Sapp Daniels, Miss America 1995 Heather Whitestone McCallum, Miss America 1998 Kate Shindle, Miss America 1999 Nicole Johnson, Miss America 2001 Angela Baraquio Grey, Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron-Jackson, Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, and Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell Maxwell.