3 past pageant winners to lead Miss America

Miss America Organization 2018 Chair of the Board of Trustees Gretchen Carlson, Miss America Foundation Chair of the Board of Trustees Marjorie Vincent-Tripp, and CEO and President Regina Hopper.

The recently appointed chairwoman of the fundraising arm of Miss America announced her resignation Tuesday night after less than three months on the job.

An attorney for the Miss America Foundation confirmed Miss America 1991 Marjorie Vincent-Tripp submitted a letter of resignation.

“We are appreciative of her service on the board,” Gregory Petroff told The Press of Atlantic City, “but we are un-aware of the circumstances of the resignation at this point.”

Vincent-Tripp did not respond Wednesday to calls for comment.

According to the official website, the Miss America Foundation is a separate nonprofit that supports Miss America by providing scholarships in conjunction with the annual pageant. Petroff said the foundation raises funds for the scholarships awarded and is not involved with the competition itself.

Vincent-Tripp, an assistant attorney general in Florida, was announced as chairwoman of the foundation in May along with Miss America Organization CEO and President Regina Hopper, forming the first all-female leadership of Miss America.

In January, Miss America 1989 Gretchen Carlson was named chairwoman of the Miss America Organization’s Board of Trustees, which was formerly known as the Board of Directors.

Vincent-Tripp previously sat on the Board of Directors for the Miss America Organization. In a previous interview, Vincent-Tripp said she was looking forward to learning how the foundation works and how it could be expanded.

“We can really do a lot moving forward,” Vincent-Tripp said in May.

Hopper could not comment on Vincent-Tripp’s resignation, saying the foundation is separate from the organization. However, she did confirm the recent resignation of Chief Financial Officer Eli Popicg and other national office staff members.

“This is not a mass exodus of staff,” Hopper said.

Members who have left the Miss America national staff made personal choices to seek other opportunities while the organization moves more of the day-to-day operations to the Atlantic City office in Boardwalk Hall from the office in Washington, D.C., according to Hopper.

Until Vincent-Tripp’s resignation, for the first time in the pageant’s nearly 100-year history, all of the Miss America Organization’s top leadership positions were filled by women who have competed for the crown.

Women took over leadership after a scandal involving emails between former Miss America CEO and Executive Chairman Sam Haskell and board members that used crude and vulgar language to describe past contestants’ weight, sexual history and post-pageant careers.

Asked whether Miss America plans to maintain the “all-female leadership,” Hopper said the decision of who will chair the Miss America Foundation is up to the current three-member Board of Trustees.

“The Miss America Foundation board will have to determine how it wants to move forward,” Hopper said.

The organization recently announced the competition would return Sept. 9 to Boardwalk Hall and would air on ABC, but there has been controversy over plans to eliminate the swimsuit competition and make other changes. Some state pageant organizations have objected to the changes and have rebelled against the leadership of Hopper and Carlson.

Staff Writer Michelle Brunetti Post contributed to this report.

Contact: 609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

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Joined the Press in November 2016. Graduate of Quinnipiac University. Previously worked as a freelance reporter in suburban Philadelphia and news/talk radio producer.

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