Boots to Bikinis: National Pageant Appoints Military Veteran as Executive Director

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Mrs. America, the premier national pageant for married women, has appointed a former Captain in the United States Army as the Executive Director for Pennsylvania.

“We are excited to have Raquel on board as our new Director for Mrs. Pennsylvania America. We felt she would be a great role model for leading the pageant."

Raquel Riley Thomas, a former Ordnance Officer in the Army has sealed a deal with the Mrs. America Organization to oversee the state of Pennsylvania contestants and its formal pageant. She currently runs the Mrs. DC America pageant, which is also inside the helm of the Mrs. America organization. Mrs. Pennsylvania America publicly recognizes beautiful married women, living in the state of Pennsylvania, who have obtained personal, professional and community achievements. An official preliminary pageant to Mrs. America and Mrs. World, the Mrs. Pennsylvania America Pageant welcomes women from all ethnic backgrounds to compete in a yearly pageant for the title of Mrs. Pennsylvania America!

“We are excited to have Raquel on board as our new Director for Mrs. Pennsylvania America. She took over the Mrs. District of Columbia Pageant back in 2011 and we felt she would be a great role model for leading the Pennsylvania America Pageant. With her unique background experience and passion for pageantry, we felt she was an excellent choice for the position,” states David Marmel, Owner and President of Mrs. America, Inc.

Raquel Riley Thomas is a decorated military veteran, who has served nine years in the U.S. Army (5-years Enlisted, 4-years Officer). In June 2010, Raquel added pageant queen to her resume. She won the title of Mrs. Maryland America 2010, then in September 2010, she competed against 50 state delegates, winning the title of Mrs. America (1st RU) 2011.

Another win came for Raquel in September 2011, after she started her Veteran-Owned Company, An Officer and Gentlewoman LLC, (AOAGW). Her company bought the rights to Mrs. DC America. On Dec 17, 2015, her company bought the rights to Mrs. Pennsylvania America.

Raquel is committed to her community through service and philanthropy. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., Association of United States Army and Women in Media. Raquel recently became involved in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in honor of her mother who unfortunately took her own life in March 2013. As a military Veteran, Raquel makes it a point to give a portion of pageant proceeds to military-focused charities such as Luke’s Wings and Vetsports. The Mrs. DC America pageant was recently selected as “Top 3 Charity Events,” by Washington City Paper.

Raquel’s accomplishments have been noted in both her military and civilian career. In the Army, she was awarded the prestigious Army Commendation Medal (2x) and the Army Achievement Medal (3x). For her commitment to fighting for military Veteran's rights, Raquel was selected as the “Veteran of the Year" 2011, by Women Veteran’s Rock. Raquel was also titled a “Leader of the Future,” by Ebony Magazine and is currently featured in Marquis “Who’s Who of America,” (5 consecutive years.) Recently, she was selected by Washington Business Journal as “People on the Move.”

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For those interested in competing for Mrs. Pennsylvania America 2016, please visit

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Raquel Riley Thomas
since: 12/2015
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