Former Miss Jamaica World contestant now franchise holder
By Richard Johnson – Observer senior writer
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Laura Butler, corporate trainer and image consultant, is the new franchise holder for the Miss Jamaica World pageant.
Butler is no stranger to pageants, having been a top 10 finalist in the 1995 Miss Jamaica contest and a Miss Spartan Body Beauty in 1997. She was awarded the franchise on March 15.
She takes over the reins from Mickey Haughton-James, who had been associated with the event since 1976.
Butler believes her background in training and association with the pageant gave her the edge.
“I had intense discussions with Julia Morley, chairman of Miss World, putting forward my vision and in it stressed the plans to encourage entrepreneurship, especially as it relates to local designers, as well as maintaining the standards set by the former franchise holder,” Butler tells the Jamaica Observer.
Butler, who organised the 2002 pageant and served as grooming and etiquette trainer to the contestants on numerous occasions, is currently working out the details of her plans for 2013.
“What I will say at this time is that training will be a major focus of the pageant. Not just grooming and interview skills, but areas such as protocol, business and social etiquette as well as image building and leadership skills,” she says.
Butler plans to institute this intense level of training early so that all 20 contestants will benefit. The winner would have a fair level of training for the Miss World competition.
Butler also intends to bring back the scholarship programme she introduced in 2002, foster a strong charity element to the pageant, and re-establish ties with leading corporate and state bodies.
She adds that despite her personal touches, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
“Mickey Haughton-James and Spartan Health Club have set such a high standard that one cannot help but be guided by this. The contestants will still train at Spartan and pageant watchers can look forward a high calibre production,” she said.
The Miss Jamaica World title is currently held by Deanna Robbins.