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Miss New Jersey gets another year, and a new leader

  • State

Miss New Jersey will be around for another year, after a successful appeal.
The state pageant was among several whose license were revoked or not renewed, after some had voiced dissatisfaction with the new Miss America leadership.
But Miss New Jersey’s new executive director, David Holtzman, said he doesn’t want to focus on the negative.
Instead, he said he wants to increase the Miss New Jersey Pageant presence throughout the state.
“It’s been too much in South Jersey,” he said of not only the pageant itself but many of the events surrounding it.
“A couple of meetings seemed to be the south against the north,” Holtzman said.
As a result, they will be seeking out new board members from throughout the state.
“To me, it’s like a new lease on life for the Miss New Jersey Organization,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been on the phone already (Friday) morning with some different venues.”
This does not guarantee that the Miss America Pageant will remain in Atlantic City. The organization is reported to be shopping around for a new venue.
But Holtzman said he is hopeful the pageant will remain in its birthplace, after a few years in Las Vegas.
The pageant’s trip west didn’t do much for the brand or the ratings.
“No one in Vegas really knew about it,” Holtzman said.
But he’s optimistic it won’t leave again.
“I think they want to stay here,” he said. “It all comes down to financing and finding the right venue.”
Bruce Deifik has offered his Ocean Resort, which Holtzman said he believes would be a good venue.
A photo on the Miss New Jersey Education Foundation Facebook page shows him and current Miss New Jersey, Jaime Gialloreto, at the opening ceremonies for the casino.
Holtzman first got involved with the pageant the year Cara McCollum wound up winning the crown in 2013.
He recalled her bringing a keyboard to his art gallery in Ventnor, and performing the song she did at the pageant: Liberace’s “Malaguena.”
McCollum died in 2016, from injuries sustained in a car crash. She was 24.


Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Sunday, May 19, 2024
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