Making the Most of You

Kandace Krueger, Miss USA 2001, 2nd runner-up Miss Universe 2001, Miss Texas USA 2001

"I met J.J. when I initially began competing in the Miss Texas USA pageant and found him to be one of the most honest and encouraging people in the pageantry business. As I continued my quest to win the title, J.J. was an ever-present source of inspiration and support. He sets an example with his manner of providing meaningful and constructive criticism that ensures every contestant with a better understanding of her performance. After achieving my goal of winning the Miss Texas USA title, J.J.'s continued support and motivation propelled me to the title that I had only previously dreamed of: Miss USA!"

Kandace Krueger
Miss USA 2001, 2nd runner-up Miss Universe 2001,
Miss Texas USA 2001

Crystal Hayes, Miss Michigan USA 2005

"J.J. Smith has an exquisite eye for the beauty in this world! Approaching everything with passion and dedication he will bring out the best in everyone he meets."

Crystal Hayes
Miss Michigan USA 2005

Christine Friedel MacDonald, Mis Texas USA 1994

"I had the pleasure of having J.J. on the panel of judges the year I was crowned. As I prepared that year to compete in MISS USA, no one encouraged me more than J.J. Anyone who has the opportunity of obtaining J.J.'s knowledge will come away with a better understanding of how they feel about things as well as a friend for life!"

Christine Friedel MacDonald
Miss Texas USA 1994

Amanda Perry, Miss Houston (MAO) 1999

"During my quest for the crown, I had put together a fabulous wardrobe, was at my swimsuit best and my talent song sounded great, but something was missing. After meeting with J.J., my talent number was completely choreographed, and he had changed me from a girl who likes to sing into a performer. I also felt like I had doubled the effectiveness of my interview skills. Because of him, the confidence that I had going onto the Miss Texas stage was an incredible feeling."

Amanda Perry
Miss Houston (MAO) 1999

Laura Giordano, Mrs. Georgia International 2010, Ms Elite US United 2007

"J.J. is one of the best judges in pageantry. His questions during interview are thought-provoking and are intended to find the best candidate for the job. As a pageant coach, he is wonderful! He knows pageants inside and out."

Laura Giordano
Mrs. Georgia International 2010, Ms. Elite US United 2007

Slyviane Sydney Kitchen-Producer, Sylviane Productions, Mrs All Nations of America-Universal, World's and America's Perfect Couple, former Miss Nice, Fance

"When it comes to judging, emceeing or preparing for a pageant, if you want the very best, go to J.J. He is the epitome of professional and possesses a rare and wonderful talent to always get the very best performance from everyone he is involved with. At the culmination of each pageant I produce in which J.J. is involved, I always receive an incredible number of compliments from my contestants telling me how unique and inspirational J.J. is. I could not agree more."

Sylviane Sydney Kitchen
Producer, Sylviane Productions, Mrs. All Nations of America-Universal, World's & America's Perfect Couple, former Miss Nice, France

Jo Marie Payton, star of "Family Matters", "Perfect Strangers", "Will and Grace", Actress, Singer, Entertainer

"I was a judge on the reality series "Hottest Mom in America" in which I became friends with J.J. He did a marvelous job of hosting the show and made everyone involved feel special. His experience in the pageant field proved him a natural for the position and all the contestants flocked to him for his advice and expertise. Though there could be only one, J.J. made every participant feel as if she were the winner."

Jo Marie Payton
Star of "Family Matters",
"Perfect Strangers", "Will and Grace",
Actress, Singer, Entertainer

Sheila Robertson-Ybarra, Owner of Makeup by Sheila

"Over the past 15 years, I can attest to have watched J.J. work his "magic." I have seen him develop women's dreams and transform them into a reality. J.J. has by far done his part in enhancing these women to their fullest potential. I am impressed with his ability to discover and develop each young lady's attributes. He is the "one-stop-shop!" God has truly blessed J.J. with an amazing talent. Keep it up! And keep the winners coming!"

Sheila Robertson-Ybarra
Owner of Makeup by Sheila

Gregg Nystrom, Paper Doll Artist

"J.J. Smith has not only been a great friend of 13 years, he is the most informed and informative pageant historian there is. His extensive experience, both in coaching/training and commentating on the pageant industry has truly established him as a well-known and respected pageant celebrity! Very professional, yet friendly and easy to know, J.J.'s personality draws people to him...and his vast knowledge of the pageant world is second to none! Any young lady who wishes to have the best pageant participation help, would surely benefit from working with J.J. Smith!"

Gregg Nystrom
Paper Doll Artist

Christie Cole Pearson, Miss Texas Teen USA 1998

"Each and every person who has the opportunity of obtaining J.J.'s knowledge of pageantry will, without a doubt, gain a better understanding of interview skills and pageant preparation. In the process, you will find that you truly have made a friend for life!"

Christie Cole Pearson
Miss Texas Teen USA '98

Manju Sachdev Chandna, M.D., Pediatrician and Mrs Texas finalist

"Though my friends and family had for years encouraged me to compete, by the time I decided to pursue a title, I had been married for several years and had two beautiful daughters. As a newcomer to the scene, I did not really know where to begin but fortunately I was referred to J.J. for my pageant preparation. J.J.'s experience and encouragement was instrumental in helping me finish as a finalist in my very first pageant. I could not have done it without him."

Manju Sachdev Chandna, M.D.
Pediatrician and Mrs. Texas finalist

Penny Geiszler, Owner of Turn for the Judges

"I have found J.J. Smith to be a man of great character, charisma and pizzazz. What this man does not know about pageants has not happened. He is such a good interview coach that I have recommended him to many of my friends. I wish I had known him well when my own daughter was competing. Believe me, we definitely would have used his talents. You cannot go wrong when you work with J.J."

Penny Geiszler
Owner of Turn For The Judges (TFTJ)

Lisa Waggoner, movie makeup artist for "Miss Congeniality", "Tree of Life", and "Hope"

"Having had the gratification to work with and the good fortune of being friends with J.J. for many years, I know firsthand just how much the pageant community is enriched by his expertise. Not only as a superb interview coach and pageant historian, but in all aspects of what pageantry encompasses, he is one of it's finest assets. His incredible talent is perhaps only surpassed by the passion he has for his chosen field."

Lisa Waggoner
Movie makeup artist
"Miss Congeniality", "Tree of Life", "Hope"

Nicole O'Brian, Miss Texas Teen USA 2000, Miss Texas USA 2003

"As a teen, J.J. helped me perfect my interview techniques and was instrumental in the success of my winning Miss Texas Teen USA and finishing as first runner-up at Miss Teen USA. When I became eligible in the Miss division, the knowledge and encouragement I continued to obtain from J.J. played a huge part in my becoming Miss Texas USA and second runner-up at Miss USA. I will always cherish the experiences that pageantry has given to me. Among the very best of these experiences came my friendship with J. J., who is one of the best assets that any contestant can have!"

Nicole O'Brian
Miss Texas Teen USA '00, Miss Texas USA 2003

Angy Torres, Miss Houston USA 2009

"After not placing in my first pageant, I enlisted the help of J.J. who shared with me his expert and unique WinnerViews techniques. Utilizing this knowledge and incorporating these skills into my performance in only my second pageant helped place the Miss Houston USA crown on my head. I am so grateful for J.J. and for the skills that I learned from him which I will use forever. WinnerViews works!

Angy Torres
Miss Houston USA 2009

Sunni Cranfill, Miss Texas 2003

"J.J.'s personality can be seen and felt all across the nation. He has a heart of gold and a HUGE passion for the world of pageantry. He has a genuine interest in each individual he works with. Any contestant would be blessed to have him on their side."

Sunni Cranfill
Miss Texas 2003

Holly Mills Gardner, Miss Texas USA 1998

"A few years before I entered the Miss Texas USA pageant, I had the pleasure of having J.J. as one of my judges in a local pageant. He offered honest and invaluable advice that I took to heart. I also used his encouraging, handwritten follow-up letter as an inspiration to pursue my pageant dream. His prophetic words stated, "One day you will be Miss Texas USA!" My experience is just one example of why J.J. is truly a visionary. I am so glad our paths crossed and we remain friends to this day!"

Holly Mills Gardner
Miss Texas USA 1998

Melissa King, Community Activist

"J.J. Smith is a man whom for over twenty years has been the pinnacle of success in pageantry. I have known J.J. professionally for all of those years and more recently as a friend. I cannot think of anyone else that I would trust or respect more in this industry. J.J. has always been honest, sincere and without any other motive than wanting a girl to be her best. Even though 15 years have passed since I competed, I can still remember being excited when J.J. would watch me compete because I knew that his opinion was deservedly respected and that he did not play favorites--you either had it or you didn't. I always found him giving me honest praise and productive criticism. J.J. will always have a special place in my heart and my utmost respect."

Melissa King
Community Activist

Chelsi Smith, Miss Texas USA, Miss USA, Miss Universe 1995

"Being new to the pageant scene was, at times, an overwhelming experience for me. I honestly didn't know if I wanted to compete again after my first try at Miss Texas USA...then came J.J.! His words of inspiration and courage made me feel as if I could do and accomplish anything! I don't even want to think of all of the missed opportunities had I not listened to his words of encouragement. Not only has he been a wonderful friend and inspirational mentor, but he'll be a lifelong confidante. Any girl who finds herself in the company of J.J. will have many exciting possibilities and successes in the road ahead."

Chelsi Smith
Miss Texas USA, Miss USA, Miss Universe 1995

Shawne Fielding, Miss Dallas USA 1992, Mrs. Texas 1995, 2nd runner-up Mrs. America 1995

"Since the very day I was crowned Mrs. Texas, it has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to know J.J. Smith. His great spirit, his incredible inspiration and his genuine good-heartedness makes him a friend that any girl would be blessed to have in her life. There are simply no words to describe the lasting impressions that this incredible man has had upon my life. Not only does he share with you his fantastic interview techniques, but also the wonderful outlook that he takes with him every day, and it becomes a part of your life. He changed my life, and he will change yours as well."

Shawne Fielding
Miss Dallas USA 1992, Mrs. Texas 1995,
2nd runner-up Mrs. America 1995

Crystle Stewart, Miss Texas USA, Miss USA 2008

"My sincerest thanks go to J.J. for his huge contribution in helping make my dreams become a reality—at Miss Texas USA and at Miss USA! His support played a big part in all my success!"

Crystle Stewart
Miss Texas USA, Miss USA 2008

Brooke Daniels, Miss Houston USA 2008, Miss Texas USA 2009

"I have told many people how J.J. "discovered" me as a teenager in my hometown pageant, and how much influence he has had on all my pageant achievements. J.J. has always inspired and motivated me to be the best ME possible, and he will do the same for anyone who has the opportunity to know him. A lot of my success is because of J.J., which I will be forever grateful."

Brooke Daniels
Miss Houston USA 2008, Miss Texas USA 2009,
4th runner-up Miss USA 2009

Leigh Gettman-Allen, America's Homecoming Queen 1993

"From the time I competed at Miss Texas Teen USA, I remember J.J. being an ever-present positive force for all the girls in the pageants. Through his continued encouragement, I grew more comfortable in my abilities, and the confidence he instilled in me helped me ultimately attain my goal. When I was crowned America's Homecoming Queen, J.J. let me know that my victory was one he would remember forever. It was a truly unforgettable moment in my life, and J.J. has since remained a constant friend through all the years."

Leigh Gettman-Allen
America's Homecoming Queen 1993

Esco, aka Mr. Diva Doll

"In many ways, I can thank J.J. for introducing me to the excitement of pageants and the world of pageantry! I have experienced firsthand his uncanny ability to take an average interview performance and transform it into one that pageant judges cannot help but be impressed with! My best advice to any girl who is considering entering a pageant would be to contact J.J. first. Honestly, it will be one of the wisest decisions that she will ever make."

aka Mr. Diva Doll

Sommer Easton Isdale, Miss Texas Teen USA 2007

"J.J.'s words and pearls of wisdom always lifted me to a level only he knew I could reach. That fostered belief allows any contestant to soar to heights unimaginable, but always dreamed of! My grateful and heartfelt thanks to J.J."

Sommer Easton Isdale
Miss Texas Teen USA 2007

Michael Hannah, Pageant Mentor

"I have had the pleasure of knowing J.J. for many years as well as thousands of pageant contestants. He is one of the most well-respected experts involved in pageantry. A good interview is crucial to the success of any candidate and J.J. has a proven track record of taking an average interview and shaping it into an unforgettable and winning one. Any contestant who wishes to compete on a higher level would do well by enlisting J.J. and utilizing his unique interview approach. With J.J.'s expertise, WinnerViews virtually assures a winning interview!"

Michael Hannah
Pageant Mentor

"Judging with J.J. has been such a pleasure these past several years. The scoring panel is always fortunate to have someone who knows exactly what the competition system is looking for. I cannot think of anyone who is more qualified to coach candidates in the "dreaded" interview! The pageant world loses so many lovely prospects because of their fear of having to go through interview. I hope your program eases some of our young contestant's nervousness in the future. Keep up the good work."

D'Juana Oxford
Director, American Girl Pageants, Ms. Senior Texas

"For the decade I competed, I always depended on J.J.'s insight and his ability to anticipate trends in the pageant world. His talent to focus my efforts in competition greatly contributed to the success I enjoyed. With a renewed sense of confidence, I started winning the interview segment of competition. With his guidance, I went from not placing, to top 5, to winning the Miss Houston pageant! J.J. was truly my secret weapon. His techniques helped give me a more balanced, natural and likeable interview and allowed me to be myself."

Martha Davis Dancy
Miss Houston MAO 1996, Talent and multiple Interview Winner

"With my having two daughters compete in the Miss Houston and Miss Texas USA system, J.J. Smith is undoubtedly one of the most sincere and passionate individuals I have ever known and he is the reason my daughters had the courage to get started. What he brings to the table is definitely a plethora of knowledge that comes from years of experience from working on both sides of the judges table. It is hard to put a value on the insight J.J. has when it comes to pageantry. The confidence he has instilled in Brooke and Cassidy will remain with them for a lifetime. We have been blessed to have J.J. as a part of our success!"

Valerie Daniels
"Queen Mom" of Miss Texas USA Brooke Daniels and Cassidy Daniels

Walter Kileyy

A note to let you know that Grant's Culver Academy interview went very well.
Before our trip to Culver, Grant practiced your techniques on two mock interviews. One with a CFO and a second with a high level international manager.
This all proved to be great preparation for Grant and he appeared to be confident and in his element during the Culver meetings. Grant's interview lasted thirty minutes and he believes that he "nailed it".
They will announce the scholarship finalists in January and I know Grant gained an edge from your help.

Thanks again, J.J.,
Walter Kiley

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