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1985

Sharlene Wells Hawkes
Salt Lake City, Utah

From the only foreign-born Miss America, to award-winning ESPN sportscaster, Sharlene Hawkes has reached the top of two starkly different worlds.

Born in Asunción, Paraguay the 5th of 7 children, Sharlene (Wells) Hawkes spent 12 years of her youth in South America, including most of her high school years in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1984, Sharlene played the Paraguayan harp and sang in Spanish for her talent presentation at the Miss America pageant in front of a record television audience of over 100 million. Traveling nearly 250,000 miles that year, she often relied on her fluent Spanish as Miss America 1985.

Following that year, Sharlene returned to her studies at Brigham Young University where she not only graduated magna cum laude, but received the Earl J. Glade award as the Outstanding Senior in Broadcasting, and the Silver Microphone Award for having the top cumulative GPA in the Communications Department.

In 1987, Sharlene became one of the first women to work on-air for ESPN, and for 15 years she covered such world-class events as World Cup Soccer, World Cup Skiing, the Kentucky Derby, America's Cup, World Alpine Championships, the French Open and College Football. She has interviewed such celebrities as Michael Jordan, Larry King, Troy Aikman, Donald Trump, Monica Seles, Mary Lou Retton, George Strait, Tony Bennett, Alice Cooper, Pele, Shannon Miller, Tommy Moe, Bela Karoli, Diego Maradona, and others. Her work at ESPN earned her national recognition including an Emmy nomination and the Miller Lite Women's Sports Journalism award.

In 1995, Sharlene launched Hawkes Communications to integrate her television and professional speaking careers, and more importantly, to give her the flexibility needed for a mother of four children. Now that her youngest is in 1st grade, Sharlene continues to speak professionally throughout the world to a wide variety of audiences from corporate to non-profit, but her professional interests have gradually shifted to off-stage and off-camera pursuits.

Sharlene is currently COO of StoryRock, Inc., the market leader in multimedia digital yearbooks. (www.storyrock.com ) Previously, she was Vice President of Communications for Monarch Health Sciences. In April 2005, she graduated in Organizational Communication with an emphasis in Brand Communication from the University of Utah. Sharlene is author of a nationally released book, “Kissing A Frog: Four Steps to Finding Comfort Outside Your Comfort Zone.”

As part of her commitment to the community, Sharlene serves as chairman of the Best of State Advisory Board, and participates on the BYU Women's Athletic Advisory Board, the University of Utah Music Circle Board, "Children First Utah" Scholarship Program Board, and the Incredible Journey Arts Foundation.

Sharlene and her husband Bob and their family live on a five-acre "ranch" in Utah where they enjoy camping, mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and their horses.


Sharlene Wells, Miss America 1985
Sharlene Wells, Miss America 1985
Sharlene Wells, Miss America 1985
Sharlene Wells, Miss America 1985

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