Miss Universe crown maker joins pageant org as advisor
MANILA, Philippines—Fred Mouawad has provided two crowns for the Miss Universe pageant since the 2019 competition, with the most recent one used in the 2022 edition that concluded in January. Now the entrepreneur’s involvement in the global organization will go beyond sponsorship.
The Miss Universe Organization’s (MUO) owner, Anne Jakrajutatip, recently announced on Facebook the new members of the Miss Universe management team, which enlists Mouawad as “honorary advisor.” The social media post said the four new officers are for both New York and Thailand.
Jakrajutatip, who owns the Thai conglomerate JKN Global Group, is based in Bangkok, while the MUO office is located at New York City.
Nishita Shah was named head of global strategy and partnership. Jakrajutatip’s post said she is the CEO of a multinational conglomerate and public company with more than 15 years in “logistics, pharmaceuticals, aviation, and technology across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.”
Shah, who is based in both New York and Bangkok, is said to be “dedicated to building effective relationships and providing support to stakeholders, senior management teams, and board of directors.”
Joining the team as head of global franchising and experiences is Dr. James Mabey, who is said to have “led and managed hotel and real estate projects in over  countries.” The social media post mentioned his fluency in English, Mandarin, Thai, Laotian and Spanish, and cited his successful negotiation of “more than 300 franchise agreements in 28 countries managing over [$40 billion] worth of franchise assets.”
Jakrajutatip said Mabey’s expertise “will be leveraged in localizing the systems and getting the governments on board to support.”
Leading MUO’s global operations will be Natalie Frank, who is said to have “founded, led, and successfully exited [two] startups, contributed to [three] exits, in addition to serving on [three] startup boards over the last 15 [plus] years.”
Frank is said to be a “recognized leader in digital transformation and connected work,” with a “successful track record leading teams and launching new companies and products within fast growing entrepreneurial environments in the high technology sectors.”
When Jakrajutatip acquired MUO, and all its three pageants—Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA—in October last year, she laid down an ambitious plan to resuscitate the seven-decade-old global pageant brand through licensing, franchising, merchandising and promotional schemes.
She had earlier announced that the Miss Universe pageant has already secured host countries for the 2023, 2024 and 2025 editions, with each competition season running for a month. Reigning queen R’Bonney Gabriel from the United States, who bagged the crown in January in New Orleans, will crown her successor in El Salvador later this year. /ra
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