KONA — The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Hawaii’s oldest food festival, announced the appointment of Jeannè Kapela as its new Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition executive director.
The UCC Hawaii Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition has been held as a prominent part of the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival since its inception in 1970. Duties of the new director include overseeing recruitment of contestants, event management and chaperone details.
Kapela was born in Kona and raised on a small coffee farm in Captain Cook. She has competed in pageants locally, statewide and on a national level. Kapela was the 2014 Miss Kona Coffee, and went on to win the Miss Hawaii crown in 2015 while capturing both the swimsuit and talent awards. She competed that year at the Miss America pageant and won the Miss Congeniality title. A graduate of Konawaena High School, she is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in social justice from Harvard University.
“The mission of Miss America is to prepare great women for the world, and to prepare the world for great women. My goal as executive director is to not only perpetuate the time honored traditions of Kona coffee, but to also shape and empower young female leaders of tomorrow,” Kapela said in a press release. “I aspire to teach young women to use their voices to make change in our community and to believe in the beauty of their own dreams.”
Since winning the Miss Hawaii crown in 2015, Kapela has gone on to coach numerous candidates for Miss Hawaii, Miss Hawaii’s Outstanding Teen Organization, Cherry Blossom Festival Pageant, Narcissus Festival and Pageant, and many others. An accomplished performer and choreographer, Kapela produced the 2018 Miss Kona Coffee Competition and is currently a teacher at Kona Dance and Performing Arts.
“The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Board of Directors is very excited to have Jeanné come aboard as executive director of the competition,” said festival president Valerie Corcoran. “Her experience and organizational capacity match up with new pageant standards. We look forward to seeing the Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition blossom under her leadership.”
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