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Salt Lake City, Utah
Sharlene is the only foreign-born, bilingual Miss America, having been 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.
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 Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Troy Aikman, Monica Seles, Mary Lou Retton, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Pele, Diego Maradona, even Alice Cooper (he's an avid golfer you know!). Her work at ESPN earned her national recognition including an Emmy nomination and the Miller Lite Women's Sports Journalism award.
Since 2005, Sharlene has been Partner and Chief Marketing Officer of StoryRock, Inc., the leading provider of core technology for interactive and print historical archiving (www.storyrock.com) She is also the acting President of the Remember My Service Division of StoryRock (www.RememberMyService.com), which she founded, and is the only full service provider to assist Military Commands in documenting their history. Previous to joining StoryRock, she was Vice President of Communications for Monarch Health Sciences. Sharlene holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Utah and is the author of "Kissing A Frog: Four Steps to Finding Comfort Outside Your Comfort Zone."
Sharlene serves as Chairman of the National Advisory Board of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah, and serves on the Executive Committee. She is President-elect of the BYU Alumni Board, and serves on the Best of State Advisory Board and Ascend Alliance Advisory Board.
Sharlene, her husband Bob and their four children live in Utah where they enjoy camping, mountain biking, hiking, and of course, world-class skiing.