The Ultimate is so excited to sponsor Miss Massachusetts USA, Kelly O’Grady. We look forward to supporting Kelly on May 2nd as she competes in the national pageant!
We got the opportunity to get to know a little more about Kelly, and we are here to share a peek into Kelly’s journey in pageantry and personal life.
1. When getting into pageantry, what did you learn about yourself that you may not have known before?
- I can actually do my makeup! It took a while to learn, but I can do it now ha! On a more serious note, I knew before that my work ethic is one of my strongest assets, but this whole experience just proved that even more. I will work harder and longer than most if there is something I really want.
2. What initial passion drove you to want to start pageantry?
- I chose to enter pageantry because I wanted to be a role model for women that you can be a strong leader, but also embrace your femininity. My education and work experience is one part of who I am, but I also have this other feminine, fun and more vulnerable side – and both parts are equally integral to my success. You don’t have to fit a stereotype to be taken seriously – you can be authentically you. Pageantry has given me the opportunity to communicate that message across the state and, hopefully one day the nation, to drive change. I also simply wanted something that was totally mine – that I was doing solely for me. It has been really great for my personal growth to have that.
3. With the opportunity to speak on such a large platform, what is the central message you want to share?
- I created my women’s advocacy program ‘Here to Slay’ because of the challenges I face as a woman throughout the conference rooms and board meetings of male-dominated industries. Here to Slay is a movement, a speaking and mentorship program and social media platform seeking to empower women to fight against societal pressures to change themselves to fit stereotypes. Utilizing my experiences in the business world, I endeavor to arm women with the skills and tools to own being strong, confident and intelligent leaders while also embracing our femininity and the incredible power that comes with being a female. We are often told to suppress aspects of ourselves– that our femininity makes us weak or not serious. Here to Slay is my warrior call – my mission statement as a woman – and with this program, I hope to inspire that confidence in other young women to authentically pursue their dreams.
4. Who did you look up to the most when starting pageantry, and has that changed as you’ve gotten older in the industry?
- Given that I only entered pageantry a year and a half ago, it hasn’t changed much! I really admire Emma Watson – and no, not just because I am a huge Harry Potter nerd (for the record, I’d be in Slytherin)! Though she is not involved in pageantry, I think she is so impressive. She is not only wildly talented as an actress, but also extremely active in education and promoting women’s rights. Her commitment to pursue higher education, even in the face of all her career success, is such an inspiration to young women – she was not content to rest on her laurels, but continues to push the envelope in all aspects of her life. Further, how she has used her celebrity platform to champion women’s rights at the UN and beyond with her #HeForShe campaign is extremely impressive. I find her actions so admirable because, if I were Miss USA, I could use my voice in a similar way and expand “Here to Slay” to a much bigger stage. Emma is everything a role model for young girls should be, and she inspires me to strive to be a similar type of role model for young women.
5. How do you balance your job and the demands of being a title holder?
- It’s extremely tough! I work full-time as a management consultant, and it has been challenging to balance my responsibilities as a titleholder, along with preparing for Miss USA while working 70 hour weeks. As a consultant, I travel the world, developing and cultivating relationships with a diverse range of individuals, and advising CEOs and top industry managers on their most pressing business challenges and strategic initiatives. What that means is to balance everything, I often run from work to an event and then hop back online to continue working more, sleeping a couple of hours a night in order to keep up with my fitness regimen as well. That being said, I signed up for this challenge, and if I’m able to inspire other women like me that you can do all this while working a demanding full time job, that is enough! I’m blessed to have the opportunity to empower other women and I wouldn’t change it for anything!
6. What is your health and fitness routine? Please share any of your favorite tips.
- Since I travel for work every week, I love workouts you can do anywhere! I take ankle weights in my suitcase and complete workouts in my hotel room most nights, supplemented with some cardio if I can make it to the hotel gym! The most important thing, however, is nutrition. You can workout a ton and not see results if you aren’t fueling your body properly. I go with a high protein, low fat diet, and I meal prep every Sunday for the whole week to ensure I am always eating healthy!
7. Please tell us a little about your fabulous Sherri Hill gown – without giving too much away!
- All I can say is that I feel like the evil queen from Disney when I put it on!
The Ultimate is honored to be able to sponsor Kelly, and we wish her the best of luck at the National Pageant! Tune in to cheer Kelly on with us at 8 pm ET on Fox.
HAVE FUN KELLY AND GOOD LUCK FROM ALL OF US AT THE ULTIMATE, XOXO