Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lisa DiBiase settles into her role as Mrs. Maine America - By Michelle Libby

Lisa DiBiase, Portland resident and contributor to The Windham Eagle, spent nine days in Arizona competing in the Mrs. Maine America competition at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. After signing up and winning Mrs. Maine in the span of one month, then traveling for the national Mrs. America pageant, the whole trip has been a whirlwind for DiBiase.

“It was amazing, so beyond expectations. It’s a cliché, but it was surreal. I met so many beautiful, sincere women,” she said. She couldn’t find enough adjectives to describe them all. “With 52 women in a room, we were all waiting and waiting, wondering when were the claws coming out?” They didn’t, was her answer. 

“I feel I have a friend in every single state. I could call any of them up and say, ‘I’m in Kansas, where should I go, want to meet up?’ and they would welcome me and my family,” DiBiase said. 

While in Arizona, DiBiase toured the area, had lunch with the mayor and practiced routines until her feet were exhausted. 

“After wearing heels for nine days, my hamstrings and back were so sore,” she said. “It was busy, exhausting busy. I was up at 5 a.m. every day and rehearsals went until 10 p.m. some nights,” she said. 

DiBiase is married to Matt DiBiase and they have a six-year-old son, Jordan, who is proud of his mother. DiBiase said that Jordan helped her with her catwalk and knows that Ne-yo’s song “Let’s go” is her pageant song.
Matt is “really, really proud. He has a better appreciation for women when they beautify themselves,” she said. 

For the next year she will give back to the Mrs. Maine organization though her volunteer efforts at ribbon cuttings, parades and anywhere else someone would like Mrs. Maine to be. “I will continue to do volunteering in the community,” she said. She also wants to work on her platform, which is with the Portland Recreation Department. 

“I’m bringing to them the value of eating healthy, being active and having fun along the way,” DiBiase said. She said she would love to be a spokesperson for the 5210 program encouraging people to exercise as a family and to have fun. 

While getting ready for the competitions, DiBiase and her family have participated in Crossfit Beacon in Portland, which was also one of her major sponsors. “I worked out every day and did sit ups every single workout,” she said. She also had personalized workouts with coach Kellie, many of which focused on squats. 

“It’s expensive to be in a pageant,” DiBiase said. She borrowed dresses from former contestants, her coaches and from Ashley Lauren Designs who let her borrow an evening gown and two cocktail dresses.

“It costs a lot of money. It’s like a third job and you don’t get paid for it,” she said. “It’s not something I’ve tried to do,” she said. She had never done a pageant before when she won Mrs. Maine. “Not many people can go out and go to a national competition (on their first try),” DiBiase said.
She also learned about time management. Between her job and family, she had to try to keep everyone happy. 

“I used all the resources of Mrs. Maine to pull it all together,” DiBiase said. She brought her hair and makeup artist, Jessica Candage, with her to Arizona to help with everything from extra eyelashes to foundation.
“I couldn’t have done it without her,” she said. 

Debra Pronovost, the director of Mrs. Maine America, was very good at knowing what DiBiase needed. She made lists that DiBiase could check off. “I’m a list girl. Her support and her tenderness all the time – always giving me complements was phenomenal.” 

Christie Cantara, Pronovost’s right hand, collected gifts for all 51 contestants, a gift for the mayor and a gift for the president of the hotel. There was a soup, chowder and cracker basket, Wendy Hazen Designs stationary gift bags and small gifts from a variety of local businesses like Mooseville Chapstick, Wild Blueberry Association of North America, L & L Pops and Land’s End Gift Shop. Ropes Maine sponsored DiBiase as well as Falmouth Dental Health whitened her teeth. Christine Blake Designs designed her snowstorm costume.
Once at the competition, she said that the owners of the pageant spoiled them with cute little gifts. 

DiBiase’s secret to success was hiring a coach and doing what they said. She hired Randi Preis of Confidence by Randi to help with her interviewing and walk. “She was my coach for Mrs. Maine and I won,” DiBiase said. “In life, go to someone who’s an expert, and consult with them. Also have a great hair and makeup artist,” she said. 

As far as a future in pageants, DiBiase is finished. “One and done,” she said. “I don’t want to change the experience I already had.” 

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