Evelyn McCleod

America's Exemplar

Evelyn has won International, National and State titles and in 2008, at the age of 50, won her first title of Mrs. New Jersey United States and was a top 12 finalist at Nationals besting the field of 54. She is also the former Mrs. Exquisite International 2012, America’s Mrs., Mrs. New Jersey World International and was a top 7 finalist at Nationals. Evelyn’s ultimate dream came true in 2013 when she graced the Mrs. America pageant stage having captured the title of Mrs. New Jersey America in May of 2013. In 2015, Evelyn was crowned America’s Miss National Exemplar and in 2016 awarded the pageant’s Legacy Exemplar Lifetime Queen. Evelyn takes her role to heart, and pumps her positive energy into her platform “Healthy, Happy, and Wise, Empowering Our Youth Through the Beauty of Pageantry” a program designed to empower and mentor our young ladies to live heart-healthy, and to encourage them to avoid substance abuse and destructive decisions as well as the importance of community service and education.
In 2009, Evelyn founded the Miss Next Level Pageant and Mentoring Program, a not-for-profit 501c3 organization under the direction of the NLY organization, of which she is the Executive Director, a program geared toward helping young ladies and women achieve their dreams and teach lifetime skills.
Evelyn received her third Certificate of Achievement for her volunteerism for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, was nominated for Oprah Winfrey’s Volunteerism Woman’s Award, L’Oréal Volunteer of the Year, and Self Magazine Woman of the Year Award – all of which are national recognitions. She received Volunteer of the Year award from the Mrs. New Jersey United States Pageant, Woman of the Year in 2017 and 2019, voted # 7 out of the top 10 National pageant directors by Pageant Planet in 2017 and Director of the Year from AMA in 2018. She has also won 14 Pageantry Magazine awards. 
Evelyn’s photo selected, out of millions of submissions, for the Dove Soap’s National Campaign and her photo had been shown around the 50 States of America along with many of her pageant sisters. Also in 2017, Evelyn was awarded the Beauty It’s Everyone Humanitarian of the Year award. Evelyn is a fundraiser and certified spokesperson for the American Heart Association. Evelyn is a former member of the Board of Directors for AHA’s Circle of Red. She received the Shining Star award for volunteerism, East Windsor Proclamation for volunteerism, Hightstown Spirit Award, Mercer County Freeholder’s Honors Award, East Orange Commendation and was nominated for the Woman of the Year award and the Governor Jefferson’s Volunteerism Award as well as being invited to audition to become a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association and a VIP guest at their annual gala. 
Evelyn has been married to her best friend and husband, John, for 33 years. Together they have a son, Marcus, a college graduate with a Degree in Business Administration. Evelyn is extremely proud and beyond excited to work with Rene and Trish, the pageant’s directors, while promoting a fabulous pageant organization, America’s Miss!