Sharlene Wells Hawkes
Sharlene Wells Hawkes is a former Miss Utah 1984 and Miss America 1985. She is a former sportscaster (seven years with ESPN) and is also an advocate for remembering the service of military personnel and founded Remember My Service. She oversees the Remember My Service division of StoryRock Electronic Publishing, a digital scrapbooking company, which produces commemorative books and ebooks for members of the military. She is also executive vice president of the company.
Hawkes is a member of the board of directors of Easter Seals Dixon Center for Veterans and Military Service, a nonprofit vet-help. In February 2015, the U.S. Secretary of Defense appointed her to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. In this role, she will join 19 other civilian women and men and provide advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to the recruitment, retention, employment, integration, and overall welfare of highly qualified professional women in the Armed Forces. Major General John A. Macdonald, U.S. Army, said:
- Sharlene is a natural fit for this position, because of her long-term love and support of Service members and Veterans.” She’s been to Iraq and Afghanistan, and countless installations both domestic and abroad. She also has the real-world professional experience necessary to give thoughtful, seasoned proposals to the committee.
Hawkes also started an event called Project Gratitude, which brings the wives and daughters of men who have been killed in combat to the Miss America Pageant every year and treats them like royalty, all expenses paid. They’re pampered at the spa, put up in a fine hotel, given VIP seats to the pageant. Hawkes says that about 20 women are hosted each year.
She is a member of the National Speakers Association. She sings and plays both the piano and the harp. She released an album called Songs of the Morning Stars in the mid-1990s. She is the author of Living In—But Not Of—The World (2010) and Kissing a Frog (2014). Sheri L. Dew penned a biography of Hawkes journey to the Miss America crown, Sharlene Wells, Miss America.
Hawkes, the daughter of emeritus LDS Church general authority Robert E. Wells, was born on March 16, 1964, in Asuncion, Paraguay. Due to her father’s assignments, she spent most of her childhood in South America and is bilingual. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 1988. She is married to Robert A. Hawkes and they are the parents of four children. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.