Dallas Teague Snider has been a meeting planner, speaker, hotelier, author, business etiquette coach, and CVB executive, but now she has added a new title to her résumé—Ms. Alabama America 2013.

That’s right—Teague Snider was selected to represent her home state of Alabama in the Ms. America Pageant, which takes place June 20–23 at the Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa, Calif. The pageant is open to women age 26 and up. There is also a Ms. America International division specifically for contestants over 40 years old. At 44, Teague Snider is now competing in her first national pageant and, more important for her, launching her speaking ministry.

The Ms. America pageant eschews the bathing suit and talent competitions in favor of platforms on which contestants try to help their respective communities. Although this is not a faith-based pageant, Teague Snider’s platform is “Wearing a Crown for Christ.”

“Having a mother who was bipolar, schizophrenic, and homeless, God has called me to share my story and use my gifts as a speaker, author, and spiritual thought-leader to unveil an unshakeable self-esteem only found through knowing God’s love for us,” she says, explaining her platform and her message. “When we truly understand how much God loves us, we can learn to love ourselves and as a result love others.”

Meet Dallas

You may have seen Teague Snider at past Religious Conference Management Association meetings, which she attended regularly while serving as national sales manager for the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1999-2004. Before that, she was a regional sales manager at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear, Ala. She earned her CMP in 2002 and went on to become director of global accounts at site-selection company ConferenceDirect in 2004, earning the company’s Rookie of the Year award in 2005.

Her focus in recent years has shifted to speaking, training, and writing. In 2007 she launched Make Your Best Impression to offer training in business etiquette and personal development, and in 2009 she wrote Professionally Polished: Business Etiquette Savvy for Today’s Competitive Market. In 2012 she published Finding Dallas—A Spiritual Journey through Childhood Abuse to the Glory of God’s Plan, a book about overcoming abuse. She also writes a weekly devotional blog, Jesus Knocking.

Recently Teague Snider has gotten back into events, but as a keynote speaker. She is speaking in September at a meeting held by Birmingham-based Transformation Ministries, leading the efforts of the women’s ministry and serving as the opening keynote speaker talking about her unstable childhood with an abusive mother. She describes overcoming her upbringing by finding her “inner FROG.” This stands for “forgive, receive, overcome, and grow in God,” she says, and is appropriate “because frogs never go backward.”

Crown with a Purpose

“I wonder if there’s a pageant for people like me?” she said to herself while watching the Miss America Pageant this past January, rooting on Miss Alabama, whom she knew. She had been in pageants in high school and in college she was selected for the USS Alabama Crewmate program, which awarded five girls in the community a scholarship and opportunity to represent the State of Alabama.  

When, 25 years later, she discovered the Ms. America Pageant, its mission, A Crown with a Purpose, resonated with her. “That’s when I realized it was about wearing a crown for Christ—that we all wear a crown of righteousness, we just have to believe it to receive it.”

Unlike in traditional pageants, there are no regional or state pageants to chose Ms. Alabama—it’s an at-large title. She sent in an application and photos, they interviewed her about her platform and experience, and then selected her. “Isn’t that just like God? Putting a crown on your head and using a world stage to share his message of love,” says Teague Snider.

Now, in the Ms. America and Ms. America International pageants, she will compete against contestants from around the country in various categories—evening gown, sportswear, on-stage question, and interview about her platform.

But even if she doesn’t win, Teague Snider remains committed to making a difference in her spiritual community by sharing her inspirational message through speaking at religious conferences.