When Miss Iowa takes the stage Monday at the Miss USA pageant in Shreveport, Louisiana, there will be some excited Hy-Vee folks in Cedar Rapids rooting for their favorite former helpful smile.
“Jenny is a great gal. She does a lot of things in the community and has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters for years,” said Roxann Martinek, human resources manager at the Cedar Rapids No. 7 Hy-Vee. “She is a great role model and the most down to earth person you could ever meet.”
Jenny Valliere, 27, worked at the store from 2006 to 2013 and became a go-to employee thanks to the many jobs she performed.
“I started out as courtesy clerk and was promoted to checker, then to customer service. I moved to the Floral Department once started college because of my schedule. I was cross-trained in General Merchandise and the Clubroom. Sometimes managers would fight over me to be on their schedule,” Valliere said jokingly.
She was featured in Hy-Vee People magazine in 2010 after winning the World’s Glamour Miss model search in Kansas City and went on to compete in the Miss Iowa pageant for eight consecutive years before finally capturing the crown last fall.
“When we heard the news at our store, we were all elated,” said Martinek.
Valliere graduated from Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids with a degree communications and public relations. She is the afternoon-drive personality for a local radio station and does PR for the city’s junior hockey club.
A win Monday would catapult her into the Miss Universe pageant this fall in the Philippines.
“We are all very excited to watch her compete Monday. I am hoping to put together a watch party in our Market Grille,” Martinek said. “I told her that it was good luck, because the Miss USA pageant is on my 24th wedding anniversary.”
Miss USA 2018
Where: Hirsch Coliseum, Shreveport
When: Monday 7 p.m
Watch: FOX, hosts Nick and Vanessa Lachey
Follow Valliere on Twitter