R. Scott Harnish Mr. Classic Universe 2023-2024
After graduating in 1988 from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education, R. Scott Harnish came to Arizona State University pursuing a master’s in music Theatre Vocal Performance. Upon receiving his degree in 1991, he spent the next few years touring and performing around the United States, including locally in Arizona, in a variety of music theatre productions. One of his favorite musicals is West Side Story. While performing as Jano, a member of the Sharks, he was injured. Seeing the tour through to the end, Scott returned to Arizona to convalesce and interview for a teaching position his friend had recommended him for, and the rest is history. He is beginning his 35th year of teaching and his 30th year in the Kyrene School District.

Teaching music is one of Scott’s many passions. He loves to educate the heart, mind, and the soul. Realizing that music isn’t taught in a vacuum, he relates all subject areas to his music teaching, allowing students to see that the value in learning music is far reaching and important. Scott also wants to pass on the discipline it takes to be a performer. For the past 15 years, Scott has directed and choreographed drama productions with his fourth and fifth grade students. Shows have included Annie, Bye Bye Birdie, Grease, Cinderella, Wizard of OZ and Enchanted. He has continued his Doctoral studies at University of Oklahoma and Northern Arizona University, and for the past 10 years has been an active member and building representative in the Kyrene Educators Association, the local teacher union.

Scott has taken advantage of a number of exciting philanthropic opportunities since beginning his teaching career. He took time to chair the main fundraisers for Equality Arizona (EQAZ) for a number of years while also serving as board member and board chair. He has chaired, served as board member and Summer Intern for the International Alliance for the Prevention of AIDS (IAPA), and has served as chair for Building Bridges, a curriculum for children that builds social and emotional skills and exposes them to a live concert experience. Scott also embarked internationally to teach HIV AIDS education, Human Growth and Development and Hygiene in Chennai, India during his summer break for two years.

In 2020 Scott was the Arizona Educator Association's I touch, I teach, Christa McAuliffe Award recipient and national finalist for the National Educators Association award of the same name.

In terms of pageantry, Scott has well over 30 years of pageant experience. He has been a title holder, coach, host, director, and judge. Working with several systems, including America, USA/Universe, United States, Classic International and Classic Universe, he has a large base of experience to draw from. Scott is excited to be the new Mr. Classic Universe and sees great opportunity to bring attention to his platforms as well as helping the system become a viable choice for all men to be role models in their communities. All this comes very natural to him as his mother, Sally, is a former Miss Washington.

On a personal note, Scott is a father of 2, godfather to 6, grandfather of 4 and engaged to be married.
LYNDA SAMUELS Executive Director
As CEO of Signature Productions, LLC, I have worked in the Pageant arena for almost thirty years. I started my career as the Arizona State Director for the USA/Universe Pageant system and then invited to the United States Pageant system, where, after four years as State Director, was promoted to National Director of the Jr. Teen, Teen, Miss & Ms. Divisions.

I spent the next six years promoting, producing, and directing what soon became one of the most exciting National pageants in the industry. Year after year my delegates, directors, staff, judges, volunteers, sponsors, and colleagues grew to expect the grace, quality and professionalism of my national events ~ and year after year, I never let them down.

If there is one thing I that can say for certain that I have learned through my experiences, it would be to journey outside my comfort zone. When doing so, I found out how much more there is to discover once having given myself the power to accept possibilities and explore beyond that which feels safe and customary.

It was THAT permission to being open to accepting possibilities that fueled my motivation to change the landscape of pageantry to conform to challenges, decisions, and changing values and attitudes.

Together with my fabulous team of colleagues, we offer more than one hundred years of experience doing what we all do best .. and this time it is for men who are ready to accept experiences and embrace possibilities!
LINDA HOUDASHELL Assistant to the Executive Director
Linda has been in the pageant circle for many years. Her love of pageantry, coupled with her organizational skills and professional demeanor, played an important part in being selected as Assistant to the Executive Director. As a long time "pageant mom", Linda understands and relates very well to the needs and concerns of the participants, while respecting the demanding schedules behind the scenes to get each one to the right place, at the right time, and in the right outfit for the competition. Both Lynda and Linda look forward to working together towards an exceptional Mr. Classic Universe competition.
For more than thirty years, Jay has performed on both coasts in musical theater, production shows, headlining with his own act on several cruise lines, as well as performing on television and radio. He recently appeared as Billy Flynn in CHICAGO, and currently performs and hosts two Las Vegas variety shows.

In addition to performing, Jay owns and operates A TOUCH OF MYSTERY & MORE Entertainment Group, an interactive event and entertainment company. His troupe performs for local restaurants, hotels and casinos, corporate and convention events, and team building. His interactive Murder Mysteries were featured om Royal Caribbean.

Jay worked with Executive Director, Lynda Samuels, as Host of her events for the past fifteen years and looks forward to working with the Ambassadors in the Mr. Classic Universe World Finals.
NATALIE CARSON Choreographer
Natalie Carson has been a professional singer, emcee, dancer, actress, and choreographer for more than twenty years. She has travelled internationally with Legends in Concert and has been the featured singer in numerous productions in Las Vegas and beyond. Her favorite credits include Sister Amnesia in Nunsense, Jenny in Company, and Sandy in Grease.

For the past fifteen plus years Natalie has staged and choreographed the Cinderella Scholarship pageants on the State and International level. She was also a guest vocalist and Choreographer/Stage Director for Lynda in the Jr. Teen, Teen, Miss, and Ms. United States Pageants, Classic International Woman Pageant, Ms. & Mrs. Universe Pageants, and Classic Universe Pageants. She looks forward to working with Lynda and the talented team on the upcoming Mr. Classic Universe World Finals.
Thom is an American businessman, philanthropist, fashion and beauty media personality, and producer. He is the Founder and CEO of Brodeur Beauty, a company that builds and launches disruptive beauty brands. He serves as the President and Executive Producer of the internationally renowned Queen Beauty Universe pageant acquired in 2019 from the Spanish beauty event and fashion show production company La Reina Belleza Group.
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