Whitestone resident crowned United States of America’s Miss 2023

Photo courtesy of Katherine McQuade

Whitestone resident Katherine McQuade was crowned United States of America’s Miss 2023 earlier this month in Las Vegas. McQuade was one of the 26 finalists to compete in the April 2 pageant after previously being crowned United States of America’s Miss New York.

Photo courtesy of Katherine McQuade

“I’m very proud [to be crowned United States of America’s Miss 2023],” McQuade said. “It has been a long time coming. I’ve put a lot of hard work into my state title and it’s really exciting that I’m able to build upon what I’ve accomplished as Miss New York. There’s so many incredible opportunities that the pageant provides young women today. I’m very excited and very proud to really make my mark and leave my legacy this year as United States of America’s Miss.”

For McQuade, receiving this honor fulfills a dream of hers that had been years in the making. McQuade has been participating in beauty pageants since she was 10 years old. She credits that experience with helping to shape her into the person she is today.

“Once I experienced my first pageant, I loved it,” McQuade said. “I loved the mission statement behind pageantry, which is to help women grow confident and shape their lives for the future. Pageantry has made me so industrious, hard-working and resourceful. Once one crown hit my head, I was hooked and the rest is history.”

McQuade with one of her potholders (Photo courtesy of Katherine McQuade)

McQuade has devoted more than 6,400 hours to serving her community. She also founded Promoting Hope: Potholders for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness, made in honor of her late grandmother Genevieve Bonura and for which she raised nearly $10,000 for cancer research. McQuade is an ambassador to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, for which the money she raised went to. Additionally, she has her own digital marketing agency, KMM Consulting, in which she guides female entrepreneurs to find their own brand identity on social media platforms.

McQuade graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marymount Manhattan College, receiving a bachelor’s degree in communications arts. She is also a 15-time President’s Volunteer Service Award Gold Medal recipient. Her many hours of community service earned her the Lifetime Presidential Award for Volunteer Service.

McQuade during her collaborative work with the girl scouts (Photo courtesy of Katherine McQuade)

One of McQuade’s more recent acts of community service involved her working with the Girl Scouts of the USA. She hosted a potholder-making party, in which the girl scouts had the opportunity to learn about McQuade’s program and pancreatic cancer research. They also got to make their own personalized potholders.

Another big collaborative work McQuade has done was with the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Her potholders are now in the kitchens of every Ronald McDonald House Charities across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

“The letters and the emails that I receive from all the different locations has been incredible,” McQuade said. “It’s a true reminder of why I started my program and why I love to volunteer. I truly have a heart for service. I think we feel fulfilled when we are fulfilling other people.”

Well before being crowned United States of America’s Miss 2023, McQuade launched Katherine’s Kindness Campaign, which is aimed at inspiring people to get involved within their communities. As part of the campaign, she challenges others to pick five organizations they may be interested in and provide simple acts of kindness, like volunteer work or donations.

According to McQuade, her main goal as United States of America’s Miss is to create an endless chain of kindness on Instagram. This is meant to showcase the power of kindness and how making a difference within one’s community can have everlasting effects.