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Meet Your Coach...

Lisa Forbes Cardello was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri.  As a graduate of the University of Kansas in 2003, she always knew that public speaking and being on stage would be a part of her future as it was always one of her greatest passions. Lisa started competing in pageants in 1999 starting with Miss Kansas USA.  On her 5th consecutive attempt, she captured the title of Miss Kansas USA 2004 and went on to compete in the Miss USA 2004 in April of that year in Los Angeles, California at the infamous Kodak Theater.  The very next year in 2005, Lisa started her company, Winning Edge Pageant Coaching and has been coaching girls in almost every system imaginable for last 19 years with winners at the Local, State and National Levels. Following her reign as Miss Kansas USA, Lisa also appeared on ABC's The Bachelor, Paris as one of the 25 Bachelorettes vying for the love of Travis Stork, who can now be seen on the NBC hit series, The Doctors. In 2007, Lisa became Miss Earth United States and headed to Manila, Philippines for the International Miss Earth pageant.  While there, she was featured as one of the "Case Girls" on the Philippines edition of "Deal or No Deal."  Lisa resides in Lee's Summit, Missouri with her husband, Chris and 2 sons, Giovanni and Luciano.  Lisa's greatest passion in life is horses and she works in the Veterinary Medical Industry and shows her Quarter Horses in her free time.  Lisa is the reigning 2024 Mrs Kansas USA Earth and will head to the National Mrs USA Earth Pageant in Virginia in January 2024.  **Edit to Update!!** Lisa brought home the 2024 Mrs USA Earth Crown back to Kansas, WINNING the National Title!!!

Lisa has been a State Director for several pageant systems including Miss United States, International Junior Miss and USA National Miss.  Lisa brings experience from every angle- Competitor, Coach, Judge and Director!!! Don't miss out on the opportunity to fine-tune your skills in Pageantry and catapult your future!

Lisa's Titles

  • Miss Kansas USA 2004

  • Miss Kansas Earth United States 2007

  • Miss Earth United States 2007 (National Winner)

  • Miss Kansas United States 2009 (Top 6 at Nationals)

  • Mrs Kansas USA Earth 2024

  • Mrs USA Earth 2024 (National Winner!!)


Photo Credit- Code Creatives


 Holly McDowell, Miss Missouri Teen USA 2021
Hi, I’m Holly McDowell, Miss Missouri Teen USA 2020. I am a junior in high school. My favorite pastimes include scuba diving, snow skiing, archery, travel, and modeling. The first time I met Lisa was at the 2019 Miss Merry Christmas pageant that she hosted. I walked up to the table where she was seated and I thought to myself, “wow, she’s beautiful!” After that pageant, Lisa coached me for the Miss Missouri Teen pageant. What I remember the most was how confident she made me feel! She helped me with walking, wardrobe and overall self-confidence! She kept telling me that I could do it - she had so much confidence in me to WIN! Lisa also coached me for the Miss Teen USA national pageant in Memphis this past a November! Lisa is a wonderful coach and friend! I am so thankful for her!


Asaria Lopez, Miss Kansas High School America 2020
My name is Asaria Lopez and I am Miss Kansas High School! I have only been involved in pageantry for about a year and I absolutely love it! I also participate in track, volleyball, and CrossFit! In my free time I love to paint, read, and volunteer at my local animal shelter and food pantries. Lisa Cardello has helped me so much with pageantry. She helped me understand the system, how to walk like a pro, and gave me interview advice. My favorite thing about working with her is she pushes me to constantly work harder to get better! I always look forward to working with her because she is very supportive, encouraging, and kind! I can’t wait to continue working with her!


Kate Cupp, Miss Missouri Collegiate 2021

I’m Kate Cupp, Miss Missouri Collegiate America 2021. I’m a sophomore college student studying at the University of Missouri Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism. I’m pursuing a degree in Strategic Communications with a minor in Textile and Apparel Management. When I'm not busy with school and my various leadership roles, you can find me creating a variety of products. I’m usually working on anything ranging from graphic design work, media creation, and all things branding related. I have a major passion for media and communication as well as using my creativity in every aspect of my life. Additionally, I’ve begun breaking into the world of modeling and acting as well after signing with MMG.

After meeting Lisa when she became my state director for IJM in 2019 I knew she was not only a pageant expert but an all around incredible role model, friend, and person. My favorite part about working with Lisa is how confident she makes me feel, regardless of my high self expectations. Through working with Lisa I’ve learned how to let go and have fun with my time on stage while feeling my most confident self. Finding a coach who genuinely cares about you as a person and your future beyond the pageant world is incomparable, and Lisa is just that!

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