The Close Up

Darlene Quinn, Classic International Woman 2018


Welcome to The Close Up, a featured column spotlighting and highlighting individuals who, by sharing their talents and expertise, enlighten, and perhaps even empower, others to see things a bit differently, and take chances and challenges along the way.     


My current conversation is with Darlene Quinn, Classic International Woman 2018 Celebrating her fabulous fifties, Darlene entered the CIW Pageant … here’s her story!


Classic International Woman celebrates “Accepting experiences and Embracing possibilities.”   Tell us how this relates to your own story.


Each woman has a background and individual journey that has brought her to where she is today. These life stories make up who we are.  With my own life experiences, each involvement had been a learning opportunity as well as a means of celebration and reflection.  My own life story allows me to be a stronger example for those I serve in the community. I can relate first hand to what that individual is going through.  When I accept my background, good and bad, I can embrace possibilities to pass my experience, strength, and hope on to others .. and THAT is empowering!


Why Classic International Woman versus other pageant systems?


Classic International Woman fits the life stage of those 35 and over, focusing on giving mature women an avenue to celebrate life’s journey and embrace possibilities at any age.  With many pageants focusing on domestic titles, CIW has a global title “Woman” because at the end of the day, whether we are single, married, widowed, divorced .. whether we have children or not .. we are women, and that’s powerful!  Classic International Woman is a first-class organization offering a first-class experience for anyone involved.  Whether one has participated in a pageant previously, or not, they will find this system very rewarding.


How was your personal experience at CIW during the pageant?


The CIW World Finals was fantastic.  I had an incredible experience from the day I registered through the day of crowning.  Throughout the weekend in Las Vegas, fun events and activities were planned each day, offering countless opportunities to bond with the other delegates and develop a sisterhood.  Getting to know women from across the globe was truly the most memorable part of the weekend leading up to the crowning moment memorable


What are your plans as Classic International Woman 2018?


My wish is to bring recognition to the charitable organizations which I have been involved with for many years. These worthwhile organizations, and the people they assist deserve the highest level of awareness.  I would also hope to become a part of new community service-based organizations and uplift others in any way I can.  I hope to continue to be a role model to those around me.  I strive to inspire, educate, and set a good example for other women.  With this, I will do my best to encourage others to be their best possible selves, and seek out as many possibilities in life as they can.   


Any advice in winning the crown?


Be yourself, have confidence in who you are, and cherish the moment.  Aside from working very hard with a pageant coach, I listened carefully to the suggestions of others who had found success in the pageant world.  I molded all of that communication into what fit for me.  I didn’t want to change “me” during the preparation, I simply wanted to become a better version of myself.  Have fun with the journey, it really shows on stage. That inner happiness is a beauty!  Exercise, health, and wellness are key in preparing as well.  An esthetician once told me that beauty comes from within.  So in preparing, definitely a clean diet with high-value nutrition is helpful. Lastly, embrace who you are and let that shine. That confidence sets forth a fierceness that is hard to beat.


What would you like people to remember about you?


I hope that people remember me for my genuine heart.  I have a missionary’s soul and find the values of conscientiousness, compassion, and empathy key inside myself. I care very much for many worthwhile organizations. My personal platform is community service in all capacities – assisting women, children, the elderly, and the work necessary in our society to turn lives around to the positive. I have joy in my heart from impacting countless lives.


“The culture of the Classic International Woman organization aligns well with who I am.  Equality amongst women, no matter their life path, celebrates life’s journey and embracing possibilities.  Saying ‘yes’ to as many opportunities as possible has been very rewarding to me.  I strive to empower other women around me to take on their biggest dreams with confidence.  As women, our possibilities are endless, and everything is within reach.”   Darlene Quinn, Classic International Woman 2018


Lynda Samuels

Founder/Director Classic International Woman