Announced 1st runner up, Mrs. United States National Pageant 2010

"It's easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you're a winner, when you're number one. What you got to have is faith and discipline when you're not a winner. "

- Vince Lombardi

Wendi Russo, Mrs. MN United States 2010, was chosen as 1st runner up at the National Mrs. United States 2010 pageant and is a former Mrs. Minnesota America 2008. On a whim to lose her baby weight, Wendi entered her first pageant at the age of 40, and lost. After hearing that her competitors had pageant coaches, Wendi chose to re-compete after training with 3 of the most skilled interview & pageant coaches in the country, and at 41, was the oldest to have won the title of Mrs. Minnesota America in 2008.

Since then, Wendi has held the Mrs. Minnesota Galaxy title (Placing 2nd runner up at nationals), Ms. Minnesota State America 2013 title (Placing first runner up at nationals) and is the current Mrs. Minnesota Globe 2014.

As a non-scripted Television host, Wendi excels in interview and public speaking as a spokesperson for Mentoring for Kinship of Greater Minneapolis and a host for many live charity events & fundraisers. Having made over 100 appearances with her first title with local events and charities that Wendi booked on her own, Wendi can help you market yourself and your title/platform before, and after you win, preparing you for your National pageant.


*Market yourself and your platform
*Platform development
*Discover your three attributes and selling points for interview
*1000 interview questions are available for preparation
*Interview skills and final question preparation
*On- Stage Body Language
*Physical Fitness preparation and mindset
*Wardrobe Selection--I help my girls get gowns on resale and WIN-it's not about the gown, it's about the girl!
*Image consulting with the finest hair, extension and makeup experts
*Helping you to be consistently high in each category of competition. You DONT need to win them all to win the pageant!
*Mental Preparation
*Deciphering what pageant system is best for you
*Being the best “you” possible and not focusing on your competitors
*Acquiring the Mental mindset required to be the "Queen"
*Understanding the politics of pageantry
*Website development
*Headshot styling and Photographer recommendations
*Paperwork preparation
*Poise, stage skills and posing techniques for all segments of competition
*Ad page preparation

Wendi's approach is more a life-coach than pageant coach by working from the INSIDE- OUT. Her approach starts with getting to know you- discovering your strengths, helping you to see your gifts, and improving upon your weaknesses. Wardrobe is the LAST thing you will work on. She has encouraged many titleholders to pursue their dreams of acting, modeling, hosting, owning a business, and more. As a former judge for Miss Minnesota USA, American Co-Ed Pageant & Ms. Wheelchair America, fitness, bikini and talent judge, Wendi has been on the opposite side of the stage and can help you to connect, be yourself and win the hearts of the judges.

"I am convinced that effective coaching takes place when there is a genuine relationship connection between us and our clients. If the trust is authentic, then real coaching can occur. Be prepared to connect with that clients in multiple meaningful areas of their lives. Coaching can create profound change in the lives of the people who trust you enough to be coached."

- Dan Miller, President of 48 days

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"

- Buddhist proverb

Winners Corner, National Title Holders

National American Miss *NAM* Junior Teen Winner 2014 NAM ( National American Miss), Miss Minnesota High School 1st runner Up - Liz Saby

She also won Junior Teen Minnesota 2014-her first win for NAM.

Being crowned as your 2014-2015 National American Miss Minnesota Jr Teen was truly a gift from God. This was my seventh year competing at NAM, and last year I came to Wendi because I needed a coach that was willing to really help me win the crown. I can tell you that Wendi is honestly the best coach I've ever had and I was so thrilled because I placed 2nd runner up at my state NAM pageant in 2013 prior to that I had not placed in top 5 before. I competed for the first time in the Miss MN High School pageant two months later and placed 1st runner up. I have never had a coach so dedicated to me and I know she really cares. Wendi is so knowledgeable regarding every aspect of competition and she is very detail oriented, there is nothing that she does not address. Wendi has taught me so much about pageantry and helps bring out my strengths, I am amazed by how much I have improved since working with her. She is such a positive role model and she makes me strive to push myself to be the best I can be. The first time I met Wendi I felt an instant connection and knew she was the coach for me. I feel so comfortable with her I am more at ease going into competitions thanks to all I have learned from her. Wendi has helped me tremendously and I don't think I can thank her enough. Wendi, thank you so much for helping to make my dreams come true and I am so excited you will be there with my on my journey to nationals!

Miss Latina Beleeza Florida 2015 - Ariana Almonte

Outstanding American Miss 2015 - Victoria Tritton

2014 Mrs. Wisconsin America - Autumn Joy Kastein

Working with the beautiful and talented Wendi Russo has been an absolutely amazing experience!

Classy, elegant, and truthful you can be sure that Wendi will always tell you the truth no matter what! Throughout my experience in pageantry it has taken me time to find a coach that will be 100% honest, 100% giving and 100% dedicated to her clients 24/7. No question is too big or too small for Wendi to handle. It is because of Wendi that I was confident it was my time to pursue my dream and compete at the 2014 Mrs. Wisconsin America pageant. With her encouragement, guidance, and coaching I was able to bring home the coveted title and begin preparations for Mrs. America this August, Wendi helped me to let my true self shine through, she showed me my true potential, and never gave up on me. Thank you to Wendi for always believing in me and showing me that any dream is possible!

Miss Jacksonville USA 2014 - Sarah Rogers

Interview via Skype

Miss Royalty International All Star 2014 - Amanda Mattes

I am honored to call Wendi my coach, mentor and friend. She has a unique approach to coaching that brings out the best in you.

Wendi helped me put together my personal bio and pageant wardrobe working tirelessly in locating just the “right” dress. The fashion wear routine, formal wear/gown routine she choreographed was fun and she worked with me until it was perfect. Personal interview was the area that she helped fine tune so that my responses were honest, heartfelt and told a story. I was so prepared for my competition that it alleviated a lot of the worry pageant weekend.

I am grateful for Wendi’s tutelage and she played a big part in my success as I was crowned the national 2013 Miss Royalty International! I also had the overall highest score for the miss division in addition to volunteer service and photogenic.

I look forward to working with Wendi in the future and achieving more dreams together!!

Miss Vermont USA 2014 - Gina Bernasconi

This was a dream turned into reality. Wendi Russo... Where do I even start. I remember when I first met her and just knew she would completely change my future. She is dedicated, motivated, and compassionate for what she stands for. She helped me connect with who i truly was, and that was life changing. She helped me accomplish one of my first major goals... From competing my first time and not placing; to winning my second year. Wendi made it real. She stuck with me through thick and thin. I forewarned her about the work that was ahead of us both and it did not even faze her one bit. She is a complete joy to work with, while instructional at the same time. This title as Miss Vermont USA 2014 would not have been accomplished without her help. Words can't ever explain how thankful I am for her patience and dedication. She truly is an inspiration and a hard working coach. She sees the best in you and works hard to make it apparent and helped me become the title holder I had only dreamed of becoming.

(Worked together via Skype only)

Mrs. Minnesota America 2013, Top 6 at Nationals - Tara Malone-Mulkey

Not knowing a thing about pageants, Wendi sure had her work cut out for her when we first met! Under her direct guidance and encouragement, Wendi helped mold this quiet, shy tomboy into a real-life beauty queen, winning the prestigious title of Mrs. Minnesota America 2013 in less than two months of working together. Another first time pageant participant in Wendi’s portfolio of winning success, my experience proves that Wendi’s impeccable track record speaks for itself.

Wendi’s relentlessness in pageant preparation perfection paired with her laser-like focus on my success helped me understand just what it took to compete at such a high level - from gown and wardrobe selection to walk, attitude, confidence and interview prep, she was there through every step, decision and practice and was the certain key to my success at the state and national level.

Finishing as a finalist (top 6) at Mrs. America was icing on the cake and Wendi’s knowledge, experience and dedication to prepare me for a pageant of that caliber only continues to define her amazing skill of creating winners and life-long friends.

Miss Royalty International Junior Teen 2014 - Melissa Thorud

My pageant preparation was absolutely amazing. Following in the footsteps of my older cousin Amanda, I knew that if I wanted to be a title holder that I would have to reach out to Wendi for assistance. I talked to Wendi a year before my pageant start date and we laid out a pageant plan and started working on it right away. We started the search for my pageant wardrobe and her advice was invaluable. She guided my decisions and made sure that I purchased a wardrobe that was appropriate for my age division.

Wendi helped me to complete my application which earned me the awards of best application and the volunteer service. Her assistance in selecting my headshot to submit earned me the award of cover girl finalist. Her attention to the small details is what helped me win my title. My fun-wear and formal gown modeling routines set me apart from the others in my division. Wendi worked with me until everything was perfect. Having not placed last year to winning the crown this year Wendi is what made the difference. Wendi is not only my pageant coach but my friend and mentor. I am grateful for her hard work in helping me win.

Mrs Royalty International 2014 - Katie Maskey

Best Paperwork, Volunteer Service Award and highest interview scores she's ever received.

Mrs. Minnesota America 2012, Top 10 at Nationals - Ali Carr - & won Volunteer award (Her first foray into Mrs. Pageants)

I could not have won the title of Mrs. Minnesota America without my amazing coach, Wendi Russo. She has an incredible talent for interview coaching, stage presentation, and platform development. There is no such thing as "cookie cutter coaching" with Wendi. She tailored her sessions to me and ensured my true self always shined through. But most of all she is an amazing mentor and friend. I was not only prepared to compete in the pageant, I walked away from our coaching sessions a stronger woman and helped me see the incredible woman I am. She sharpened me and challenged me to push past my fears and pursue my dreams. Her belief in her clients is so strong!

Mrs. Minnesota America 2011 - Yasmine Ryback - (Top 6 at Mrs. America & never competed before), Photogenic winner

Wendi was a key to winning the crown as Mrs. Minnesota-America 2011 (on the first try!). She took the time to understand my story and joined me in my lofty goal. Her boundless energy, passion and dedication are bar none. Wendi's own pageant experience, image consulting and spirit creates winners. She honed in on my strengths, talents and skills that allowed my inner self to shine. I always appreciated her honesty and faith in me. Wendi is my first choice in any of my pageant preparations.

Mrs. Wisconsin America 2013, Top 10 at Nationals - Jamie Valieri

Wendi has not only been a coach, but she has been a mentor and a friend. She is very detailed and catches the little things that many people may overlook. Her level of professionalism and experience in the field of pageantry helped me excel both in the pageant world and personally. I am a better person today having worked and knowing Wendi, and I cannot thank her enough! I refer everyone I meet in the pageant industry to Wendi for a coach who cares and will help them win the crown!

Mrs. Jordan - Jaclyn Stapp, Top 5 at Mrs. World 2011

Mrs. Royalty International 2015, Mrs. Wisconsin Galaxy 2012 - Jayne Black

I had the pleasure of having Wendi as my coach and won the Mrs. Wisconsin Galaxy 2012 title. Wendi specifically helped me to clearly define my platform and purpose for the crown. My bio also defined me in a way that I was able to use it in in my role as a International Women's Finance Coach and Professional Speaker. Wendi is a business women at heart and she took that approach when coaching me wanting me to succeed at every point. Wendi's eye for the right pageant wardrobe won me top scores and she was not afraid to say the things a contestant needs to hear help her clients win the crown. Wendi is a coach that answers her email promtly and really gives 100 percent to every coaching session even going beyond what she needs to at times to make sure her client is more than prepared. I can't say enough about the amazing stage presence that she brought out in me! Wendi has a winning strategy and whether you end up with the crown or not what you will learn during your sessions you can implement in your career outside of the pageant industry. What I learned from Wendi impacted my very own business and career and will continue to far after I pass on my title next year. Thank you Wendi for empowering me with all the tools I needed to be successful in every way!

Mr. North America 2012 National Titleholder - Tyler Tolifson - (first pageant)
Alyssa Benolkin - Won non finalist interview award

Miss South Dakota USA 2010 - Chandra Burnham - (ran 5 times prior before working with me)

America’s Super Mrs 2013 - Autumn Short

I have worked with pageant coaches before and I will tell you that working with Wendi was much different than what I had experienced before. I had a pageant coach that would agree with everything I said. They would say “yes that’s the dress, swimsuit or interview outfit” to every picture I would send their way. Not Wendi. She was honest and gave me feedback and ideas of what colors and styles would look best on my body type. Wendi took time to make sure my paperwork was flawless and that it presented the whole picture. Wendi also helped me with my diet and exercise program.

By the time I walked into the interview room I was confident in my interview. When I walked on stage I knew I would stand out. Wendi helped me with my walking, how to pose, where to place my hands when I posed and how to show my confidence on stage.

I had not competed in over 7 years, with Wendi’s help I won the title of America’s SUPER Mrs. 2013.

Miss Minnesota Collegiate 2013, 2nd ru NAM Teen Division 2012 - Saera Jaekes

Kids Coaching Corner

NAM ( National American Miss) Junior Pre Teen 2014 - Chloe Russo

Little Miss Minnesota United States 2014: Winner, Glamour girl modeling winner 2nd Runner up at Little Miss United States 2014 National Pageant

NAM ( National American Miss) Junior Pre Teen 2014: Winner, 1st Runner up Talent, 1st Runner up casual modeling and Spirit Award Winner

National Miss 2014 Princess America Pageant- Third Runner up, Modeling Award and Contract- Neely Fortune

Ms American Beauty 2014- First Runner up

Ultimate Grand Supreme Midwest Dreams 2013

UGS Midwest Dreams MN, UGS, Midwest Dreams WI and Little Miss Minnesota 2012 Grand Supreme, Miss Minnesota Princess 2011 / National American Miss - (Top 10 at Nationals)

Won Casual modeling, Best Thank you note, # of Recommendations, 1st ru Top Model. At nationals: 1st ru Talent, 1st ru Volunteer work, 2nd ru scrapbook & 2nd ru Thank you note

Midwest Dreams Princess Title 2014 - Gianna, 7 years old

Little Miss Minnesota Queen award and Overall winner of Midwest Dreams Cowgirl pageant ’13”

Grand Supreme Holiday Pageant Winner - Zoe, 5 years old

Grand Supreme Holiday Pageant Winner - Jenna, 10 years old

Notable Placements

Anastasia Valeri- Top 5 at NAM National Pageant Pre Teen Division 2014 Grand Supreme- Midwest Dreams Iowa Sweetheart Pageant

Billie Jo Powers - 1st runner up Miss Pennsylvania USA 2014

Sarah Rogers - Miss Jacksonville USA 2015- interview coaching

Liz Saby - 2nd ru NAM Pre Teen Division 2013 out of over 100 girls

Madeson - 2nd Ru NAM Princess Division 2013

Angela Haseman - 1st Ru Mrs. MN United States 2011 and 1st ru Mrs. MN America 2013

Anna Roland2nd ru Miss MN USA '10 - (first pageant), Photogenic award

Hailey Huver - Top 12 Teen MN USA '10 - Photogenic award (never competed before)

Coral Hildebrandt - Mrs. Wisconsin United States 2011

Andrea Drabb - 1st ru Mrs. Wisconsin America 2011, 2nd ru Mrs. WI United States 2011

Izzy Pearson - Top 5 Miss New Zealand Universe (placed higher than the girl who beat her at city)


Neely Fortunes, Semi-Finalist, Ms.Vermont USA

I could have never gotten to where I am today without Wendi. Wendi not only helped me develop my contestant bio, but in the process she helped me develop and refine my opinions and speaking skills. I was nervous to work with a coach because I was afraid a coach would be harsh on me in areas in needed to work on. Wendi was fantastic; she was honest with me when I needed to practice something, but she was always supportive, encouraging, and positive. Wendi always made sure I was prepared, even when my power went out and we had to practice my walk via video chat on my iphone! After every session with her I felt more confident then before and in between sessions Wendi was always available via email to answer any questions I had. I truly couldn’t ask for a better coach.

Alia Ariello, Mrs Minnesota America 2014

I could not have asked for a better experience competing in my very first pageant! Being completely new to the pageant world, I had a huge learning curve ahead of me. I had always dreamed of competing in a pageant, but didn't know how to go about making it a reality. I quickly realized there was a lot to learn. Wendi literally had to start from scratch with me and was there every step of the way dedicating her time and energy in every way imaginable. I was absolutely amazed at how much individualized attention she gave me. I felt like I really mattered to her and that she genuinely cared about me. She never let me take the easy way out and always pushed me to be my best, for which I am forever grateful. Working with Wendi has allowed me to grow not only in pageantry, but as a person as well. I came to her as a shy bookworm who was unsure of herself and am now Mrs. Minnesota America 2014. I am proud to call Wendi my friend and am thankful for her role in helping me become the woman I am today.

Jessica Billings - Miss Pennsylvania USA 2013 - Top 15 at Miss USA

I thought I knew it all about pageantry...until I met Wendi Russo! Wendi is the real deal! She evaluated every area of my competition and honestly defined the areas I needed to improve. Wendi was with me each step of the way and was available to me beyond our sessions. Even though I had a fabulous pageant wardrobe, it is Wendi's unique style of teaching communications and developing "the person" that will carry with me the rest of my life. She gave me the tools to be a strong competitor, but more importantly, always saw the best in me and instilled confidence to be a more well-rounded woman.

Stephanie McGrane - International SUPER MS 2012- Overall Highest Title of the Pageant

I have been competing in pageants for 30 years (since I was 9 years old), so I am no stranger to pageantry. I figured I knew quite a bit about competing. I contacted Wendi just wanting to brush up a bit for my next competition but after working with her I was truly amazed! I couldn't believe how far she brought me in every area of competition! I had no idea that I could grow that much or become that strong of a competitor. I was transformed and ready to compete on a higher level.

Wendi is very detail-oriented. She tailored each coaching session to meet my specific needs. I knew that by following Wendi's direction I would be the most prepared that I could possibly be. I was not only ready physically, but mentally as well. I already envisioned myself as the winner.

Wendi helped me to develop my platform and write a strong bio. During the interview portion of my competition the judges even complimented me on my well-written bio. Wendi's training helped me to strengthen my communication skills and approach the interview in a different manner.

With Wendi's expertise I was able to take home the International Super Ms. crown! I am so proud to say that I was named the overall evening gown, swimsuit and photogenic winner. I also placed second overall in interview. Wendi is an absolutely amazing pageant coach and I couldn't have done this without her!