Miss America Pageant honors SmithZoll for service

first_imgEnergy streamed off of Lois Elaine Smith-Zoll as she strolled through The Columbian’s newsroom, gearing up to talk about her 45 years of work with the Miss America Pageant.Asked if she’d mind doing the interview in a small area with no windows, she had a ready reply.“No,” she said. “I’ll brighten up the room for you.”The quick-talking Smith-Zoll, 74, could be considered one of Vancouver’s best-known characters. She takes over a room once she enters it, shaking hands and offering friendly banter to anyone in range.Her polished style no doubt has come in handy during her time working with Washington’s young women trying to prepare for the Miss America competition. Smith-Zoll knows what she’s looking for in contestants.“I look for intelligence, sincerity, a smile on their face, their own convictions and how they stand up to the real world,” Smith-Zoll said.During her time with Miss America she’s volunteered as a coach, judge and scholarship coordinator. And though she’s been working with the group for a long time, she said she’s not ready to quit just yet.last_img read more