Amy S. Spencer promoting education on domestic violence for her pageant campaign

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 14, 2003

Amy Suzanne Spencer is out to promote education on domestic violence prevention, and she is using that as the platform on which she will base her run for the title of &uot;Mrs. International.&uot; That title showcases married women, 21 to 56-years-old, who are not only successful in their marriages and professions but also dedicated to causes like preventing domestic violence.

&uot;The pageant began 17 years ago, and it was developed to have higher standards than other pageant systems,&uot; said Spencer. &uot;Each contestant competes in interview competition counting 50 percent, evening gown for 25 percent and physical fitness for 25 percent. Each contestant is given the opportunity to select a platform of her choice that she spends the year promoting. Our husbands are a part of the show and they escort their wives in evening gown competition, and it’s the husband who actually crowns his wife.&uot;

Spencer, a Richmond native, is an office professional who has honed her customer service skills to a level that is the best. Not only is she skilled with every piece of office equipment and secretarial duties, but she displays talent in operating the Large Unit Financial Systems accounting and Oracle programs. She allows her creativity to run wild with the Excel and Access database programs in her computer.


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She often expresses that creativity as she sits in the bay windows of her living room on Waterwood Way to work on her new business, &uot;Creative Memories.&uot; She is an independent consultant, owner/operator working from her spacious home just off Route 10. She enjoys teaching customers how to preserve photos and other memorabilia through Creative Memories.

Even with all her accomplishments, Spencer is not content to sit by the window and watch events happen. She wants to be a part of events that make the world a better place in which to live. In fact, she is at the beginning of an exciting time in her life. Spencer’s meeting new friends, expanding her cultural horizons, and tasting the joys of family life and community service. She believes it takes all that to fulfill herself as a complete and married woman.

Always striving toward greater service to others, Spencer serves as a certified emergency medical technician, a volunteer EMT and bike team member, a facilitator for school activities and fundraisers, a volunteer tutor and chaperone, and a certified US Navy Ombudsman.

Educated at Strayer University, she’s earned a Bachelor of Business Program, and at Bryant and Stratton College, she earned a Business degree. She has studied the 2000 Introduction to MS FrontPage and MS Excel, and in 1999 she learned Simplified and Advanced Acquisition Procedures at Yorktown. In 1996, she learned about Centralized Shipboard Supply, also in Yorktown.

Looking at the petit blond, it is difficult to imagine, however she’s also a qualified boat crewman for search and rescue, law enforcement and medical evacuations. In fact, the number of duties to which she was assigned in the Navy is countless. In each, she excelled.

With all that, Spencer is a wife to a Navy husband, Tim, and the couple has three children; Monica, 15 months; Ryan, 4; and Allyson, 9.

Still, she finds her own personal best each year by competition in the &uot;Mrs. International&uot; pageants. Spencer already holds the titles, &uot;Mrs. Norfolk International 2001,&uot; &uot;Mrs. Hampton Roads International 2002,&uot; and &uot;Mrs. Suffolk International 2003.&uot;

&uot;These events are meant to show ‘THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF TODAY’S MARRIED WOMEN,’&uot; she said. &uot;The contest is not based on beauty but based on the premise that a woman can be married and a mother and a professional, all at the same time.&uot;

Still, Spencer’s looks can only be an asset in the pageant in which she will represent Suffolk. She is running on the platform, &uot;Women in Motion,&uot; a support group she started last year in Suffolk.

&uot;It’s not limited to mothers or career women, but women in general,&uot; she said. &uot;I’m also working with agencies that help victims of domestic violence. I believe that I can use the Mrs. International title to promote the prevention of domestic violence.&uot;

To achieve her dream, Spencer is seeking sponsors, either individuals, businesses, or civic groups and clubs, who can assist with the expense of attaining the crown of Mrs. International. What is in it for a sponsor?

&uot;I will make myself available for public appearances and events and speaking engagements,&uot; she said. &uot;I am honored to represent Suffolk and the people who live here and I am also committed to assisting the community with its civic and non-profit oriented projects. Anyone who could help me can expect me to assist with his or her business promotions, civic group events, and speaking engagements. The Mrs. International pageant has helped women around the world reach a greater potential in their lives with their husbands, their children, their career, and their worth to the community.&uot;

As for sponsoring Spencer in the pageant, the deadline to sign up is April 1. The Mrs. International 2003 pageant takes place Sept. 5-6 in the Louise Mandrell Theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The even gives each contestant the opportunity to learn about the customs and family life in other countries along with the chance to share her personal beliefs and make plenty of new friends.

Name? Mrs. Amy Susanne Spencer

Age? 28

Hometown? From Richmond, Va., but we consider Suffolk our hometown

Family? My husband: Timothy, Our children: Allyson-9, Ryan-4, Monica-15 months, and our beloved Akita, Kara Anne.

Education? High School Graduate, Currently a sophomore attending Strayer University

Career/occupation? Small Business Owner

Volunteer activities? Children’s Ministries Co-Chair and Assistant Historian at Providence United Methodist Church, Women In Motion Support Group, Partnership In Education Participant, Volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, Prevent Child Abuse of Hampton Roads Volunteer, March of Dimes WalkAmerica Volunteer, Certified US Navy Ombudsman

Favorite thing about life in Suffolk? Small hometown atmosphere

Why did you pursue your chosen career? To inspire and teach others the importance of preserving their family’s precious memories.

Favorite thing about your job? Fellowship with the wonderful people that enter my life.

Least favorite thing about your job? Keeping the paperwork up to date.

What accomplishment are you proudest of? Honoring my mother by becoming a mother.

Who or what motivates and inspires you? The Lord and the teachings of the bible; my husband and his humor; my children and their innocence, knowledge, their never-ending ability to amaze me and teach me something new everyday.

Favorite way to spend free time? Camping with my family and enjoying nature the way God intended it.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with others? The Lord is our lifeline and with him in our lives, all things are possible.

What ingredients are in the recipe for a good life? A strong dedication to faith, a loyal and supportive family, and daily personal devotional time.

We all have our 15 minutes of fame in this life. How would you spend your time in the spotlight? By using my voice to reach out and share my life with others, I bring a message of hope and understanding about post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. There is a variety of ways to give and receive support, however, many of these ways are not known to most and they suffer in silence and loneliness. God brings about our experiences to us make stronger and enable us to give more of ourselves. It is often hard to understand why God brings about the trials we must experience as children or adults. By keeping with faith, you know he has a plan and in the end, it will all work out.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would learn to delegate or ask others for help. I tend to take too much upon myself and become overloaded.