Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one!

The entrance was spectacular...What a way to end an amazing year!!!

My Farewell!

I've had many friends ask to see pictures from the pageant and when I gave up my crown. It's touching to hear my directors remind me I never "give up" my crown, I just pass a new one along. It was a year of great opportunity and as I mentioned the opportunities are still coming. I have been booking various speaking engagements as well as book signings and a few appearances as well. I have started a new blog for friends to follow titled Lisa Dean. This blog was soley dsigned for my year as Mrs. Illinois America. I invite you to continue following as I will continue to journal and share all of life's great blessings: My family, friends, work, and service. I'm thankful to many who have sent such positive feedback in regards to my year. Receiving emails, letters, and messages on Face book have been countless. To hear that my year has inspired some of you to try new things, discover your gifts and talents, or know that you can, and do make a difference in the world are all amazing words to my ear. You have truly blessed me! . My new blog will be up and running soon. It will be filled with more speaking engagements, "vitamins for the mind", encouragement, and yes, family photos too! I'm grateful to all those that were sincere in their words and actions during my reign. please feel free to continue to follow me now at!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Niewolny Family Photo for Mrs. Illinois 2008

Yes, I have been negligent with this blog but with good let me say I am sorry for that....and will post pictures from the pageant, speaking engagements, and Kennedy's pageant soon. The past few months have been quite hectic since giving up my crown as Mrs. Illinois America 2008. The year came to an end but the festivities and "pre booked" appearances did not. On top of that I am thrilled to say that our orphan home in Africa is now complete as well as a hospice we built with my mother and father. Through my year as Mrs. Illinois and the launch of my book, "Girls of Greatness", speaking engagements, plus a move, not to mention being a wife and mother, there were times when I felt a bit overwhelmed( to say the least). But I always know where my strength comes from and that is in God alone. He also has blessed me with an unbelievable family and genuine friends. It is at those times that you find out who you are and who you are amongst. I have had an unbelievable year as Mrs. Illinois and now that reign is over but the many responsibilities and my passions for purposeful living has not. I have had the opportunity to continue speaking as well as "meet and greets" for book signings, and every now and then still be asked to make an appearance as Mrs. Illinois 2008. With the encouragement of my directors, I do. I think it's wonderful if I can still bring exposure to the organization that has offered me so much. I have heard of other past queens getting together for a Breast Cancer Walk, or one making an appearance on Oprah, or one being a spokesmodel for a dentist. How wonderful that there are many queens out there bringing exposure to the organization that brought so much to their lives. So I say "Go Girls"..bring more exposure to the Mrs. Illinois Organization. It only strengthens the foundation of which it was built, while reaching many others throughout our state and beyond.
Some of you were unable to attend the pageant and have asked to see pictures. This is one of the pictures that Dan Duverney shot of my family for the program book for Mrs. Illinois. ....more to follow

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Barrington Spa Appearance

It was a nice time to spend with the owners and patrons at the Barrington Nails and Spa in South Barrington. The owners had asked for an appearance and it was a nice time taking photos with guests and signing autographs. The owners were so gracious they greeted me with a warm welcome and beautiful bouquet of flowers. Thanks to all!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Picture from my shoot with Clay Spann

This is one of the shots that was taken with Clay Spann. It turned out to be my director's favorite too! My last shot as Mrs. Illinois America 2008.!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

My shoot with Clay Spann!

I have had the most unbelievable year as Mrs. Illinois. I have had the opportunity to shoot with some amazing photographers all over the nation. I shot with Dan Duverney who is a very near and dear friend of mine in Chicago. I've also had the pleasure to fly to New York and shoot with Fadil Berisha, who is the official photographer of the Miss. USA and Miss Universe Pageant. This past month I had the opportunity to fly to Alabama and shoot with Clay Spann. Here I am in his makeup chair waiting for the masterpiece to be finished. Clay is such an artist and every model...his pallet. He is amazing. It was a whirlwind trip. One day there and back. Here I am with Clay and then with a solider at the airport who wanted to take a picture with was the hair and makeup I'm sure!

Mrs. Illinois is auctioned off!!!

The Barrington Junior Women's Club hosted an event at Pinstripes in South Barrington. The event was a fun filled event with over 200 in attendance and benefiting domestic violence. I have had the honor to speak at various events throughout the years in regards to domestic violence as well as the empowerment of women and children. This is a cause that is very near and dear to me. I was asked by the event chair if they could auction "me" off. what fun. It was a silent auction that was a day in the life of Mrs. Illinois. The day included a limo ride to a photo shoot, a lunch together, then a mini shopping spree. All things that any queen would want! I know some little girl will be thrilled to have won such an item, but I may be even more excited to get to do it with her! Here I am with my husband, Dean, and the event chair, Sonal Patel and her husband Vip.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Speaking Engagement at The Childrens' Museuum

I was asked to speak at the Children's Museum in Frankfort, IL. It was a pleasure to speak to a group of young girls and share my book "Girls of Greatness". It's always nice to hear feedback from girls that enjoy reading it, but it's even nicer when I get a chance to meet them in person and connect with them one on one. We discussed a few points in the book and I then did an activity with the girls. My mom and Kennedy joined me and the three of us had a great time not only at the museum but then jetting off to another appearance at Drury Lane in Oakbrook, that afternoon. Here I am signing books for patrons and then with the President of the Board for the Museum.