Miss Utah Scholarship Organization Announces Panelists Tasked with Selecting Miss Utah 2023

Today The Miss Utah Scholarship Organization announced the panelists who will select Miss Utah 2023. The new Miss Utah will receive over $10,000 in scholarships to the school of her choice and sponsorships from a variety of local businesses including a vehicle to drive for the year from Murdock Hyundai. She will also represent Utah at the Miss America Competition.

Each panelist comes with a specific background that will help select the woman who will best represent the Miss Utah Organization. Here’s more about the 2023 Miss Utah Panelists:

Jeanette BennettJeanette Bennett


  • Founded magazine publishing company Bennett Communications, which successfully publishes: Utah Valley Magazine, BusinessQ Magazine, Utah Valley Bride Magazine, Prosper Magazine, Custom Publishing, and UtahValley360.com
  • Serves on the Board of Trustees for Utah Valley University
  • Chief Visionary Officer of Thanksgiving Point
  • Serves as Chair-elect for United Way of Utah County
  • Resides in Pleasant Grove, Utah


Reverend Gene Hill


  • Interim minister of First Christian Church in Oregon’s Capital City of Salem
  • Former Executive Director of Miss Idaho Scholarship Organization
  • Member of Board of Trustees for Bushnell University
  • Alumnus of University of Oregon’s School of Music, with a broad background in all facets of musical arts; pianist, accompanist, and choir director
  • Resides in Salem, Oregon


Jill Stevens Shepherd


  • Served as Miss Utah 2007
  • Selected as “America’s Choice” at the Miss America competition
  • Served in the U.S. Military as a Combat Medic for the Army National Guard for eight years
  • Works as a nurse, specializing in pediatric critical care
  • Resides in Dallas, Texas


Doajo Hicks


  • Senior Vice President and General Counsel for StrongMind
  • Was the General Counsel Chief Human Resource Officer for the University of LaVerne, California
  • Was Assistant Attorney General of Ohio
  • Prior to his legal career, was a certified Police Officer and a Healthcare Administrator for the United States Coast Guard
  • Resides in Chandler, Arizona


Danielle Wineman


  • Served as Miss Montana 2015
  • Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from Stephens College and Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the University of California
  • Accomplished pianist with a private studio for students around the country
  • Most recently seen on stage as the Poet in Lisa Peterson and Dennis O’Hare’s haunting one-person production of ILIAD
  • Resides in New York City


Nick Latham

  • Has served as a judge for 25 state Miss America Organization competitions
  • Graduate of Stanford University, volunteers in the admissions office interviewing candidates for the incoming freshman class
  • Holds an MBA in marketing from the prestigious University of Washington’s Foster School of Business
  • Is an Emmy award winner and has worked in the fields of broadcasting, public relations, education, and legal marketing for 25 years
  • Resides in Palm Springs, California


Panelist’s full bios can be found in the 2023 Competition Magazine, for sale during competition week at the Capitol Theatre.

The Miss Utah Competition begins Thursday, June 8, 2023 and culminates with the crowning of Miss Utah 2023 on Saturday, June 10, 2023.

Voting for People’s Choice is now open on Pageant Planet. The winner will compete as a Top 15 semi-finalist in the 2023 Miss Utah Scholarship Competition.