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Kylene Barker
Roanoke, Virginia

After her year of service as Miss America, Kylene signed a ten year lease at age 23, and opened D. Kylene Ladies Apparel on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, which she owned and operated for 13 years.

Several corporations and associations, including Clairol, the Manmade Fiber Producer's Association, The Palm Aire Spa and the Made in the USA Council, chose Kylene to be their corporate spokesperson. Drawing from her experience as a writer, producer and editor of her own segments on the "Today Show", Kylene has produced fashion shows for the American Yarn Spinners Association, the America Textile Manufacturers Association and companies associated with the Crafted with Pride Council.

Her television appearances have included frequent reports for NBC's "Today Show", CNN's "Crossfire" (for a debate on issues surrounding the Miss America competition), and "Live with Regis and Kathy Lee." Articles about Kylene have appeared in publications such as "Newsweek", "People", "Time", "USA Today", "The New York Times", "WWD" and the cover of "Travel & Leisure" magazine.

Winning the Miss America title as an acrobatic dancer, Kylene believes fitness and beauty go hand in hand with fashion. Her keen observations as Miss America plus the experience from her Palm Beach boutique were the fuel to write "Southern Beauty: A Total Fitness and Beauty Program for That All American Winning Look." She has also released her own exercise album, "Stamina With Style."

In the early '90s Kylene decided to trade the business world for the golf course and became an avid golfer.

During the 2007 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas, she married Canadian Businessman Ian McNeill. "We invited family and friends to what they thought was a cocktail party...but surprised them with our wedding. And no, we didn't invite Elvis!"

Last Christmas (2011), Kylene released a Christmas CD by the Masters of the Crooked Road which is Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. The New York Times wrote an article about the Crooked Road in May 2010 titled "Along Virginia's Crooked Road, Mountain Music Lights the Way". To learn more about her CD, visit www.christmasalongthecrookedroad.com.

In January 2012, Kylene invited Susan Powell, Miss America 1981, to perform songs by Stephen Foster at a Civil War event at her club in Naples, Florida. Bud Robertson, a fellow Virginia Tech Hokie, Civil War Historian, and author of THE UNTOLD CIVIL WAR published by National Geographic for the Sesquicentennial of the War, was the featured speaker.

After a hip replacement, Kylene ventured back out on the golf course and got two back to back Hole in Ones for a total of four.

But, one of the most inspirational days of Kylene's life was meeting Louis Zamperini, the 95 year-old Olympic Track Star and WWII Hero who floated in the Pacific for 47 days and then was tortured in a Japanese War Camp for over two years. His story is written in the best selling book "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. Look for the movie soon!

Kylene has also just been named Spokesperson for Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a non-profit organization that works to promote, enhance, and protect the 469 mile scenic drive through North Carolina and Virginia. 16 million people visit the Parkway each year. She also serves on Virginia Tech's Alumni Board.


Kylene Barker, Miss America 1979

Kylene Barker, Miss America 1979

Kylene Barker, Miss America 1979

Kylene Barker, Miss America 1979

Kylene Barker, Miss America 1979

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