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Katie Harman Ebner's personal conviction about life and how to live it says it best: "Serve greatly, Love deeply, Live passionately." This conviction combined with her unique journey and deep-seeded faith has earned her the nickname "Ambassador of Hope" among her fans. It fuels the passion that flows from her celebrated voice, and it also gives her the strength to pursue excellence as a professional performer, television personality, sought-after speaker for women's issues, cancer advocate, entrepreneur, devoted wife, loving mother, and caring friend.
Crowned Miss America 2002 days after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Katie traveled the nation to deliver messages of comfort and hope while meeting directly with rescue workers at Ground Zero and the Pentagon, family members of those lost in the attacks, military officials, the President and First Lady, government officials, and thousands upon thousands of concerned American citizens. In addition, she aimed the Miss America spotlight at supporting breast cancer patients and championing comprehensive cancer care, converging with patients, medical professionals, health care advocacy groups, pharmaceutical manufacturers, legislators, businesses, students, media entities, and many more. Her work as an advocate was featured by numerous media outlets, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN with Paula Zahn, Late Night with David Letterman, People Magazine and The Washington Post, and was also honored by Fox Chase Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, Metcalf Institute of Radiation Oncology, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and the Cancer Research Foundation of America, among many others. In September 2002, Katie and her 2001 Miss America Competition sisters published a book detailing their unique and deeply touching perspectives on service in the aftermath of 9/11. Titled Under the Crown, the book remains one of Katie's proudest accomplishments because it was an unprecedented undertaking by a group of strong young women dedicated to using their titles and crowns to positively affect change in uncertain times.
Katie remains an active voice for the cancer community. She is the National Spokesperson for the Touched by Cancer Foundation, offering comprehensive support for cancer patients and their families, as well as a celebrity ambassador for Providence Cancer Center, a member of the Honorary Board of Volunteers in Medicine, and a member of the Cancer Advisory Committee for Sky Lakes Medical Center. She also proudly served on the National Board of Directors for the Breast Cancer Network of Strength for the past seven years. Additionally, her philanthropic endeavors extend to advocacy for Arts in Education where she serves as Chairman of the Youth and Education Committee on the Board of Directors for The Ross Ragland Theater. Also, for the past six years she has been the face of Portland Rescue Mission's annual Drive Away Hunger campaigns to garner aid for homeless men and women in desperate need of food, shelter, love, and restoration.
Katie's drive to serve as a strong voice, in both speech and song, led her to pursue Music and Communications at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. And with the scholarship assistance she earned from the Miss America Organization (which is the leader in scholarship assistance for young women providing over $45 million annually), she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science completely debt-free in 2005.
Professionally, Katie now tours nationally and internationally as a sought-after classical vocalist. After her performance on the Miss America stage in 2001, she was invited to sing with the famed Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Keith Lockhart, the Shreveport Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the US Army Band, the USO, and at many other concert events across the nation. In 2003, she made her professional operatic debut with the Gold Coast Opera, and has since appeared in both full-scale productions and concerts with a myriad of opera companies, musical theater companies, symphonies, and private events throughout the nation. Her principal roles have included Marie in La Fille du Régiment, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Kathie in The Student Prince, Lily in The Secret Garden, Marian in The Music Man, Lucy in The Telephone, and Yum Yum in The Mikado. In 2007, Katie debuted her first solo album, Soul of Love, in partnership with MAH Records and renowned concert pianist and composer Michael Allen Harrison. The album was met with critical acclaim and Katie was named a "talent to watch." Recently, Katie's voice was featured on the small screen with a principal role as a singer in an episode of HBO's dramatic series Big Love in February 2010.
In addition to her professional and philanthropic endeavors, Katie tours as a speaker for women's groups addressing faith, family, and true beauty. An avid supporter of healthy self image, Katie is also a principal advisor for Oh! Shoes, a women's footwear company devoted to luxurious healthy footwear. Recently, Katie also added "entrepreneur" to her list of accomplishments. In 2009, she developed Ma Chère Finery, a line of couture children's clothes, women's bags, and home dÃ©cor. The line was inspired by her two children, her love of French vintage, and her appreciation for chic, simple living. (Visit www.macherefinery.com to view the line!)
Katie and her husband, Major Tim Ebner, an F-15 pilot and instructor for the Oregon Air National Guard, reside in Southern Oregon with their two children, Tyler and Victoria. Together, they have restored a 1936 farmhouse on five "certified organic" acres and continue to strive for a sustainable life â€“ complete with cows, goats, chickens and a large garden!
Please visit www.katieharman.com for updates on Katie and her performances.