Charlotte family to direct U.S. arm of the Miss World pageant

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

Charlotte will soon be the headquarters of the U.S. franchise for Miss World, which has been renamed America’s Miss World.

Former Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit of Kannapolis and her mother Lynne recently accepted the license of America’s Miss World, according to a statement this week. The duo are now the organization’s national directors, and will lead the official U.S. preliminary for the Miss World competition this summer in Orlando, the organization’s other headquarters along with Charlotte.

The Safrits are also launching the America’s Miss World Foundation, a nonprofit that will raise awareness and funding for the various Miss World charities across the U.S.

“Having experienced Miss World firsthand, I can attest to the value of the organization and the platform that Miss World gives women to embrace new cultures and experiences, all while encouraging them to purse higher achievement,” Elizabeth Safrit said.

Safrit, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, placed third in the Miss World competition in 2014. Following the pageant, Safrit became a tourism ambassador and a spokeswoman for several U.S. companies and organizations, including American Airlines and Rock the Vote.

Lynne Safrit, who has a Ph.D. in public health from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, recently retired as president of Castle & Cooke North Carolina, where she oversaw the development of the N.C. Research Campus, the biotech hub in Kannapolis that promotes scientific innovation as an economic driver to attract companies and increase employment locally.

In 2015, the Safrits received the Heart of Grace Award, which recognizes the achievements of Charlotte-area women whose lives and work embody “servant leadership” locally and globally.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta