Miss America Organization president is stepping down; chairman and CEO will assume her duties

Associated Press

The president of the Miss America Organization is stepping down after nearly two years at the helm.

Sharon Pearce has served the group for the past nine years. She became president in 2013.

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The organization announced Friday that its chairman and CEO, Sam Haskell, has been promoted to executive chairman and will assume Pearce's duties.

Pearce says she wants to spend more time with her family.

She helped lead the pageant during its return to Atlantic City in 2013 after a brief stint in Las Vegas.

Former Miss New Jersey Lynn Hackerman Weidner was named chairwoman of the board. She is the first former Miss America contestant to hold the position.

The pageant will mark its 95th anniversary this September at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.