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Granite’s Glamour Girl

Melissa Witek is vying for the national title while also running a granite-importing business. The questions is: Will proving she can handle stone slabs also helpl her polish off the pageant competition?

Miss Florida USA '05 Melissa Witek

Miss Florida USA 2005  Melissa Witek


Considering her successful career and her pageant dreams, Melissa Witek knows deep down that she is, quite literally, between a rock and a hard place, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

The “rock” is heading her own builders’ supply company, Ampex Granite, and the “hard place” is representing Florida at the Miss USA 2005 competition in Baltimore. It’s rare when a woman heads a company in the male-dominated construction industry, but a builders’ supplier with a major state pageant title was unheard of  — until Melissa took the plunge last July and came away the winner at Miss Florida USA.

Up to that point, the head-turning hopeful had her balancing act in order. “I still ran the show at Ampex Granite, but would make appearances in the evenings locally and in the Panhandle on the weekends,” she says. “I was very focused before Miss Florida USA, because I had a set schedule of work and then I had to go to the gym. I wasn’t very distracted, because none of my friends lived nearby.”

Winning at Miss Florida USA changed all that — but we are getting ahead of the story. To start at the beginning, Melissa focused on her highly unusual path right after she graduated from the University of Florida in June 2003 with a Public Relations degree. She spent about six months job-hunting for a marketing and sales position with major corporations in the Orlando area, but between her lack of marketing experience and a soft economy, no job offer was forthcoming.

Then, while attending the Astronaut’s Memorial Space Mirror dedication ceremony at Kennedy Space Center with her father, Nick Witek, whose W&J Construction Company had built the memorial’s structural wall, the head of the company that had donated the memorial’s black granite panels suggested to Nick Witek that he create a granite-importing company, explaining that the demand for granite and other quarried stone was high and “a lot of money could be made.”

  For the complete behind-the-scenes story and all the details on this and other exciting competitive events from across America, as well as a wealth of advice to improve your chances of victory, be sure to order Pageantry today.  

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