Ready for Mrs. International pageant
Parkville resident Jill Hickey has had an interesting life up to this point.
Hickey was born in Panama City, Panama and lived briefly as a young child in Mexico City, Mexico. In addition to Missouri, she has lived in Arkansas, Nebraska, Connecticut and New Jersey and attended college at Missouri State University. She is a small business owner, the host of online and over the air radio shows and a former personal fitness trainer. Hickey, 42, is also married and the mother of three teenage girls and one five-year-old son. Whew. But that’s not all. Hickey was recently crowned Mrs. Missouri International 2014 and will compete with 70 other title holders in July in Jacksonville, Fla. in the national pageant. “I’ve never done anything like this,” Hickey says, “but I’m so honored to be part of this group of outstanding women making a difference.” According to the website mrsinternational.com, the Mrs. International pageant was begun 27 years ago. The focus behind Mrs. International is to showcase women 21 to 56 years old, who have been married at least six months and a resident of the state or a citizen of the country she represents. Hickey said she decided to compete for the Mrs. Missouri International 2104 title “on a whim.” “I had just interviewed Miss Missouri USA Shandi Finessey on my radio show and was so impressed by her intelligence, poise, manner of speaking and listening, that I thought ‘that might be fun’,” Hickey said. “I have never done a pageant of any kind before. This year they happened to not have a state pageant so I was chosen through an extensive interview and vetting process among many Missouri ladies. I was blown away to be crowned.” Each contestant competes in interview competition, which is valued for 50 percent of her overall score, evening gown, valued for 25 percent and fitness wear for 25 percent. Each contestant has the opportunity to select a platform of her choice that she spends the year promoting. Husbands are a direct part of the show, escorting their wives in the evening gown competition, and the husband crowns his wife titleholder. Hickey met her husband, Jerry, while both were attending college at Missouri State University. Hickey said she was a member of the Sugar Bears dance team and Jerry was a college wrestler. They are currently co-owners of Express Employment Professionals, a staffing company in North Kansas City. In addition to her outside sales and ownership duties at the family business, Hickey has written blogs as the “NotSoSoccerMom” for seven years and has hosted an online radio talk show of the same name for over four years. Hickey said her online radio talk show has been on BlogtalkRadio and Toginet.com over the years and she recently became the host of the Express Employment Hour on 1660 AM The Business Channel KUDL on Mondays at 1 p.m. “That show centers on jobs, business and the local economy...with a dash of fun,” she said. Hickey has interviewed congressmen, Real Housewives, spies, authors, entrepreneurs, and “even Santa Claus.” Her social media following as “The NotSoSoccerMom” and tremendous voice as a busy, fit mother with a light-hearted approach reaches hundreds of thousands of people daily. “Having interviewed so many people, I’d say the coolest thing is the celebrities or politicians or authors, etcetera who say, ‘Sure, I’ll do your show’,” Hickey said. “It says a lot for the independent spirit that is represented by online radio. We used to have to wade through handlers, but now, largely because of Twitter I think, we can speak directly to celebs and they us and the conversation becomes real. That’s where online radio shows like mine come in.” Hickey said her favorite guest over the years was Reza Khalili, a self-proclaimed spy for the CIA and author of the non-fiction book “A Time To Betray.” “He was an Iranian spy for the US during the 80’s,” Hickey said. “He literally had to call in from an unmarked phone and use a voice muffler. You see him sometimes on the news and his face is blocked out. It was very ‘24’.” Hickey said her platform at the Mrs. International 2014 pageant will center on craniosynostosis, a condition her young son was born with and had cranial surgery to correct at five and one-half months old. Hickey can be reached atNotSoSoccerMom@gmail.com; her radio show and blogs can be accessed at TheNotSoSoccerMom.comand Facebook.com/notsosoccermom.