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Miss Universe 2017 Preliminary Competition Judges Named

The full list of Miss Universe 2017 preliminary competition judges has finally been revealed.
These judges will be choosing the semi-finalists that will later be announced on the live televised final show the will be aired LIVE on November 26.

Included in the panel is a Filipino American producer in Los Angeles, California, Cecilio Asuncion. Born in Manila, Asuncion is from Quezon City and studied at Ateneo de Manila until high school.  He migrated to the US in 1999, specifically in New York, and then moved to San Francisco in 2006.

Other Preliminary Competition judges include Morgan Deane, Isabelle Lindblom, Cecilio Asuncion, Bill Pereira, Megan Olivi, and Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam.  

Meet The Preliminary Judges

Cecilio Asuncion

Cecilio Asuncion is an out and proud gay Filipino American producer, based in Los Angeles, CA. His journey in the entertainment industry began when he directed and produced the documentary, What’s The T?, which followed the lives of five Transgender women from New York and San Francisco. He is also the Founder and Director of the world's first all-Transgender model agency, Slay Model Management.

Cece’s accolades include prestigious awards for exceptional achievement, LGBT advocacy, outstanding leadership and dedication to improving the quality of life for the LGBT community, such as:

2017 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Series for STRUT and the 2013 Outstanding Filipino American Award for LGBT Advocacy.

Cece has spoken at several Universities and public events regarding the importance of Transgender equality and how to serve as an ally for the community. His collegiate speaking engagements have included - NYU, Stanford, PACE University, SFSU and University of Colorado - Boulder. In addition to ongoing film work and management of Slay Model Management, he is currently working on a book under the Carol Mann Agency.

Morgan Deane
As Director of Marketing for TAO Group in New York City, Morgan focuses on nightlife and celebrity activations while producing events for star performers such as Dave Chappelle, ZEDD, Post Malone, Conor McGregor, and DJ Khaled for the hospitality behemoth. Morgan also managed the opening of Marquee Las Vegas and has handled all talent and creative messaging for TAO Group's mega club including the relaunch of the New York City outpost in 2013.

Morgan has experienced many levels and facets of the entertainment industry, beginning in 2002 as a club kid handing out fliers and running guest lists for legendary New York nightclub Arc/Vinyl. When the venue closed in 2004, the owners founded Made Event, a production and promotion company and took Morgan with them. Morgan worked her way up the ranks to produce events for Made Event, including TiĆ«sto in Central Park, the renowned Sunday School for Degenerates party in Miami, as well as events for Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond at Madison Square Garden. She was also instrumental in launching the Electric Zoo festival in New York and led the festival’s expansion to Mexico and Japan.

Morgan brings her passion and energy to several non-profit and charitable initiatives. She is an outspoken advocate for women, as well as victims of domestic violence, breast, and pancreatic cancer, and AIDS, which have all directly affected her life. Morgan recently helped resettle refugees from Burma to upstate New York while working with USCRI.

Isabelle Lindblom

Isabelle Lindblom is a NYC based model scout for international modeling agency IMG with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Milan and Sydney. Working for the renowned modeling agency that proudly represents models such as Gigi Hadid, Ashley Graham, Ajak Deng, Karlie Kloss, Stephanie Seymour, Halima Aden, Taylor Hill and Hari Nef to only mention a few – Isabelle is a part of the powerhouse’s global scouting team that’s looking to find the next big talent and the new generation of supermodels worldwide.

Originating from the south of Sweden where she lived and grew up before buying a one-way ticket to Australia straight out of high school where she ended up living for six years, Isabelle joined IMG Models at the beginning of 2015 in Paris as the company’s first ever digital scout worldwide. In October 2016 she moved on to take on her role as an international model scout in New York.

Since then – she’s constantly on the lookout for unique and interesting individuals that does not only necessarily exude beauty, but she’s also continuously pursuing to discover extraordinary boys and girls as well as men and women with radiating personalities and a fascinating life-story. Isabelle has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to bringing on new models that reflects IMG’s spirit of “diversity, inclusion, revolution”.

Bill Pereira

Bill Pereira has served as a member of IDT Corp’s Board of Directors and as the Chief Executive Officer, President and Co-Chairman of IDT Telecom since 2011.  Bill served as Chief Financial Officer of IDT Corp from 2009 until 2011, and served as the Treasurer from 2009 to 2010. Prior to joining IDT in 2002, Bill was a managing partner at a software start-up purchased by IDT and worked for a number of companies in the financial sector, including Prudential Financial, and UBS in London. Bill received a B.S. from Rutgers University and an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University. Bill currently lives in New Jersey and enjoys travelling with his wife and two children.

Megan Olivi

Megan Olivi was born in New Jersey the youngest of the 3 Olivi children. The family soon relocated a few miles across the border to Pennsylvania where Megan spent her youth, excelling at both athletics and academics. After weighing her options for her college education she decided to study Political Science at Seton Hall University. While a student at Seton Hall, Olivi interned with a variety of programs at The Fox News Channel – at Fox her biggest role came in the form of assistant to Megyn Kelly during the 2008 presidential election. After 4 years of study Olivi graduated Magna Cum Laude and decided to further her education and explore on camera broadcasting as a future occupation. She pursued a Masters Degree in Public Communications and Mass Media Studies from Fordham University. During this time Olivi continued to work at Fox, shaping her skills on camera with a variety of online assignments and opportunities. In nine months her Master’s Degree was completed and Olivi graduated Cum Laude. She then was offered an opportunity to cover the sport of Mixed Martial Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada and decided to take a chance across the country. Once there, she studied and fell in love with the sport while polishing her on-air skills. Most notably at that time she co-hosted the live UFC Preshow “Fight Day”. Olivi then worked for Fox Sports covering UFC events and hosting lifestyle segments for In February of 2013 she accepted a role as a correspondent for Fox News San Diego covering the San Diego Padres as a Social Media Reporter while also hosting and producing a weekly magazine show called “Padres POV”. After her time at the Padres she returned to Las Vegas and the UFC where she currently travels the world covering UFC events. She also hosts “The Ultimate Insider” on Fox Sports 1. In her free time Megan enjoys spending time with her dog, hiking, running, doing yoga and cooking.

Wendy Fitzwilliam

A multi-talented entrepreneur, lawyer, philanthropist, mother, author and Miss Universe 1998, Wendy Fitzwilliam has forged an exceptional – and eclectic – career that spans television production, entertainment, social activism, fashion, radio broadcasting, government and the law.

A native of Diego Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, Wendy Fitzwilliam was born to Juditha and Noel Fitzwilliam.  Juditha, a teacher, and Noel, a fire officer, raised her and her younger sister, Dionyse, with strong values, a tireless work ethic and a positive outlook – all key factors to which Ms. Fitzwilliam attributes her success.

In 1998, Ms. Fitzwilliam made history when she became the third woman of colour and the second Trinidadian woman ever to capture the Miss Universe Crown.  This victory, which came just two months prior to her final examinations at law school, set her on a path to become one of the world’s most celebrated and well-known media personalities from the Caribbean.  She was admitted to the Trinidad and Tobago Bar in 2000.

Ms. Fitzwilliam currently serves as host and co-executive producer of Caribbean’s Next Top Model (CaribeNTM), the latest incarnation of the global reality television phenomenon, America’s Next Top model (ANTM).  Adapted in more than 170 countries, the franchise, created by model Tyra Banks, offers contestants the opportunity to compete for lucrative modeling contracts.  In her dual roles, Ms. Fitzwilliam seeks to create compelling entertainment, by using her professional experience and insights to challenge, mentor and advise contestants.

Recognizing the powerful ability of radio and the World Wide Web to educate and connect people, Fitzwilliam embarked on a project in 2009 to enrich the lives of her fans and listeners with “The Wendy Fitzwilliam Show”.  Co-produced by Heartbeat Radio for Women, the one-hour weekly radio show explores how – and what it means – to achieve your dreams.  The show is currently in its tenth season.

Airing Sundays from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST, this fun, inspiring and interactive program transcends culture and geographic boundaries, offering fresh and provocative conversation and insight from high-profile individuals from around the globe.  The interviews reveal the unique challenges, entrepreneurial spirit and transformative moments of success of a star-studded guest roster that includes Recording Artist Gladys Knight, Author Barbara Taylor Bradford, Star Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Supermodel and entrepreneur Beverly Johnson, Television Journalist Soledad O’Brian and former Prime Ministers of Jamaica Edward Seaga and P.J. Patterson, among others.

With its far-reaching online and mobile presence, the program enjoys increasing popularity with a global audience that exceeds 300,000 listeners per week.

On Facebook, Ms. Fitzwilliam’s fan following has passed 128,000 and continues to grow daily.

Ms. Fitzwilliam’s impressive achievements in the entertainment industry are matched by a passion for social activism that has moved her to champion a variety of charitable causes.

In 1998 she was named United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS where she renewed her commitment to fighting AIDS and the stereotypes associated with it.  Her dedication to this cause also led her to found The Hibiscus Foundation (THF), which seeks to heighten AIDS awareness in Trinidad and Tobago, while offering assistance, financially and otherwise, to children impacted by the disease.

In light of her accomplishments, Ms. Fitzwilliam was also appointed the first-ever Red Cross Ambassador of Youth for the Caribbean.  In this role, she has been privileged to address the world’s youth in various forums including the Summit of the Americas V.

When not working, Ms. Fitzwilliam engages in her most rewarding role of all: mother to her son, Ailan.  Her compelling memoir, “Letters to Ailan” was first written as an extended love letter to her then unborn son.  She was persuaded by her Manager to publish the frank and touching story, which went on to enjoy both critical and commercial success.


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