Charle Dunstan (Head Judge)
A native Memphian, Charle is a graduate of the University of Memphis and a former Special Education teacher. She resides in Cordova, with her husband, C.E "Buddy" Dunstan.
Charle is a member of the Memphis City Sound Chorus of the Sweet Adelines International, having served as President and currently the Treasurer. She is also a member of the Miss Mid-South Fair Committee.
For many years she was a volunteer for the Miss Tennessee Scholarship program, serving as Local pageant director, a regional director for the state pageant, a member of the hostess committee and for 9 years as the traveling companion for Miss Tennessee to the Miss America pageant. She has judged local and state pageant in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Charle has been a travel agent for over 25 years and currently works for Gulliver's Travel- Germantown.
Buddy and Charle have one daughter and 2 BEAUTIFUL GRAND GIRLS.
Emmy Award winning Meteorologist Ron Childers can be seen weekday mornings from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Action News 5 Today.
A native Memphian and second generation Mexican-American with over 23 years of broadcast experience, Ron came to WMC-TV in 1989. His career began in 1983 as a weekend DJ at WRVR 104 FM in Memphis. In 1986 Ron fulfilled a longtime ambition and moved to WMC FM 100. After a short period of working as a weekend and overnight DJ, Ron found a new passion as Production Director for the station. Within a short period of time Ron's commercial work and voice-overs could be heard on radio and TV stations in the city and across the country. In 1989 Ron made the jump from radio to television. He was hired as a part-time weathercaster for WMC-TV. At the same time, Ron also moved into the station's promotion department working as a producer. Ron held that position for five years before moving into weather full time. During that time Ron had the opportunity to learn the art of forecasting by working along side one of the best forecasters in the market, Dave Brown.
Ron's eighteen years of forecasting experience have included working through some of the most memorable storms to ever move through the Mid-South including "Ice Storm 94", the deadly tornado outbreak of January 1999, and the windstorm of July 2003 that ripped through Memphis in the early morning hours, later dubbed "Hurricane Elvis". In 2000 Ron was awarded an Emmy for coverage of a winter storm that blanketed the Mid-South with snow. In 2005 Ron was again honored by the regional chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science, this time with an Emmy nomination for "Best Weathercast".
Ron is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalist, The American Meteorological Society, and The National Weather Association. Ron completed his degree in meteorology through Mississippi State University.
Throughout the year Ron speaks to numerous schools, clubs, and civic groups. He also serves as emcee and auctioneer for various fund raisers and charitable organizations.
Ron is married to Joyce Peterson. He has a daughter, Emily, a Golden Retriever, and two cats, one of which was adopted from the Memphis Humane Society and is named Merriweather. Ron's love of nature and animals extends to the water as he is an avid saltwater and freshwater enthusiast where he maintains his own coral reef tank and outdoor fish pond.
Ron is also a certified KCBS and MIM BBQ judge and enjoys spending his free weekends judging contest eating some of the best barbecue in the world.
Clarence McFerren II, native Memphian, received his B.S. in Mass Communication with minors in Dance, Speech and Theater from Middle Tennessee State University and his M.A. in Performing Arts: Dance with a focus in Education along with a graduate certificate in Arts Management from American University in Washington, D.C. McFerren has served as a finance specialist paratrooper in the U.S. Army, teacher with the D.C. public schools, associate professor at Collin County Community College in Plano, TX and Operations Manager/Development Assistant with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Additionally he has served on the Dallas Independent School Districts K-8 Dance Advisory Board and interned at the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Department. McFerren is a member of Americans for the Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission Advisory Panel, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Tennessee Notary Public and has a passion for arts in education. Currently, he works as a high school teacher with the Memphis City Schools.
Suzanne Bohannon Mariencheck
A lifelong Memphian and a graduate of the University of Memphis Lowenburg School of Nursing, Suzanne Bohannon Mariencheck was crowned Miss Memphis 1992. During and after her reign she promoted her platform "Life after Cancer" speaking, singing and giving hope to fellow cancer survivors all over the US on behalf of The American Cancer Society, The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and various healthcare and community organizations. In addition to being a talent winner and runner-up in several Miss America Scholarship Pageant preliminaries she entertained, directed, choreographed and emceed multiple pageants in many pageant systems thru out the Mid-South. She is a four time featured guest soloist with The Memphis Symphony Orchestra POPS Concert Series, MCA recording artist, Mississippi State Fair Youth Talent winner, Mid-South Fair Youth Talent vocal finalist, semifinalist and band competition winner. Attending college on vocal performance scholarship she was an original member of the performance ensemble "Sound Fuzion" and participated in student recruitment and public relations for The University of Memphis. Prior to winning The Miss Memphis crown until present, Mrs. Mariencheck has helped countless young people obtain their pageant, college and career goals by training and educating them in all facets of pageant competition, scholarship essay and application documentation as well as all types of interview and presentation skills. She is a pro-life/pro-adoption keynote speaker and educator in conjunction with Bethany Christian Services and enjoys counseling prospective adoptive parents. In addition to being a devoted wife and the mother of two preschool children she works part time as a registered nurse.
Linda Sawyer is the Chief Financial Officer for the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Tennessee Society of CPAs, and the American Payroll Association. She received her bachelor's degree from Christian Brothers University majoring in Accounting, and is currently participating in the Leadership Memphis class of 2008 executive program. She served on the Miss Libertyland Scholarship Pageant, which was a preliminary to the Miss Tennessee Pageant. She also served on the Mid-South Fair's Junior Youth Talent program, judged the Miss Youth Personality contest, and chaperoned the Mid-South Fair Royalty for several years. Linda also served as a volunteer on various music committees in the Mid-South area. She is currently the Chairman of the Miss Mid-South Fair Scholarship Pageant.
Brandon Tidwell is a Senior Communications Specialist with FedEx's Corporate Social Responsibility office, offering strategic insight to the corporation as they seek to become a "hometown company" around the globe. Formerly the Director of Training at The Leadership Academy, Brandon served as both a trainer and full-time program director of the nationally-recognized Fellows' program. He also facilitated the development and implementation of more than sixty community projects, including the creation of a county-wide election guide, a senior internship program and a community-wide campaign for smart growth principles.
As a leadership trainer, Brandon has designed and trained for national corporations and community organizations. Corporate clients include Pinnacle / Northwest Airlines, Methodist Healthcare, Baker Donelson, Williams-Sonoma, Smith & Nephew, and International Paper. Brandon also trains educators and community leaders, such as the National Foundations Training for New Leaders for New Schools, Teach for America, the Center City Commission, and the Tennessee Charter School Association. In addition, Brandon is an adjunct professor in the department of social work at the University of Memphis.
Brandon is actively engaged in local, state and national initiatives through a number of organizations. In Memphis, he serves on the Mpact Advisory Board, BRAVO Memphis and the Tourism Foundation Board. Brandon was recognized in the Memphis Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40 in 2005.
Prior to his work at the Academy, Brandon worked as a Metrics Analyst at Hewitt and a Grant Writer for the Church Health Center. Before settling in Memphis, Brandon worked as the Director of Human Resources at Lake Pointe Church in Dallas where he oversaw the development of volunteer ministries and personnel at the 6,000 member congregation.Brandon holds a Master's degree in Social Work from Baylor University.