Lencola made her first foray into pageants in 1977 when she represented her hometown of Morrilton. She was Miss Morrilton 1977, Miss University of Central Arkansas 1978, Miss White River 1979 and crowned Miss Arkansas 1980 and won the Outstanding Talent Winner out of 48 contestants. The next stop garnered her national attention as she won preliminary swimsuit and then made history as the first African-American to place in the Top 5 of the prestigious Miss America Pageant. She paid for her entire college education by winning scholarships via pageants which laid the foundation for her professional career. She continues her involvement with the Miss America Scholarship Program as a consultant, judge, emcee (Mistress of Ceremonies) and performer.
* Personal Development
* Corporate Social Responsibility
* Diversity & Inclusion
* Empowering Women
Some of Lencola's speaking topics:
* Social Entrepreneurship
Lencola has a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Theatre Arts from the University of Central Arkansas. She was recognized by the President of the United States to serve on the Board of Governors for the USO, the organization which provides morale, welfare and recreation type services to uniformed military personnel abroad. She is actively involved in international programs providing economic opportunities for the community and fundraising programs for non-profit organizations, churches, sports clubs and foundations (see Fundraising page). In 2006 she was inducted in the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in Little Rock, AR. She is married to Roel P. Verseveldt an international businessman working in the field of security and risk management and is a partner in several international business activities.
The speaking and performing arts are a passion in Lencola’s life. Her vocal talents have been showcased as a featured vocalist with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Stevie Wonder and Kool and the Gang. She performed worldwide with the Miss America USO Tour and sang at both Inaugural Ball Celebrations for President Clinton in 1992 and 1996. Lencola has performed several times on Dutch national television and continues to perform throughout The Netherlands and at the legendary Jazz Club 606 in London, England when her schedule permits. Her professional career includes also experience as a weathercaster with two NBC affiliate television stations (KARK-TV, Little Rock & KTTV-TV, Austin, TX), guest appearances on the TV soap operas in addition to appearing in many TV commercials and industrial films. She was featured in a video shown nationally in Holland for DutchVersity an organization promoting innovative and creative ways of working with diverse cultures.
Lencola’s unique gift of self-expression through song and public speaking has enabled her to achieve significant professional and personal success. Lencola was a Board Member of the New York National Speakers Association and founding member of the Toastmasters Chapter in The Hague, The Netherlands. She has spoken nationally as well as internationally at various conferences and events, delivering numerous inspiring and motivational keynote speeches on a variety of topics such as women empowerment, leadership, diversity, self development and corporate social responsibility. She has had the pleasure of leading workshop sessions on the topic of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) for international companies in several cities including The Hague, London, Hamburg and Houston. Additionally, Lencola is a frequent guest lecturer at Groningen University speaking on the topics of Diversity Management, Inclusion and Multiculturalism. Lencola is at the forefront in this industry. Her life's goal is to make a difference in this world and help make the world a better place.
A strong belief in giving of her time, talent, and resources to promote the commonality of people from diverse cultures is what drives Lencola. As Managing Director of The Netherlands American Community Trust, she helped several Dutch companies located in the U.S. create programs to improve the quality of life in the communities where The Netherlands business community operated. Lencola continues to give back to her local community and encourages corporations and employees to do the same. Living in Europe since 2002, Lencola is a strong believer in diversifying activities, therefore, together with her husband she is also involved in several international business activities.