GB Gets to Know: Teresa Chaivisut, MGIO VP
Teresa Chaivisut is the Vice President of the Miss Grand International Organization. Apart from working tirelessly alongside Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil, the President of MGIO, to ensure that this pageant is one of the fast-growing in the world, she is also known as the second mom of the title holders. Global Beauties got a chance to sit down with her to learn more about her and the Miss Grand International Organization.
GB: Teresa, you have a job many people dream of having. You work for a major international pageant and you get to spend time with the title holders throughout their reigns. Could you tell us a bit more about your work and the challenges that you face?
Teresa: (laughs) Well, the challenges start when I have to get the girls from different countries because we work with nearly 80 countries every year. You are dealing with human beings here, you know. If you look at the numbers, nearly half of the world has been represented. Every country has different cultures, different personalities... I had to work with all these different characters and cultures, so it was quite interesting for me. I have learned a lot too and in the Miss Grand International Organization we have our own standards. I try to maintain that and make sure that all the countries get to the same standard that we have, the same policies. That's when it starts. You know, they are human beings. Sometimes the girls quit in between or before arrival. (laughs) Well, we manage. We are in our 5th year now. We know what's going on and dealing with women, you have to understand them. Luckily I am a woman, so I understand what they have to go through. So it's a nice challenge and I am very happy with my job.
GB: Did you ever think the pageant would grow so much in just five years?
Teresa: Uhm... (pause)... well, yes, working with Mr. Nawat, yes I did. I have known him for more than 20 years. He is always trying to be the best, to do his best... in every direction and I have no doubt in his abilities at all.
GB: Let's talk about the winners you spent time with. Let's start with 2013.
Teresa: (Exclaims) Oh!!! Janelee Chaparro!
GB: (laughs) Indeed! What do you have to say about her? Her personality... how was the year with her?
Teresa: (very serious) Janelee Chaparro, she is a real queen. (pauses) No doubt about it. She would be a queen 24 hours a day... Janelee.... she would sleep like a queen, eat like a queen, walk like a queen. Even though she didn't speak very good English, every time she went on a stage and you told her what to do, she would manage to make it come out beautifully. You know, like the way we wished she could do it. Until today she is a queen... 24 hours a day... since 2013. (Giggles)
GB: So it was a great year?
Teresa: (nods) Great... great year for me!
GB: How about 2014? Lees?
Teresa: Lees is a perfect speaker, you know... because each queen has different strengths and Lees is a spokesperson for our organization. She is a very good public speaker and she is great at encouraging people.
GB: Yes, her farewell speech was extraordinary...
Teresa: Excellent! And that's part of the reason why she won that year. She spoke so well.
GB: Let's go back to 2013 and 2014. Did you have anyone else in mind to win or did you have them as your winners?
Teresa: Well, you know Lees' year was the most difficult. A lot of girls... everyone was into it. They all fully participated... we had to make a lot of difficult decisions. Because everyone was strong in their own way and we had to choose the best... and yes...
Teresa: Oh Claire... she is a fun queen. She is very energetic. (laughs) Every time she goes on stage, she brightens up the stage. You know, that's Claire for me... she comes from a beautiful family and she shared that with the world.
Teresa: (exclaims) Ariska! Ariska Putri Pertiwi!!! (Ariska, Teresa both burst out into laughter) Well, Ariska... the first Asian girl to win. You know, I didn't realize what a great queen she would be. Throughout her reign, Ariska has surprised me several times. She became a good... fantastic speaker. Every time she goes on stage, she is a natural born queen. So that is Ariska to me. She is improving every day.... she's a... I look at her and I see that she can be anything. I feel that a lot of girls can look up to her. And I can see her future... a great doctor... Madam President in her country... (looks at Ariska) well done!
GB: What has so far been your favourite moment of Miss Grand International?
Teresa: The improvement of the production.... and we try to improve every year. We... our organization is all about reaching our targets in many ways. Of course, we want to increase our fan base and we think of beauty pageants as a show... not just a way to select a queen... but she has to be perfect for the duties and advocacy that we are promoting. And we are trying to improve in any way that we can.
GB: Is there any moment that stands out during the years... from the travels... or spending time with the girls?
Teresa: Well, this year with Ariska I only went to a couple of the countries because Mr. Nawat traveled with her a lot. I actually only did one trip with her. But sometimes I spent time with her in Bangkok because we had events together. I enjoy every moment. Every time I see my babies... (gets excited)... I'm like OK I am a mom... because I don't have children of my own. You see, so having them... I consider myself a lucky woman. I get to work with beautiful ladies every year... coming full package. Beautiful, intelligent, well-educated... without me raising them. What else can I ask for? Every year is different. You know, every time they are from different parts of the world... so I also learn from them. So actually I can't be specific. I enjoy every moment.
GB: One thing we are curious about it... and we think many fans want to know... Miss Grand International lives in Bangkok for a year... she has a nice place. What is her daily life like... does she have to cook for herself?
Teresa: (laughs, gestures towards Ariska) Well, this one, she ordered food delivery. (laughs) I know she doesn't know how to cook. (laughs) Claire cooked sometimes. She asked me when we out shopping that she wanted to buy an oven instead of a microwave. So I said OK that's fine. You know, the girls have to learn to live by themselves. It's a good way actually. It's a good way to help them mature.
GB: And you are always ready to help them?
Teresa: Any time! They can call me... no problem... I will be there for them.
GB: Many girls will read your interview. What qualities do you think a young woman should have to be Miss Grand International?
Teresa: Honestly... to be ready! You know, in your mind and in your background. You know, I get a lot of ladies who come and they are not so sure... some girls are here just to have fun. Some of them are trained and ready for one year... to earn the title. The tips for them, really, is to make themselves ready because this a full time job. It's not a game that we play and the role that the queen has to uphold is something that... we need someone who is responsible... someone who is mature enough. It's not about age. Sometimes someone who is 18 or 19 years can be mature enough in their background and mindset. We need someone who can take the responsibility and uphold the crown and be a good representative for our organization.
GB: Is there any country that you really enjoy visiting... that you feel attached to?
Teresa: No, I have actually traveled to 40 countries already in my lifetime and each country is different. You know, life is a journey. You can't pick... traveling to me... to different countries is like a journey. You just enjoy every moment, you know... it's different. Every country is different from others. Open your mind... it's different everywhere.
GB: We are in Vietnam, of course, and they are hosting this edition of Miss Grand International. What can you tell people about Vietnam?
Teresa: Vietnam! Vietnam has developed a lot. The first time I was here was 10 years ago... and then it is well developed... and now even more... the food, the people, the culture... people should visit Vietnam because it's the place to be. The infrastructure is well-developed. The culture, the climate... great... we received a very welcome from the people and everywhere we go they get excited. Everywhere we have gone, we have received a very warm welcome and this has really touched my heart, so this is actually one of my favourite places and people should definitely visit because it is totally different from anywhere else.
GB: Thank you very much Teresa. It was great to talk to you today.
Teresa: You are most welcome. Most welcome. I enjoyed it. (laughs)
Global Beauties would like to thank the Vice President of the Miss Grand International Organization, Teresa Chaivisut, for allowing us to learn about her and the organization. We hope that our readers will have a better understanding of this organization and the way it is run with the help of this interview.
Interviewed by Henrique Fontes
Written by Andre Sleigh