Shugart joined MUO in 1998 as the Vice President of Production and in 2001 was appointed President by Donald J. Trump who, incidentally, had never met Paula but had noticed her outstanding work within the company. In the years since taking charge of MUO, Paula's goal to break the stereotypes typically associated with beauty pageants and to boost the viewer demographics of all three Pageants has paid off.
Paula Shugart's statement
"This past Sunday night, human error caused an unfortunate incident that is now being talked about around the world. My heart broke, not only for Ariadna, but for Pia and all the young women who worked so hard to be on that stage that night.
However, knowing Pia's sole desire was to ensure Ariadna was okay and witnessing Ariadna’s grace right after the show and ever since, knowing that destiny has other great things in store for her, only reinforced my faith in the incredible women we have the privilege of working with at The Miss Universe Organization.
My sincere congratulations to Pia and Ariadna, both for a job well done. And to our reigning Miss USA, Olivia Jordan, thank you for your kindness and support these past few days. You continue to make us proud."
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