Seattle Scholarship Organization
Board of Directors
The Seattle Scholarship Organization's Board of Directors are all volunteers that have a myriad of backgrounds in business, education, finance, and the fine and performing arts. Additional volunteer opportunities are everywhere! If you would like to get involved, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Ross Amkraut do Porto has been involved with the Miss America Organization for 13 years, volunteering in both Florida and Washington. As an executive director and local organization board member, Ross has helped titleholders capture the title of Miss Florida in 2011 and 2013, Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen in 2011, Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen in 2018, and this year our current Miss Washington and Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen were part of Team Seattle!
Ross received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Florida and his Master of Arts in Music in Violin Performance from the University of Central Florida, where he served as the concertmaster of the University Symphony Orchestra.
In 2015, Ross received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and then relocated to Seattle, Washington. Ross is currently a Tax Analyst focusing on Legal Research in Taxation at Amazon, is the Concertmaster of the Encanto Arts Orchestra, is a violinist with the Federal Way Symphony Orchestra, a founding member and principal violinist in the Queen Anne String Quartet, and plays the cello and French horn with the Amazon Symphony Orchestra. If he isn’t working, volunteering, or performing, Ross can be found spending time cruising around Lake Washington with his husband on their sailboat, S/V Mehitabel.
Ross Amkraut do Porto
Vice President & Executive Producer
Lana has been involved with the Miss America system for over 20 years in varying capacities. She performed on the Miss Washington stage as a member of the Schell Dancers for 5 years and went on to compete in the Miss Seattle program while attending the University of Washington. She has been a Mentor for Teens and Miss competing at the State level. Currently, Lana has been on the Board of the Miss Seattle Scholarship Program for 5 years and now serves as Director.
Lana has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and works for a Property Management Company in Bothell, Washington. She has 18 years of dance experience as well as training in music, public speaking, writing, and modeling. She is excited for the opportunity to mentor and support the outstanding candidates in the Miss Seattle Scholarship program.
Executive Director & President
Amkraut do Porto
Willem is no stranger to pageants, having over 25 years of experience as an entertainer, mentor, adjudicator, volunteer, and board member. He has been involved with the Miss Seattle Scholarship Organization for the past five years and currently serves as the Assistant Producer.
No stranger to the performing arts, Willem began training in ballet as a young child and continued on to perform professionally with the Würzburger Ballet in Germany, where his favorite role was the Rat King in the Nutcracker. Additionally, he is a trained vocalist with a focus in opera as a lyric tenor. He has performed as a soloist throughout Washington state, most notably with the Seattle Men’s Chorus.
When not on the stage, Willem is a member of the leadership team in his department at the University of Washington Medical Center. As a native-born Seattleite, he is particularly invested in helping to develop our city’s future leaders through the Miss Seattle Scholarship Organization.
Lea Louder first started her career in the Miss America Organization when she competed in the local Miss Kirksville Pageant in 1990. She then transitioned from being on stage to being a member of the audience, cheering on her daughter, Maddie Louder, who was crowned Miss Emerald City 2020, later to become Miss Washington 2021. Lea Louder has recently joined the Miss Seattle Scholarship Organization board as Treasurer.
Lea is a talented musician with a masters degree in music education and enjoys conducting the Boeing Concert Band as well as leading children's music ministries at church. Lea works in information security as a Governance Risk and Compliance Manager for F5, Inc. She enjoys mentoring young women in her field of STEM as they pursue their educational and career goals. In Lea's free time, she volunteers at the Mill Creek Community Food Bank, enjoys bike rides through Snohomish County, and crochets baby blankets and dog sweaters to raise funds for the Miss Washington Scholarship organization.
Debbie has been involved with the Miss America Organization for nearly 15 years. Her involvement began with supporting her daughter, Emalee, as a Pine Cone Princess and Pearl Princess before Emalee went onto capture the Titles of Miss West Sound’s Outstanding Teen 2018 and Miss Seattle’s Outstanding Teen 2019. As Debbie followed her daughter journey and developed her own relationships she began mentoring several young woman through a self-growth journey as they competed for their respective local and state titles. In 2022, Debbie joined the Miss Seattle Board as judges chair and to support the Miss Seattle Title holders in their year of service.
Debbie is a licensed Mortgage Loan Officer with Cornerstone Home Lending and is a proud Kitsap resident. She currently sits on the boards of West Sound Youth for Christ, Miss Seattle Scholarship Organization and is the treasurer for the North Kitsap Teacher of the Year foundation. Debbie is a proud mother of two by birth, Micah and Emalee, and one by heart, Ashley. In her free time she enjoys being a dog mom, wine with friends and spending time encouraging young woman to be the best versions of themselves.
Elva has been involved in the pageant world for the last decade. She was thrown in unexpectedly when her daughter decided to compete. When she saw how much her daughter grew from being involved, the interview skills and overall confidence she gained, she knew she always had to be a part of the Miss America Organization.
Elva comes from a background of education and community service. She has worked in the Puyallup School District for the last 21 years. She has volunteered at various non-profits throughout the years, including Camp Fire, raising money to fight against Children's Cancer, and after school art programs. Being on the Miss Seattle Board gives her the opportunity to encourage and love
on all the young women that are involved.
She has 3 grown children and has been married for 38 years. In her spare time she loves crafting, exploring new coffee shops, spending time with her children and absolutely loves traveling to Idaho to play with her 2 grandchildren Clara and Jonah.