CONGRATULATIONS to RITA ALLEN, Ms. Alabama Senior America 2017, and Special Thanks to Edwina Chappell for an exemplary State
"Sweet home Alabama is my sweet home, in a little known town called Gadsden. My husband, Philip, and I have been
married for 32 years. We are so blessed to have two children and five beautiful grandchildren. I have spent my entire life
around my core passion of music, but I also have a passion for cooking, gardening, reading, fishing, drama and interpretive
Since turning 60, just over three years ago, my life has been an exciting whirlwind! I have now finished my second Masters
Degree, published my first book on Dreams, opened a new music and consulting studio, and begun playing the Dulcimer.
Looking back to my 30's, I focused my professional career in the music industry, owning my own private Performing Arts
Center where my classical choirs performed at Carnegie Hall on numerous occasions. My journey has created a passion for all
types of music and being from the south, more specifically, the Southern Appalachian Mountains in North Alabama, I have a
love for Bluegrass, Folk and Mountain Music. My roots of Southern Gospel Music performance are deep; Vestal Goodman is my
great aunt. I am so fortunate in my career to have been a soloist for jazz bands, gospel and concert choirs, as well as teacher/instructor
for both public and private schools, and numerous churches. Having trained with the renowned opera soprano, Rachel Mathes,
I truly enjoy singing opera and classical. And, finally, my study and performance of Music Theater created a passion for Broadway.
My second professional career has included many years in study (Masters Degree), research and employment (Executive Director)
in the retirement community industry. My discoveries have been very enlightening and some quite disturbing.
My journey has been filled with community diversity and a very strong support system. In my humble opinion, community
is the glue that holds everything and everyone together. We can either build bridges for others with our years of wisdom or
we can take that wisdom to the grave. The Age of Elegance can be the heart of influence, talent and beauty, if we choose the
higher road. As Helen Keller believed, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."
I believe the joy is in the journey, that your dreams can certainly come true, if you are willing to grow your vision
daily. Taking care of the life we are given is our way of giving back to our creator and consequently, I am a strong advocate
of life fitness. I have committed my life to a dedicated walk with God and a desire to lead women, in carrying the heart and
mind...to uncharted territory."
Rita is an award-winning soloist, teacher, and inspirational keynote speaker who has journeyed from Sand Mtn. Alabama
to Carnegie Hall! Her presentations are absolutely unforgettable and absolutely life-changing!
"Not only is she talented, but she is a very pleasant person making the planning and implementation of stress related
activities much easier," says Tom Quinn, Director of the Etowah County Chamber of Commerce, who booked Rita numerous
times one of which was the annual Riverfest, hosting crowds of over 20,000!
Rita is an educated Southern Belle with the strength of a Steel Magnolia, and a voice that demands attention. Since 1982
she has enjoyed her own, very successful, performing arts school teaching private voice, public speaking, leadership, personal
development, wellness, motivation, stage presence and stress/anger management. She has trained hundreds, from ages 6 to 90,
from all walks of life. Rita's company captured 35%+ of the market share for over ten years. She designed and directed yearly
revues with casts of up to 120 including singing, speaking, dancing and drama! Six years she performed at Carnegie Hall in
New York with her choirs. She is a recognized performer both on stage and screen, with 500 videos on YouTube hosting almost
Rita's accomplishments include a Master of Arts Degree, a Master of Science Degree in Management, a Bachelor's Degree
in Sociology (the big sister of Social Media) with a minor in Music and an Associate Degree in Music Education/Vocal Performance.
Rita is Past President of the Alabama Speakers Association and a full-time Speaking Professional. In 2010 she was a featured
soloist for the Grand Opening Session of the NSA National Convention in Orlando, Florida where there were attendees from 17
different countries. Rita has changed countless thousands of lives with the Power of Music, both personally and professionally.
Rita began her "stage" life at age three which developed into a full-time travel-performance life by age 19.
After being awarded second place for female soloist in the Florida Gospel Music Awards, her performance career soared. She
became a member of the movie cast, "Kent State Riot," starred in numerous TV commercials and made many TV appearances
from news programs to full TV specials. Three years in a row, Rita was a finalist in the Mrs. Alabama Pageant resulting in
a contract pageant judging position with a national pageant, judging pageants from Maine to Florida.
Rita knows people! She has worked in a large variety of industries including personal trainer, VP of Public Relations,
data processing secretary, radio DJ, radio sales, Entry Fee/Life Care Retirement Community marketing director, corporate admin
asst to managing partner, drug rehab counselor, corporate consultant, private coach, paid first soprano, life insurance admin
asst, auto insurance sales, choral director fitness center sales, processing plant secretary, numerous boards and volunteer
groups, music minister, school teacher, retail customer service, Mary Kay and Merle Norman, Amway and other various multi-level
marketing ventures, telemarketer (first job of life!) and more! (For full listing, click on "Journey.")
She loves a challenge, cherishes adventure, and has no problem climbing every mountain!