RALEIGH, N.C. — Poyner Spruill attorney Cheslie Kryst earned the title of Miss USA 2019 on Thursday, May 2, in the Miss USA pageant held in Reno, Nevada.

Kryst came out on top in a competition of 51 contestants — one from each state and one from the District of Columbia — to earn the crown. She now advances to compete in this year’s Miss Universe competition in South Korea.

“We are extremely proud of Cheslie for this accomplishment and the way she represented the state of North Carolina and our firm on this national stage,” said Dan Cahill, Poyner Spruill managing partner. “Cheslie continues to use her voice and platform to help others and advance the empowerment of professional women in all industries. She is truly deserving of this honor, and everyone at Poyner Spruill congratulates her on this effort.”

Kryst advanced to the final round of three alongside New Mexico’s Alejandra Gonzalez (first runner-up) and Oklahoma’s Triana Browne (second runner-up). The final question asked contestants to summarize their generation in one word, and Kryst chose “innovative.”

“I’m standing here in Nevada, in the state that has the first female majority legislature in the entire country,” she said. “Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, strength and empowered women. I’m looking forward to continued progress in my generation.”

Kryst is a former Division I track and field athlete at the University of South Carolina, where she completed her undergraduate education. She went on to earn her JD and MBA from Wake Forest University. Kryst is licensed to practice law in both North Carolina and South Carolina.

A native of Charlotte, Kryst is a member of Poyner Spruill’s litigation team and concentrates her practice in complex civil litigation. She represents clients in a wide range of challenges including government-related disputes, constitutional litigation, professional malpractice claims, and construction disputes.

Kryst was recently recognized in the 2018 Pro Bono Honor Society for completing more than 50 hours of unpaid legal services, helping those in need. She also runs her own fashion blog entitled White Collar Glam, is on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas, and supports the non-profit organization Dress for Success Charlotte, which “empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life” in and around Charlotte, NC.

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