Grace Fontecha has more than 30 years' experience in modeling and training beauty contestants. As a child growing up in Philadelphia, Grace began studying modeling when she was 14 years old—her passion continued as she moved to Puerto Rico to be with her family. There, her dreams were realized when she began modeling in the early 1970’s in the Barbazon Agency. Within a few years, her modeling career was launched.
Between 1974 and 1977, she appeared in more than 75 commercials for clients such as Max Factor, Clairol, Dove, Palmolive and Revlon. She walked on fashion runways wearing the designs of famous designers such as top Puerto Rican designer Luis Fuentes. Grace was also the winner of Mattel's Real Life Barbie commercial in the New York Modeling Association of America International Convention (MAAI) 1974. Photographers and designers sought her out because of her professionalism, her beauty and her ability to change her look.
Grace's pageant training career began in 1974 at the Barbizon Agency as a teacher and then a year later, a director. In 1976 she opened the doors of the Fontecha Modeling School where she trained models and beauty pageant contestants. As much as Grace loved modeling and fashion, she also loved working with and learning about people. This stemmed from her years of study in the field of psychology while living in Philadelphia. Grace combined these loves and furthered her career by coaching these women. In 1980, she decided to enter deeper into the world of Beauty Pageants when she and her husband purchased the franchise from Miss World for the Puerto Rico contest making it one of the top annual T.V. programs in Puerto Rico.
In the late 80’s Grace met Osmel Sousa, President of the Miss Venezuela organization, while he observed her directing Miss Carnival Miami. In 1991, he asked Grace to train Ninibeth Leal from Venezuela and she won Miss World that year. From this point forward Osmel hired Grace to train all of his contestants prior to sending them to Miss World, Miss International and Miss Universe.
Since 1970, Grace has trained 27 winning contestants. Recently, she was invited by Osmel Sousa to accept the Guinness Book of World Record Award for training back to back Miss Universe winners for 2008 and 2009.
Grace is now accepting new clients for Beauty Pageant and Lifestyle Coaching through the Ashley Lauren Kerr, LLC company.