Professional Bodybuilder to Be Featured Guest at Female Entrepreneurs Event
By Colin McEvoy on February 5, 2018
Paige Lilly was bullied as a child, and at various points in her life struggled with anxiety and depression, chronic pain, and self-image issues. As an adult, she excelled academically at Penn State Lehigh Valley, but she remained unsure about her life’s purpose.
But that was before she discovered competitive bodybuilding.
Today, the 25-year-old Catasauqua resident is a professional International Federation for Bodybuilding Bikini Athlete and competes among some of the top bikini bodybuilding athletes in the world. She’s also a certified specialist in fitness nutrition, as well as a certified personal trainer through the International Sports Sciences Association.
She’s also an entrepreneur at heart. In addition to working at her family’s business, the Allentown-based Lilly daVid Embroidery, Lilly is also hoping to channel the strength and passion she discovered in bodybuilding into educating the general public, specializing in women and youth groups, including fighting childhood obesity and teaching nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits to children.
“Nutrition has a lot to do with our well-being: how we feel, how we perform throughout the day both in and out of the gym, our health not only physically but also mentally,” Lilly said. “Nutrition is very misunderstood at all ages and genders. There are a lot of misconceptions and false information out there. Crash diets, fad diets and many traditional beliefs about all things healthy are proven untrue. My goal is to intervene and help people regardless of their goals understand the truth.”
Lilly will be the featured guest in the next event in LaunchBox Ladies: From Passion to Profit, an event series organized by Lehigh Valley LaunchBox which is focused on the unique challenges and victories of female entrepreneurs.
The event will be held Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus in Upper Saucon Township. Penn State Lehigh Valley runs the LaunchBox program. Attendance for the event is free, and includes lunch. Click here for more information.
“We are thrilled with the very positive response to our LaunchBox Ladies programs. Our speakers share their struggles, challenges and victories, which transcend gender and any industry,” said Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor of Penn State Lehigh Valley.
“According to entrepreneur.com, women-owned businesses in the formal sector represent roughly 37 percent of all enterprises globally,” Richardson said. “That’s a market worthy of attention by businesses and policy makers alike.”
Lilly previously received a microgrant from LaunchBox, which provides funds to Lehigh Valley entrepreneurs and startups after a competitive selection process led by a committee of university and community stakeholders.
Lilly used those funds to receive her certification in order to gain the knowledge needed to advise clients. She then went on to compete in one of the biggest national bodybuilding shows in the country, winning the overall title and was awarded her professional status.
In her quest to advocate for nutrition education and fight childhood obesity, Lilly is laying the foundation to begin independent contracting with schools and youth organizations. Teaching is one of her passions in life, and as a lifestyle coach, she loves helping others improve not only their physical appearance and confidence, but also their mind and spirit.
Looking at entrepreneurship broadly, “I think it’s really important to tell people it’s OK to evolve as a human,” Lilly said. “What I thought I wanted to do when I was 14 or 15 years old is definitely not what I’m doing today. It’s OK to change and morph your ideas and develop as a person. It’s okay to make mistakes, struggle, stumble and fall flat on your face. Learn from each and every experience whether it be positive or negative and be thankful for them because that is where the true growth happens.”
Lilly was most recently named overall champion of the 2017 Junior USA National Bodybuilding Competition. She also previously won best overall novice in New York Capital Championships, won fourth place in the Team Universe National Show, and placed first in the Lehigh Valley Championships show.
“Paige’s life journey has not been easy,” said Denise Ogden, Penn State Lehigh Valley professor of marketing. “While I still see the student in her, more and more I realize she is a strong, accomplished professional who embodies the traits of an entrepreneur: persistent, enthusiastic, resilient, focused and a risk-taker.”
The Launchbox Ladies event series began in November with guest host Tanya Wright, an actress known for her roles in Orange is the New Black and True Blood. Last month, the event featured humanitarian and philanthropist Khine Alkhal, founder of the Emmaus-based Khineder Creations.
Lilly will be interviewed at the event by Liz Keptner, the director of Penn State Lehigh Valley’s Multimedia Innovation Center, and an Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist who has previously interviewed such subjects as President Barack Obama, former astronaut John Glenn, and celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.
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