Jo Bender

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Jo Bender (born 1970) is a beauty queen from Minnesota who has competed in the Miss America pageant and is a meteorologist and television reporter.

Bender was chosen Miss Minnesota 1992 at the age of 22. She competed at the 1993 Miss America Pageant and was selected as a talent winner for her performance on the fiddle. Bender became one of the most traveled Miss Minnesota in the pageant's history, performing a self-esteem program thousands of elementary school students during her year as Miss Minnesota.

Bender holds a certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University and a degree in Broadcasting from St. Cloud State University. She began her career as an intern at KTTC-TV in Rochester in 1990 and was hired there as a weekend weather anchor.

Following her year as Miss Minnesota 1992, Bender spent one year as a missionary for Merge Ministries in Reynosa, Mexico where she assisted churches along the border in building youth programs and facilitated mission trips for churches.[1]

Bender returned to television in 1994, working for WAOW-TV in Wasau, Wisconsin. She was then hired at KMSP-TV in Minneapolis as a weekend weather anchor and reporter. One year later, she was hired at KSTP-TV where she worked until 2003 as meteorologist, weekend morning show host, and reporter.

Bender remains active in the Twin Cities as a freelance meteorologist and reporter, currently working for KARE-TV in Minneapolis. She also travels as an inspirational speaker, presenting talks on faith and a spirit-filled life. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and children.


  1. ^ 'How's the Weather' Is Door-Opener for Witness

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Preceded by
Julie Richardson
Miss Minnesota
Succeeded by
Shawna Stoltenberg