Hannah Williams is a Hooters girl from Texas who loves hunting and fishing in the great outdoors, as well as a good laugh with the help of a cult comedy classic.
And the Las Vegas-based corporate trainer and brand ambassador, who’s appeared on the restaurant chain’s calendar three times, has plenty of reasons to smile these days. Not only is she gearing up to participate in this year’s swimsuit pageant, but she’s also helping to launch a limited release Snozzberry Sauce in honor of “Super Troopers 2,” the highly anticipated follow-up to the beloved film.
Fox News spoke with Williams about meeting the cast, how she became a Hooters girl and whether she was nervous stripping down to her swimwear for the annual competition.
Fox News: What was it like hanging out with the cast of ‘Super Troopers 2’?
Hannah Williams: It was a dream come true. I have been a fan of 'Super Troopers' since my early teenage years and that movie to this day still cracks me up. I can probably quote it word for word. It’s just so amazing to actually get to meet them in real life… We would throw different script ideas at them and they immediately had it memorized and could recite it back… There was one point when somebody said something and I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe… The only bad part was the day wasn’t longer because I was just having so much fun.
Fox News: How did you get involved with Hooters?
Williams: I got involved with Hooters in 2013 while I was working on my Master’s degree. I needed a job that was flexible and would work with my school schedule. I love school and it has been very important to me. And a couple of my friends suggested Hooters. There’s actually one down the street from my campus. So I went in one day and applied.
They always encouraged me to put my education first and encouraged my dreams. I never thought I would have a modeling career out of it… but it’s been an amazing experience, and I’m just so grateful that I was even introduced to the company.
Fox News: You were runner-up at the 2016 Swimsuit Pageant. How nervous were you about competing?
Williams: That’s the great thing about Hooters; they made it a completely relaxed, wonderful and empowering experience from start to finish. I got there, and I just had an open mind. I really was just excited for the experience. All the girls are so wonderful and talented. And all of them are doing such amazing things back in their home towns… It was such a positive experience that I didn’t even think of it as a swimsuit pageant. I was just waking up every day feeling excited to learn new things.
Fox News: You’re from Texas. Is it true your hobbies include hunting and fishing?
Williams: Yes! I recently got into fly fishing. I absolutely love it. It is such an amazing thing to just be in the middle of nature and be surrounded by the middle of a river. Whether you catch anything or you don’t, you’re just part of the great outdoors.
Fox News: How frequently do you get hit on at Hooters?
Williams: You know, I’ve been here for about four years and I really don’t have any experiences with that! I think we’re too much of a family so I don’t really think people in town necessarily see me like that. So I can’t say that actually happened.
Fox News: Tell us about your role as a mentor for women.
Williams: I never really thought of mentoring until I started at Hooters. But one day my manager approached me and he said, ‘I would really like for you to consider becoming a trainer.' And I always wanted to teach. That’s part of the reason why I started my Master’s because I wanted to teach adults who wanted to continue their education.
I never realized how rewarding it is to watch people learn, especially young women develop their communication skills, the ability to hold their head up high and look at people in the eye and just really excel at what they do… And now, a couple of friends and I do food deliveries around Las Vegas for families who are caretakers of a loved one with neurological disorders. It’s just amazing to work with women who are like me and just want to see people excel… We just want to return the love.
Fox News: Some critics may find it odd you’re a mentor for women for a company like Hooters. What’s your take?
Williams: Honestly, I’ve only had positive experiences with Hooters. And not just positive ones, but life-changing ones… I love the confident woman it has turned me into. That’s really all I can say about it.
Fox News: How has Hooters helped you pursue your education?
Williams: It has definitely helped me feel more confident about talking with people. I was a big introvert when I first started with the company. Crowds made me nervous. Looking at somebody in the eye made me nervous. You know, classic textbook introvert. But… I made friends who gave me pointers and made me feel comfortable and sure of who I am.
I can look at somebody in the eye and the world will still turn. I felt so confident that initially, I thought I would be finished after my Master’s. But I’m now starting Ph.D. research this summer. I look back, and I wouldn’t have seen myself doing something so bold and just running with my dreams in that way… There’s really no dream I see as unattainable anymore. I will be focusing on educational psychology.
Fox News: What’s the most unique encounter you’ve ever had with a customer?
Williams: I recently had a group of ladies come in and sit down at my table. They were just cracking up laughing and hugging each other. I came up, introduced myself and go, ‘What are we celebrating?’ One of the ladies looks at me and goes, ‘My cancer is in remission. We’re here to celebrate.’
That was just the best feeling, to celebrate that with a group of women… it just stuck with my soul because it made me so happy. Even just thinking about it now puts a huge smile on my face. It reminds me how much I love what I do.
“Super Troopers 2” premieres Friday, April 20 in theaters.