Thursday, May 12, 2005

All about Apprentice TV Show candidate Kendra Todd

Kendra Todd doesn't watch much television. But there is one show she watched religiously — the first season of The Apprentice.
She was hooked immediately.

Tana Goertz and Kendra Todd compete on The Apprentice for a prized job with Donald Trump.
Kendra ToddAge: 27Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va. (now lives in Boynton Beach)Employment background: Real estate marketing entrepreneurEducation: B.A. in linguistics from the University of FloridaWhy she went on the show: 'I didn't come on the show to become a star. I wanted to leverage my business and market my business and this is a great way to do that.'

"I thought, 'How refreshing, a reality show pitting young, aggressive, assertive, intelligent, business-minded people against one another,' " says Todd, who runs a real estate marketing company in Boynton Beach. "I thought it was such a smart show. I could relate to those people because I'm what you call a go-getter."
Well, now Todd is one of "those people."
Last week, the 27-year-old Boynton resident made it to the final two in the world's longest job interview with Donald Trump.
Todd hopes her can-do spirit will help her become The Donald's first female apprentice in next week's live
finale. Tonight (9 p.m., WPTV-Channel 5), Todd's final task is to oversee the successful coordination of The Best Buy Video World Championship.
So, why does Todd think she deserves the celebrated $250,000-a-year gig over Tana Goertz, a perky cosmetics sales executive with oodles of charm to spare?
"Whatever it is, I got it," Todd says matter-of-factly. "Donald Trump's business is real estate. It's about time he had an apprentice that's on the same page as him."
And why does Todd, who has an undergraduate degree in linguistics from the University of Florida, even want the job?
After all, she is already running My House Real Estate (, a seven-employee firm that specializes in condo conversion and land acquisition.
"It isn't so much a job as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be mentored by one of the most brilliant business minds of our time," she says. "Love him or hate him, he's successful. You can't put a price tag on this experience."
Surprise recruitment
Becoming a contestant on The Apprentice was an experience Todd never thought she'd have. When the producers were in Miami looking for new applicants, Todd and her business partner, Charles Andrews, drove down to recruit for their company.
"I thought it'd be a great place to sift through a couple of hundred young, energetic, motivated people looking for their big break," Todd recalls. "I made a flier that said 'You're hired!' But the joke was it was reverse osmosis because in the end, I was the one who wound up being recruited."
It was Andrews, Todd remembers, who suggested that she apply.
"I was there for two hours, waiting around and I figured, 'What the heck? I might as well make something of it,' " Todd says. "I had nothing to lose and everything to gain."
During the Miami interview, she was placed in a room with about 10 other Apprentice wannabes where they debated politics.
"(The producers) said 'Bush vs. Kerry, Go!' and everyone started shouting," she says, laughing. "It's wasn't a very diplomatic way to do things. I just sat there while everyone argued and didn't say a word. That's what got them interested in me."
Like all potential applicants, Todd was asked to make a video. She got creative and hired a professional photographer and editor to produce a James Bond/Mission: Impossible-like video in which she starred as Agent 53, an alter ego she uses on her real estate investment talk radio show heard on WBZT (AM 1230) at 1 p.m. Sundays and 2 p.m. Wednesdays.
"I put some money into it and it was fun," she says.
Todd is no stranger to being creative and taking risks. Shortly after graduating from the University of Florida, she helped launch Capture Life, a Boca Raton-based lifestyle magazine, with a few college friends and investors. With no publishing experience, she served as founding editor and editor in chief.
"I'll be honest, it takes a lot of courage and a lot of desire to start a company," she says. "For the first couple of months, the first couple of years, a lot of money is going out the door and less money is coming in the door. But I really think the best way to learn business is to have a dream and to build it and fall on your face and make a mistake."
Todd didn't stay in publishing long (only a year) after interviewing several story subjects who openly bragged about making a killing in real estate.
"I got sick of hearing them say, 'Well, I'm a successful attorney, but I made my wealth in real estate' or 'I invented this gizmo gadget but I made my money in real estate.' "
Overcame youthful image
Todd found a mentor in Andrews and was off and running. But the transition wasn't always smooth.
"I was 23 when I first got into real estate and for the first year people were somewhat skeptical for the first 10 minutes when they spoke to me," she remembers. "They would tell me later that they were so worried working with someone so young, but they very quickly found out that I knew what I was talking about."
Obviously, Todd has learned her business lessons well. While being interviewed, she wonders if her Web site will be mentioned in the story.
"All I really care about is the fact that the name of my Web site gets in, OK?" she says. "That's my business. Who cares that I'm on The Apprentice if nobody's going to my Web site and I'm not doing any business."
It's been about seven months since The Apprentice finished taping. That's a long time to go without being able to talk about something that significant in your life.
"Keeping a secret is fun," she says. "It's the only secret I've ever kept. It's been fun because everyone is dying to know. It's been exciting, but at the same time, I really like closure. I'd like to know what's coming next in my life. Do I need to be moving? Do I need a replacement? What do I do with my company?"
How does Todd feel about possibly being the first female apprentice?
"I can set a precedent and inspire young and old successful career women out there," she says. "A man won season one and season two and that's not surprising because when you walk into the work force, men outnumber women."
But what happens if she doesn't get the job?
Todd says she's not worried.
"I don't question destiny," she says. "I'll go back to growing my successful real estate company. I win no matter what. Even if I lose, I win."
Kendra Todd
Age: 27
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va. (now lives in Boynton Beach)
Employment background: Real estate marketing entrepreneur
Education: B.A. in linguistics from the University of Florida
Why she went on the show: 'I didn't come on the show to become a star. I wanted to leverage my business and market my business and this is a great way to do that.'


Blogger brucebear said...

Contrary to popular belief she was respected by her teammates and was an MVP in many of Magna's victories. Although Tana had a much more outgoing personality, she lacks Kendra's ability to make behind the scenes deals.

1:40 PM  

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