Saturday, August 12, 2006

Apprentice TV Show winner still with Donald Trump

Bill Rancic knew his life really had changed when his cell phone rang and Donald Trump was on the other end.

"He said he wanted me to fly with him to Quito, Ecuador, to judge the Miss Universe pageant."
Rancic accepted the assignment. "Hey, I'm a company man."
Just a couple of weeks before, Trump had hired Rancic on live national television during the final episode of the first season of "The Apprentice."
More than two years later, Rancic is still a Trump employee, working in marketing and making frequent appearances on the show as a judge. He's the only winner who's made that jump.
What kind of boss is Trump? "He's been good to me. He's very upfront. You know where you stand with him all the time."
Rancic, who lives in Chicago, was in town yesterday to shoot a commercial for SnagAJob, a Richmond online employment service. He waves off any suggestions that he's a show-biz celebrity.
"I've been an entrepreneur my whole life," said the founder of Cigars Around the World, an online, high-grade stogie business that also has a shop near Miami.
The Trump organization has helped Rancic upgrade his game: "They've taught me how to fish -- for the big one."
Rancic has stayed with Trump longer than any of the five Apprentice winners. Some left after a one-year stint.
"It's lasted a lot longer than I expected. It's opened up a lot of doors for me."
So what's his final episode?
"A great ending for the story would be a partnership with Trump. That would be a storybook ending." -- Bob Rayner


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