NBC reveals the identities of its 'The Apprentice: Martha Stewart' contestants
By Reality TV World staff, 08/19/2005
NBC has revealed the identities of the sixteen candidates who will be competing for an opportunity to work for Martha Stewart on her upcoming The Apprentice spinoff series. The Apprentice: Martha Stewart will premiere Wednesday, September 21 at 8PM ET/PT -- one day before the fourth edition of the original Donald Trump-led The Apprentice series debuts on Thursday, September 22 at 9PM ET/PT.
While Trump was reportedly disappointed in the quality of the contestants featured on his most recent The Apprentice 3 edition, Stewart claims to be quite happy with the candidates that the show gathered for her. "I am incredibly impressed with this cast," said Stewart. "Their poise and creativity is balanced by a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit. Many of the candidates were as accomplished or more so than I when I started to build my business."
Nonetheless, viewers shouldn't worry that the contestants' "poise" will result in boring, drama-less television. "Even so, there are some explosive personalities among the candidates and they really create a lot of tension in the conference room," added Stewart.
As noted by Stewart, although The Apprentice: Martha Stewart will feature the same format as Trump's original The Apprentice series, the show will (rather absurdly) change some of the show's familiar terminology. Instead of a "boardroom," The Apprentice: Martha Stewart will feature a "conference room" (huge difference... huge) and, rather than live in a "suite," the living area in which Stewart's contestants reside will be termed a "loft."
A review of the contestants' profiles indicates that Stewart's candidates do appear to be more impressive than those featured on Trump's editions. Unlike Trump's previous casts, nearly all of Stewart's contestants appear to be college graduates who possess at least one undergraduate degree. Additionally, unlike all of Trump's previous casts, Stewart's cast is not gender-balanced, with only six of the sixteen contestants being men. Of the six men, two are gay while only one -- a 22-year-old whizkid -- is single.
Stewart's contestants also skew older than Trump's. Nearly half the cast is in their early 30's and only four candidates (including one recent college graduate) are 20-something. Collectively, the group ranges in age between 22 and 42. Professionally, the cast includes accomplished chefs, ad executives, creative directors, lawyers, designers, a magazine publisher, and a TV newscaster
The sixteen contestants who will be competing on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart are:
Dawna Stone, a 37-year-old magazine publisher from St. Petersburg, FL.
Dawna is the founder and publisher of "Her Sports" magazine, a national women's sports magazine that won a 2004 Charlie Award for "Best New Magazine of the Year." The Southern California native and former Olympic swimming hopeful graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. and earned her M.B.A. from UCLA. Before entering the publishing business, Dawna served as Chief Marketing Officer at MarineMax, a $700 million publicly traded marine retail company, where she directed all marketing activities for the company's 60 plus locations. Prior to MarineMax, she served as president and general manager of PR*Nutrition, a $20 million sports nutrition company. Dawna also spent four years as a strategy consultant for Deloitte Consulting and two years as a financial analyst for Morgan Stanley. She currently resides in St. Petersburg with her husband Matt and two dogs, Buffett and Val.
Marcela Valladolid, a 27-year-old cooking instructor from Tijuana, Mexico.
Marcela successfully tackles motherhood and a culinary career as a chef. Born in San Diego and raised in Mexico, she now teaches cooking classes to over 40 students in her Tijuana, Mexico home while also running a catering company. She graduated as a "Certified Cook" from the Los Angeles Culinary Institute and her training has taken her to Paris, where she graduated as a classical French pastry chef from the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School. A guest chef on the Food Network and a former food editor and recipe stylist for "Bon Appetit" Magazine, Marcela dreams of hosting her own cooking show. Married to her kindergarten sweetheart, they have a one-year-old boy.
Amanda Hill, a 30-year-old attorney from Austin, TX.
Amanda is an attorney for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She graduated magna cum laude from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in public relations and earned a law degree from Texas Tech University's School of Law. During law school, Amanda served as an articles editor for the law review and participated in moot court activities. She interned with then Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen and currently practices employment and medical malpractice law. Amanda was selected as "Woman of the Year" by the Waco, Texas chapter of Altrusa International, an association of professionals dedicated to volunteerism. An eye cancer survivor, Amanda devotes her time to community outreach and volunteering on various projects benefiting cancer research. She currently resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband Jason and dog Teddy.
Carrie Gugger, a 31-year-old creative director from Los Angeles, CA.
Carrie owns "Drive Creative, Inc." a San Diego communications company specializing in public relations, creative marketing, event planning and media project management. The former beauty pageant contestant - and first runner-up for the Miss California USA title in 2000 - worked for over six years as a stockbroker and provided financial commentary on talk radio. She has also pursued her talent for glass blowing, participating as a student, teacher and artist-in-residence in various national craft programs. Carrie dreams of combining her dual passion for art and commerce by branding her own contemporary glass line and producing documentaries about the craft. Born and raised in San Diego, Carrie attended both Dartmouth and UC San Diego where she earned a B.A. in communication with honors. She currently resides in Southern California with her fiancée.
David Karandish, a 22-year-old Internet company owner from Maplewood, MO.
David is fresh out of college but already an accomplished businessman. David, the youngest candidate, was a charismatic student at Washington University in St. Louis and was known to lecture classes at the request of his professors. The American Mensa member now earns six figures as the owner and creator of an internet advertising company and a mortgage information services company – both of which he started while still in college. In high school, David created "AIM Talk," a plug-in for AOL Instant Messenger that spoke instant messages using text-to-speech. David has a B.S. with a second major in entreprenuership. He lives just outside of St. Louis.
Jim Bozzini, a 36-year-old ad executive from Gilbertsville, PA.
Jim earned dual undergraduate degrees in graphic design and art history from Philadelphia's Tyler School of Art and spent his post-college years as a conceptual illustrator in Manhattan. He relocated to Philadelphia and started his own advertising and marketing company that targets overlooked regional venues within the city. The father of a five-year-old girl and newborn daughter, he lives with his wife in Gilbertsville, Pa.
Sarah Brennan, a 25-year-old event planner from Washington, DC.
Sarah piled up the championship honors as a top coxswain at the University of Virginia. A four-time NCAA medallist and All-ACC Team inductee, this accomplished athlete graduated from UVA with a bachelor's degree in archaeology and physical anthropology. The St. Louis, Mo. native now works as a senior event planner for a healthcare-consulting firm in Washington, D.C. The firm provides best practice research and analysis, focusing on strategy, operations and general management to 2,100 of the country's largest and most progressive health systems and medical centers. Sarah plans and runs over 30 large executive level summits annually across the country.
Bethenny Frankel, a 34-year-old natural foods chef from New York, NY.
Bethenny is a natural foods chef with a custom food delivery service providing healthy meals catering to celebrity and high-profile individuals with unique needs. Bethenny is also a consulting chef for Boca Burger and attended culinary school where she studied food and healing. The NYU graduate owns bethennybakes.com, a lowfat, wheat-, dairy- and egg-free cookie company in New York. Prior to becoming a chef, Bethenny produced large-scale entertainment events for Merv Griffin Productions in Los Angeles and founded In Any Event, a company dedicated to producing high-profile celebrity events. She also started Princess Pashmina, a pashmina shawl importer, selling to celebrity clients and stores around the world. Bethenny, whose active lifestyle includes yoga, snowboarding and rollerblading, lives in New York City with her dog Cookie.
Ryan, a 28-year-old recent law graduate from Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA.
Ryan oversees the marketing and advertising for his father's employment law firm while he awaits his results from the California state bar exam. After playing baseball at the junior college level, Ryan transferred to UC Davis and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics. Ryan enlisted myriad ways of supporting himself through college: running a car detailing business, teaching at baseball camps and modeling. After graduation, Ryan opened and ran the San Diego branch of his father's firm. He earned his law degree from the California Western School of Law and lives with his wife in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.
Howie Greenspan, a 33-year-old fashion company owner from Closter, NJ.
Howie decided three years ago to leave behind a successful career on Wall Street and enter the fashion industry. The gamble paid off. The Brooklyn native now runs Priorities, a highly lucrative contemporary woman's clothing company earning over five million dollars annually. With his adult clothing sold in over 1,500 stores around the world, Howie recently introduced a children’s line. The University of Albany graduate lives with his wife in New Jersey.
Chuck Soldano, a 38-year-old interior designer from Philadelphia, PA.
Chuck owns "Work in Progress," an interior design firm specializing in design and construction for residential and commercial projects. He studied at the American College for the Applied Arts in Atlanta, Ga. and graduated with a bachelor's degree in interior design. The New York native also maintains a working studio where he creates and sells his original artwork, which are mixed media pieces combining found objects and recycled pieces of his own creations. Chuck lives in Philadelphia with his partner.
Jennifer Le, a 32-year-old prosecutor from Los Angeles, CA.
Jennifer handles 20-30 cases daily as a prosecutor in Orange County. Born in Vietnam, Jennifer moved to the U.S. with her family at age two. Seven years later she began work in her family's Vietnamese bakery/café and eventually grew up to manage the business. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a dual degree in political science and international relations and earned her law degree from the University of the Pacific. Before passing the bar exam, Jennifer clerked for both a congressman and a former mayor of Los Angeles, as well as the district attorney's office in Orange Country. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.
Shawn Killinger, a 32-year-old TV Newscaster from Grosse Pointe, MI.
Shawn is no stranger to the television camera. She has spent the past decade working in local and network news, most recently as the morning anchor and entertainment host for an affiliate in Orlando, Fla. Often starting her work days at 2:00 a.m., Shawn reported on four major hurricanes in two months, hosted Central Florida's version of "American Idol," and interviewed newsmakers from Hillary Clinton to Jessica Simpson. She holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Penn State University and is fluent in Spanish, largely thanks to the four years she lived in Mexico City with her family. Shawn devotes her spare time to the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a "Wish Granter," working to fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
Jeff Rudell, a 42-year-old creative director from New York, NY
Jeff is both owner and creative director of Strychnine Design, a graphic design and consulting firm in New York City. Prior to launching his own business, Jeff worked as a campaign manager, a legislative aide, the economic development officer for the Mission of St. Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations, and an administrator at the American Academy in Rome. He has also been a guest window designer for Tiffany & Co. Jeff frequently performs at The Moth, a non-profit storytelling organization in New York City, and is the winner of the 2003 GrandSLAM Championship for best spoken story. He lives in New York City with his partner Albert.
Leslie Sanchez, a 36-year-old marketing company owner from Alexandria, VA.
Leslie was named one of Hispanic Business magazine's "100 Most Influential Hispanic Americans" and previously served as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Hispanic Education. A former aide to U.S. Representative Henry Bonilla, Leslie spearheaded the Republican Party's first multimillion-dollar advertising campaign targeting Hispanic voters. Leslie - who once sold encyclopedias door-to-door - earned her M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and her undergraduate degree from George Washington University. She is the founder and CEO of Impacto Group, LLC, a communications and market research firm. A native of Texas and a frequent commentator on cable news, Leslie lives with her husband and dog Jalapeña in Alexandria, Va.
Dawn Silvia, a 33-year-old PR consultant from Boston, MA.
Dawn currently heads up Red Wagon Communications, a marketing and PR agency, and is founder of The Secret Socialite, an organization that coordinates special events for philanthropic young professionals. She is an active freelance writer and a contributing editor for "Boston magazine." Dawn teaches writing and copyediting at Emerson College, where she completed graduate study in publishing and writing, earning an MFA degree and a nomination for Best Master's Thesis for her book-length collection of non-fiction vignettes. She earned her bachelor's degree in public relations from Syracuse's Newhouse School. Dawn is a Mensa member and a volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.