NBC reveals 'The Apprentice 6' contestants, new season twists
By Reality TV World staff, 12/06/2006
NBC has revealed the identities of the eighteen candidates who will be competing on the upcoming Los Angeles-based sixth edition of The Apprentice. However given the bikinis and newly-disclosed twists that the season will apparently feature, perhaps reality TV producer Mark Burnett should have called it Survivor: Los Angeles.
Billed as "a compelling social experiment of haves and have nots" by NBC, The Apprentice 6 -- the Donald Trump reality show's first non-New York City edition -- will significantly increase the significance of winning or losing each episode's task challenge. Rather than only an often bland reward activity and the relief that comes with not having to participate in a boardroom firing session, each week's winning The Apprentice 6 team will also "earn the right to live like Trump" and reside in a luxurious mansion. In addition, whichever contestant was the winning team's project manager will not only get to continue to remain the team's project manager until they lose, but they'll also get to sit in on the losing team's boardroom session and help advise Trump on who he should fire.
Meanwhile, in addition to having to attend a boardroom session in which Trump might fire one or more members of their team, each week's losing team will also have to deal with another big disadvantage -- rather than enjoying something similar to the more bare-bones communal "suite" Trump Tower accommodations enjoyed by the contestants of The Apprentice's previous editions, each week's losing The Apprentice 6 team will have to sleep in tents erected in the mansion's backyard and use outdoor showers and port-a-potties.
Since The Apprentice 6 wasn't filmed in New York, previous The Apprentice advisors George Ross and Carolyn Kepcher -- who Trump fired shortly after The Apprentice 6 finished production -- also won't serve as The Donald's sixth season advisors. Instead, previous The Apprentice substitute advisors and Trump children Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. will each return for several episodes, with previous The Apprentice winners serving as substitutes in the remaining episodes.
In addition to Angela Ruggerio, the previously announced winner of last February's stunt casting promotion that allowed viewers to vote a member of Team USA's 2006 Torino Winter Olympics squad into the season's group of candidates, The Apprentice 6's cast includes a tutoring company owner, an Internet Entrepreneur, a publicist, and six attorneys. Overall, the cast of The Apprentice 6 -- which will premiere on Sunday, January 7 at 9:30PM ET/PT with a special 90-minute episode and air regularly on Sundays at 9PM ETE/PT -- ranges between 24 and 37 years old in age.
The eighteen contestants competing on The Apprentice 6 -- and their NBC-supplied profiles -- are:
Aaron Altscher, a 25-year-old community sales manager from Fredericksburg, Virginia
Aaron grew up in Columbia, Maryland, and earned All-conference and All-region NCAA baseball honors while getting his degree in business administration at the University of Mary Washington. He recently received his M.B.A. there in project management, and currently works as a community sales manager, managing sales and marketing operations for a Fortune 150 homebuilder. At just 25, he already has several personal property investments, and spends his spare time playing guitar, coaching baseball, riding his motorcycle and participating in triathlons. Aaron thinks he should be the next Apprentice because of his "passion for real estate along with his personal integrity, resilience and humility."
Aimee Trottier, a 32-year-old territory manager from Chicago, Illinois
Aimee was born and raised in Elmhurst, Illinois. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in speech communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, graduating in just 3 ½ years even with a change in majors. Aimee began her career in sales for a Fortune 500 company, rising quickly through the ranks to ultimately manage over $50 million in annual revenue for five global accounts. Then she segued into a new sales arena – surgical devices – for one of the largest healthcare companies in the world, and quickly earned her place in the top 2% of sales people there. Now Aimee works for a top medical company, selling regenerative human dermal tissue for complex trauma, cancer and general surgery cases. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, reading, cooking and volunteering. She says, "I should be the next Apprentice because I am wicked smart, tenacious and have insightful interpersonal skills, as well as a high level of integrity."
Angela Ruggiero, a 26-year-old three-time olympic ice hockey player from Oyster Bay, New York
Angela grew up in Los Angeles, California and Harper Woods, Michigan. She graduated cum laude with a degree in government from Harvard University, where she was an NCAA First Team Academic All-American as well as one of the top eight student athletes in the entire NCAA in 2004. A star player on the U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey Team, Angela won a Gold medal in 1998, a Silver medal in 2002 and a Bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics. She was the first woman non-goalie to play professional men's hockey in North America, playing for the Tulsa Oilers alongside her brother, Bill, and also earning a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame as the first brother-sister duo to play pro hockey together. She helped the U.S. capture gold by scoring the tournament-winning goal at the 2005 World Championships, was voted the USA's Women's Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004, and was ranked the #1 female hockey player in the world by "The Hockey News" in 2003. In addition to her extraordinary athletic accomplishments, Angela is the founder and president of a girl's hockey school; the author of "Breaking the Ice," her inspirational autobiography; and the director of the New York Islanders' Project Hope -- an organization that provides young Chinese athletes with access to educational opportunities. In addition, she is currently training for the 2007 World Championships with Team USA as well as the 2010 Olympics. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, music, coaching hockey and volunteering. Angela says, "I should be the next Apprentice because I achieved success on a world platform as a result of my strong work ethic, determination and commitment – the same traits needed to success in business."
Carey Sherrell, a 25-year-old marketing and promotions firm owner from Atlanta, Georgia
Carey grew up in Atlanta and currently resides there. Not satisfied with working in a conventional office environment, he left to pursue his real passion - marketing. Carey's flair for crafting innovative promotions helped him launch his own event marketing and promotions firm, whose high-profile clients have included adidas America, The Weather Channel and Stoli Vodka, as well as Atlanta's High Museum of Art, Turner South, Verizon Wireless through its agency partner Mini Mobile Media, and Cartoon Network through Hothouse Inc. He has served as National Political Director for the College Democrats of America, one of the youth arms of the Democratic National Committee, and was one of the youngest members of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. In his spare time, Carey enjoys playing flag football for the Atlanta Storm, an NFFLA team, working out, indoor rock climbing and creating "fashion forward couture" from items he finds at thrift shops. He says, "I should be the next Apprentice because I am a marketing guru, and that's what this show is all about!"
Derek Arteta, a 34-year-old movie studio vice president from Los Angeles, California
Derek grew up in Covina, California, and graduated cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and an emphasis in business administration. He later graduated cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. As a first-year lawyer, he rose to the challenge of being assigned by his law firm to be sole clearance attorney for "The Man Show," starring Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla – two personalities who were always pushing the boundaries in terms of legally questionable stunts. Now the vice president of business and legal affairs for a movie studio, Derek negotiates deals relating to motion picture production and provides legal counsel to the studio's home entertainment division. When he's not working, Derek is a huge reality TV fan and an avid bicyclist who helps train riders for a California bike-riding fundraiser for AIDS services and education. Derek thinks he should be the next Apprentice because, he says, "I'm not afraid to take risks and make my voice heard, and while I generally respect boundaries, I'm never afraid to overstep them for the sake of advancement of a good idea."
Frank Lombardi, a 27-year-old contracting company founder from Bronx, New York
Frank was raised in Bronx, New York, attending Westchester Community College and graduating from the POHS Institute of Insurance. Eager to make his mark in the world, he launched his own company when he was just 21 years old and turned it into a multi-million dollar construction firm. He also helped launched a high-tech computer company that can connect remotely to any computer on the internet to fix personal computers in minutes without consumers ever having to leave their home or office. With a true passion for construction, Frank spends his spare time looking for new real estate development opportunities, and also enjoys spending time with friends. "I should be the next Apprentice," Frank says, "because I possess the confidence to rise to any occasion and my charismatic personality allows me to handle any situation with ease."
Heidi Androl, a 26-year-old national/international sales manager from Santa Monica, California
Heidi grew up in the small farming community of Unionville, Michigan. Developing a drive for success and an entrepreneurial spirit early on, she began modeling at age 13 and appeared in several national and international print and commercial ad campaigns. She attended the University of Michigan-Flint and Michigan State University before taking advantage of lucrative career opportunities in Los Angeles. Heidi took on the challenge of working in the male-dominated aerospace industry, where she dramatically increased the company sales, international brand awareness, and marketing efforts and was promoted to the position of national sales manager within one year. Achieving great success domestically by doubling sales numbers and sales staff, she was again promoted to International Sales Manager and is currently in charge of business relations around the world. In her spare time, Heidi enjoys camping, rock climbing, snow-mobiling and traveling, as well as spending time with friends and family. Heidi says, "Because the Trump organization has many dealings that cross geographic and cultural lines, my impressive record of winning new business relationships on a worldwide level makes me the ideal Apprentice."
James Sun, a 29-year-old Internet entrepreneur from Seattle, Washington
James immigrated from Seoul, Korea to the United States when he was four years old, and grew up in Houston, Texas and Seattle, Washington. He started a technology investment fund at age 18 with just $5000 and turned it into over $2 million at age 23, while earning his degree in business and computer information systems from the University of Washington, from which he graduated cum laude. After graduating college as a multi-millionaire, James joined one of the largest business consulting firms in the world, offering management consulting services to Fortune 500 companies. He currently lives with his wife and two children in Seattle, where he is the CEO and founder of an
internet company that provides a unique approach to professional and online social networking at www.zoodango.com. James feels he should be the next Apprentice because, he says, "I bring a strong balance of Fortune 500 experience and the initiative and drive of a true entrepreneur, and I've already proven myself by achieving the 'American Dream' since I started with nothing to build everything I have today."
Jennifer Hoffman, a 26-year-old publicist from Phoenix, Arizona
Jenn grew up in Huntington, New York and graduated from high school when she was just 16 years old. She studied sociology and communication at Arizona State University, earning a bachelor degree in interdisciplinary studies, with her last semester spent studying abroad at the University of Cambridge in England. Eager to see the world, she backpacked through Europe before returning home to earn her M.B.A. in marketing at the University of Phoenix. Now a top publicist for a public relations firm in Phoenix, Jenn develops and manages full-service media plans for major corporations. She is also a features reporter for a popular local morning show in Arizona, having worked previously as both a reporter and television host. In addition, Jenn is the co-founder/editor in chief of Contact Magazine, a popular lifestyle publication. In her free time, she enjoys running, singing, acting and traveling. She thinks she should be the next Apprentice because she's "very different than anyone else Mr. Trump has ever interviewed to be his next Apprentice."
Kristine Lefebvre, a 37-year-old attorney from Los Angeles, California
Kristine, a self-described "Army brat," was born in Frankfurt, Germany and grew up primarily in Hawaii and Colorado. She received her bachelor's degree in criminology at Metropolitan State College of Denver, and modeled in Miami and Milan to help pay for law school at Florida's Nova Southeastern University. She has represented some of the biggest names in entertainment and in the sports community, including Shaquille O'Neal, Dan Marino, the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Kings. In her current job at a high-profile Los Angeles law firm, she handles sports and entertainment licensing as well as mergers and acquisitions. In her spare time, Kristine enjoys surfing and hiking with her husband, Ludovic Lefebvre, the former executive chef at two of L.A.'s famed restaurants, L'Orangerie and Bastide, and once named one of the top 50 chefs in the world. She says, "I should be the next Apprentice because I bring an unmatched unique combination of real world business experience, education, and life experiences that have taught me to balance and weigh all sides of any business situation."
Marisa DeMato, a 28-year-old attorney from Wellington, Florida
Marisa grew up in Long Island, New York and in Wellington, Florida, where she currently resides. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in political science at Florida Atlantic University and then earned her law degree at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Her passion for politics and law led her to two coveted internships, first for a congressman while earning her undergraduate degree, and later as a law clerk for the Attorney General of Maryland in Annapolis while she attended law school. Now Marisa works for one of the most prominent law firms in the country and specializes in securities fraud, consumer fraud and anti-trust litigation. She currently litigates multi-million dollar class action lawsuits on behalf of shareholders and consumers damaged by corporate fraud. In addition, she plays a key role in the firm's investment outreach program, regularly meeting with public and private pension funds, retirement systems and other institutional investors to educate them about the firm's proprietary portfolio monitoring program. Marisa attributes her success to her strong family foundation, and enjoys volunteering for political campaigns and elections in her spare time. She says, "I should be the next Apprentice because my legal and political background have enabled me to take on many challenges and achieve success, and these experiences will allow me to showcase my leadership ability in addition to my strong work ethic."
Martin Han Clarke, a 37-year-old attorney from Atlanta, Georgia
Martin was born in Amityville, New York and raised in Long Island. He graduated cum laude from Adelphi University with a business degree, concentrating in finance and management, and later graduated from The George Washington University National Law Center. He gained expertise representing some of the nations' largest real estate companies as a real estate attorney, and has also taught real estate and business law along with ethics, government and business policy. He is also a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. In addition, Martin served as a Board of Director member for metro New York's Make-a-Wish Foundation. He is currently the Senior Assistant City Attorney of Atlanta, handling real estate, communications, utilities and commercial transaction contracts and negotiations that affect millions of people. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters and collecting antiques, along with writing, publishing and coming up with creative lectures for classes. Martin feels he should be the next Apprentice because he says, "As an attorney and professor, I have the experience, leadership and technical know-how to run any of Trump's companies and projects."
Michelle Sorro, a 34-year-old real estate consultant from Los Angeles, CA
Michelle was born on Whidbey Island, Washington and raised on the central coast of California. A natural entrepreneur, she has dedicated much of her adult life building a flourishing career in real estate, and now averages $50 million in annual sales. Through the years she has become an expert in real estate remodel and design, as she is also an active investor. Thriving on creative outlets, Michelle started a publishing company and wrote and produced her own book titled, "The Voice of Gratitude - Celebrating the Gift of Friendship" which she successfully sold to Hallmark Gold Crown across North America. She has also hosted several television programs, including real estate shows, and recently began work as a host for Al Gore's network, Current. Inspired to give back, Michelle also founded Urban Circle, an LA-based non-profit organization designed to empower children through participation in physically challenging activities. Michelle, who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA, says she should be the next Apprentice because she has "the integrity, smarts and drive to make anything possible."
Muna Heaven, a 28-year-old attorney from Matawan, New Jersey
Muna was born and raised on the island of Jamaica. She earned an academic scholarship to attend Penn State University, where she received a bachelor of arts degree in French and a bachelor of science degree in biology, while minoring in international studies. She focused on international trade law at McGill University Faculty of Law, earning degrees in both common law and civil law. With a passion for world travel, Muna has studied abroad in France, Spain and Belgium, and speaks fluently in English, Spanish and French. An accomplished equestrian, Muna has also competed internationally in equestrian show jumping in Jamaica, Panama, Guatemala, France and Canada. She currently works for a New York agency that litigates family law matters. In her spare time, Muna enjoys dancing, learning how to play the piano and reading in French and Spanish. She says she should be the next Apprentice because her "background in international trade and foreign languages run in tandem with the Trump Organization's increasingly global integration."
Nicole D'Ambrosio, a 25-year-old commercial real estate corporation owner and broker from Chicago, Illinois
Nicole was born and raised in Naperville, Illinois and graduated with honors from Northern Illinois University with a business degree and an emphasis on marketing/sales. She also earned an associate of science degree and her certificate in real estate at Kishwaukee College. As a testament to her strong work ethic, she financed 100% of her education by working 2-3 jobs simultaneously throughout her college years. Nicole now owns her own real estate corporation in Chicago, which specializes in large acquisitions of commercial real estate. She also has her own portfolio of property valued at more than $1 million, and enjoys cooking, golfing, water sports and reading motivational books in her free time. She says she should be the next Apprentice because "I have the education, real estate experience and an undying will to succeed at everything I do."
Stefani Schaeffer, a 32-year-old attorney from Los Angeles, California
Stefani was born in Burbank, California and raised in Palm Springs. She had a double major in college – English and psychology – and graduated from the University of California, Riverside. Stefani graduated in the top 10% of her class from Southwestern University School of Law in their prestigious SCALE program, the only two-year Juris Doctor program in the United States accredited by the American Bar Association. Selected as a Los Angeles Magazine 'Young Rising Star' in 2006 for excellence in law, Stefani is now a trial attorney for one of the largest California defense firms. She defends California employers against worker's compensation, subrogation and discrimination claims, and defends large real estate developers in construction defect litigation. In her spare time, she enjoys snow skiing, golf, tennis, scuba diving, karate, motorcyle riding and volunteering. Stefani says, "I should be the next Apprentice because I lead by being enthusiastic, and enthusiasm is contagious and motivates people to work much harder."
Surya Yalamanchili, a 24-year-old brand manager from Cincinnati, Ohio
Surya was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania and raised in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Surya's entrepreneurial spirit was evident early on when he started a successful e-commerce strategy company at age 15. Subsequently, he attended college and worked full-time as director of marketing at a publishing/web company, overseeing a significant
marketing budget. While at Rutgers University, he was class president and commencement speaker, graduating with honors and earning a B.S. degree in finance and psychology. Today, a brand manager for a top-ranking Fortune 500 company, Surya crafts corporate strategy to help the company evolve its media plans to keep up with changing consumer habits. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering, playing basketball,
reading and traveling. Surya says he should be the next Apprentice because he "can operate with the passion and energy of an entrepreneur and bring along the discipline and savvy of a corporate executive."
Tim Urban, a 24-year-old tutoring company owner from Los Angeles, California
Tim was born and raised outside of Boston in Newton, Massachusetts, and graduated cum laude from Harvard University, where he majored in government. He moved to Los Angeles after college to write music and began tutoring on the side, but his side business proved so successful that he and a partner wound up launching an academic tutoring company, The Cartim Group, when Tim was just 22. Now running the company's daily operations, Tim employs 20 tutors and projects his company's annual revenue at over $1 million. Still devoted to his main passion – writing music – Tim spends his free time composing and playing the piano, and his first album is expected to be released in early 2007. "I should be the next Apprentice," he says, "because I have always welcomed a massive challenge, and I approach everything I take on with passion and energy."
(All photos credit NBC/Mitchell Haaseth.)
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