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Time Flies When You're Having Fun
A Mid-Year Update from The Apprentice 4 Winner Randal Pinkett

Monday, June 5, 2006, 8:21 am Pacific

The most popular question I am asked is, “What have you been up to?” Lately, my response is, “What have I not been up to!” The purpose of this blog entry is to update the many people that have reached out to me, either directly or via my website, to find out how my life has progressed since The Apprentice 4 finale. Suffice it to say that I am continuing to move forward in a number of exciting ways.

I will begin by taking this opportunity to say, “thank you,” to the many viewers and fans that have reached out to me to congratulate me on becoming the fourth apprentice and to wish me luck in my future endeavors. My family and I are genuinely grateful for your kind words and ongoing support. I have been blessed in a great many ways and high on the list is the opportunity to meet and interact with all of you in my travels throughout the country. So, once again, I sincerely thank you.

The Apprenticeship

For my apprenticeship with Donald Trump, I am currently working for Trump Entertainment Resorts (TER) in Atlantic City, New Jersey (NJ is not only my home state, but it is also home to my first alma mater, Rutgers University, which was recently featured on The Apprentice 5). I am helping manage a $110M renovation of our three resorts, namely, Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza and Trump Marina. This project entails the transformation of the promenade that connects our main parking deck to the main floor at Taj Mahal; the reconstruction of our Asian-themed bar at Taj Mahal; the construction of an anticipated 800-room tower at Taj Mahal; and the introduction of our new 24 Central Café at Plaza; in addition to various improvements to the interior design at all of the properties. In addition to this renovation project, Mr. Trump and the executives at TER have also asked me to contribute to two other projects. First, an information technology project that involves upgrading the computer systems for our entire organization, which is comprised of approximately 1,200 employees. Second, a role in the public relations and community relations for our proposed expansion into Philadelphia – a $350M resort named “Trump Street”. In just six months, I have amassed a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience from Mr. Trump, which is exactly what I had hoped for when I auditioned for the show. I have very much enjoyed my time working with Mr. Trump and the entire team at TER, whereas we have established a mutual sense of admiration and respect.

While the assignment with TER is my primary focus this year, I have also been blessed with a number of other exciting opportunities. I am deeply humbled by the positive response to my victory from the publishing, public speaking, corporate, media and philanthropic communities, as people continue to present me with new opportunities.

Books & Publications

I am authoring two books. The first book is The Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur's Guide to Launching a Multi-Million Dollar Business will be published by Kaplan and will be available in March 2007. I am still in discussions with publishers concerning my second book, Black Faces in White Places, which I am co-authoring with my close friend, college roommate, and business partner, Dr. Jeffrey Robinson. It chronicles our experiences as African Americans who have successfully navigated predominantly white institutions.

Speaking & Endorsements

I maintain a regular calendar of speaking engagements with audiences including corporations, such as Pepsi and Walgreens; colleges and universities such as Duke and the University of Virginia; government agencies such as the U.S. Small Business Administration and Miami-Dade County; educational institutions such as East Orange Public Schools; community organizations such as the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project; and business owners such as the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference.

I have signed a radio and television commercial deal with Outback Steakhouse, whom many will recall as the sponsor of my final task. We expect to film the commercial later this year. I volunteer as a national spokesperson for Autism Speaks, a charitable organization that is dedicated to raising awareness about autism as well as funds to support autism research. Once again, many will recall that my final task was a charity fundraiser for Autism Speaks. It was an eye-opening experience to learn how prevalent autism is and how it affects families, so I am proud to help in this capacity. I have signed a few product endorsement and public appearance contracts. One of the more noteworthy arrangements is with Verizon. In addition to helping advance their overall marketing agenda , I am making regular public appearances on behalf of Verizon in support of their "Fiber Optic Services" (FiOS) effort to deploy fiber optic cabling to residences across the country as well as their "Verizon Shotcaller Showdown" business plan competition for minority high school students. Another notable arrangement was, not surprisingly, to promote The Apprentice Mobile Phone Game by RealNetworks. I was pleasantly surprised to see myself as one of the characters in the boardroom (it even looks like me!).

Other Opportunities

I’ve also made my first foray into politics. I am co-chairing the transition team for Cory Booker, the Mayor-elect of the City of Newark, NJ (site designed by my company, BCT Partners) where my company, BCT Partners, is located. My role is to develop economic development policy recommendations for the Mayor-elect as he officially transitions into office on July 1, 2006. Corey is a friend and a fellow Rhodes Scholar, so I am excited to help him bring positive changes to Newark.

Last, but not least, I remain connected to BCT Partners, a management, technology and policy consulting services firm that I co-founded. We have an extremely capable management team that oversees the company’s operations while I focus on my assignment with TER. BCT has entered into a joint venture with Plexus Scientific Corporation to offer our first product, Visual Performance Suite (VPS), a performance management software application. Furthermore, I’ve been clear with Mr. Trump that regardless of whether we mutually decide to extend my apprenticeship, at some point in the future I will return to BCT full-time.

This is a snapshot of my apprenticeship as well as some of the other professional activities that have occupied my time since The Apprentice 4 finale. The phrase is indeed true that time flies when you’re having fun as I cannot believe I’m at the midstream point of my assignment! I’ve been extremely busy but have enjoyed every minute. Perhaps you can now see why my response to various inquiries is, “What have I not been up to!” Moreover, when I’m not working for Mr. Trump or traveling around the country, I continue to strive to maintain my commitment to my five F’s: family, friends, faith, fellowship, and fun. This was the case before the show and it remains the same hereafter.

Feel free to read the announcements or articles and press releases here on my website. Stay tuned for more updates by visiting me here at www.randalpinkett.com and God bless you.

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