Carolyn Kepcher is the Chief Operating Officer and General Manager for the Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York and the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. She has been with the Trump Organization since 1994 and currently oversees the day-to-day operations of over 250 employees at both Trump golf properties. She is also a key player in the development of future Trump golf properties in New York and California. On NBC’s “The Apprentice,” Kepcher is featured every week as a boardroom judge and her observations play a vital role in influencing host Donald Trump’s decisions. At the golf clubs in Briarcliff Manor, New York and Bedminster, New Jersey, Kepcher played a crucial, hands-on role in the acquisition, development, marketing and start-up operations. She worked on all stages of construction with famed golf course architects Tom, Jim and Tommy Fazio as the golf courses were built to Trump’s specifications. Today, there are over 450 members consisting of high profile business executives, professional athletes, political leaders and celebrities. In 2003, Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor was rewarded with the prestigious Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. With Kepcher’s vision and leadership, these courses have become venues for high-profile celebrity events and tournaments. Both golf properties are destined to host top PGA and LPGA tournaments.
In addition to overseeing the development of $80 million in golf course construction and $40 million in clubhouse construction, she is also responsible for overseeing the $150 million real estate sales offering of the Residences at Trump National. This is the highest value condominium development in Westchester County.
Kepcher’s role in the dynamic golf industry demands excellent organizational and managerial skills, along with a keen insight into the games’ trends. Within the Trump Organization, she has gained a reputation for creating aggressive sales and operating budgets and exceeding expectations. She is a member of many prestigious golf organizations including the Club Manager’s Association of America, the Metropolitan Club Manager’s Association, Professional Club Marketing Association and National Golf Course Owners Association.
Before her employment with the Trump Organization, Kepcher was the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Beck Summit Hotel Management Group, a nation-wide management company headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. The company owns and operates hotels and resorts throughout the United States. Her responsibilities included formulating budgets, implementing operational systems, negotiating management contracts and creating marketing programs.
"To be perfectly honest, I'm a little too wrapped up in my real job right now to actually go out and enjoy it." -Carolyn Kepcher, on her Apprentice fame.
"How I got involved in [The Apprentice] is a very, very long story. Here it is: [Donald Trump] asked and I said yes." -Carolyn Kepcher
Carolyn Kepcher was born in 1968 in Westchester, New York. As a teen, Carolyn kept herself busy selling products door-to-door for Avon and captaining her high school volleyball team. By the time she graduated from college, she knew that her drive and ambition could lead to a successful career in business. She took a job as a waitress at a Manhattan restaurant, and had soon ascended to become manager. By the early '90s, she had taken a job as director of sales and marketing for the Beck Summit Hotel Management Group.
During her time with Beck Summit, Carolyn had to restore a run-down golf club in preparation for a bank auction. This project led to a 1994 meeting with famed developer Donald Trump, whom she advised about the best use for the property. Trump was so impressed that he purchased the course, then hired her to run it. "I was 25, a woman, and had never run a golf club in my life," she's recalled. "But since Donald Trump trusted that I could handle it, I trusted myself to handle it."
Carolyn Kepcher on the' Apprentice'
Carolyn quickly proved herself to her new boss, and went on to take charge of the Trump National Golf Clubs in New York and New Jersey. She eventually became not only general manager and chief operating officer of the golf clubs, but also executive vice president of the Trump Organization.
Trump's esteem for Carolyn made her a natural choice when he had to assemble a panel for his new reality TV show, The Apprentice, in 2004. Carolyn's role on the show was to help Trump decide which candidate would be "fired" from the show, and, in doing so, she lived up to her tough reputation. Her newfound fame, moreover, allowed her to co-write a book later that same year, entitled Carolyn 101: Business Lessons from the Apprentice's Straight Shooter.
Since the debut of The Apprentice, Carolyn has been in demand as a speaker, relating her experiences as a self-made female executive to corporate audiences. She was a keynote speaker at the New Jersey Governor's Conference for Women in October of 2004, and has spoken on Business Week's Living Leadership panel, alongside her own boss, "the Donald" and former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev.
Carolyn continues to oversee day-to-day operations at the Trump National Golf Clubs, and is helping to develop other courses in New York and California. She currently lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut, with her husband George and their two young children, Connor and Cassidy.
We like how Carolyn Kepcher rose in the corporate world using her drive and abilities, and we can't help but relish how she cuts those wannabes on The Apprentice no slack whatsoever. We'd hire her in a second.
Famous Carolyn Kepcher
Donald Trump's right-hand woman for many years, Carolyn Kepcher has become famous outside the business world with her appearances as a judge on the hit series The Apprentice. A native of Westchester, New York, Carolyn Kepcher didn't start at the top of corporate America -- she first paid her dues selling Avon and waiting tables. With a drive to succeed and natural talent, she quickly crossed over from blue-collar labor into white-collar management. By the mid-1990s, Carolyn had been hired by Donald Trump. She is now a senior officer of his company.
Carolyn would still be unknown to the American public had her flamboyant boss not asked her to be a part of the judging panel on his reality series The Apprentice. Fans quickly grew to love her tough, professional attitude on the show.
Although her Apprentice fame has led to other TV appearances, speaking engagements and even her own book of business tips, Carolyn 101: Business Lessons from the Apprentice's Straight Shooter, Carolyn remains focused on her work for Trump.
Carolyn Kepcher is a steely, no-nonsense kind of woman. She feels that, to stay on top in the business world, you need to be tough and neither make nor take any excuses. Her intractable demeanor means that she can often come off as cold and humorless. It didn't help that in her book, Carolyn 101, she called her family, "The Kepcher Organization," and her parents, "team captains."
Carolyn's professional persona may not be the warmest, but it is indicative of her business acumen. She's rapidly risen through the ranks of every company she's worked for, including Trump's organization. It's a testament to her managerial skills that, for example, she turned the Trump National Golf Clubs into successes without knowing anything about the game of golf when she was first hired.
Carolyn Kepcher isn't one to mix business with pleasure. Only three episodes into the first season of The Apprentice, Carolyn took the female contestants to task for trying to use their sex appeal to score extra points, and even suggested that the teams be reorganized to mix up the men and women better. She's obviously no fan of the office romance.
Even in other situations that could use a little informality, Carolyn rejects familiarity in favor of strict professionalism; for example, she insists on being called "Ms. Kepcher" during interviews. Of course, there are some who like strong, bossy women, but we doubt that Carolyn, a wife and mother of two, would take to being called "Mistress Kepcher."
Carolyn Kepcher has had an impressive career by any standards. She went from being a plucky, ambitious waitress to a restaurant manager by the time she was in her early 20s. Then, after only a few years as a corporate manager, she caught the eye of none other than Donald Trump. A decade later, she had become one of Trump's top lieutenants, serving as general manager and chief operations officer of his National Golf Clubs.
Outside of business circles, all of Carolyn's fame has come from her appearances on The Apprentice. Minor as her stardom may be, she has parlayed it into her own book, Carolyn 101: Business Lessons from the Apprentice's Straight Shooter, high-profile speaking engagements, and TV appearances on The View, The O'Reilly Factor and even Saturday Night Live.
Carolyn Kepcher may not have movie star good looks, but she has many positive physical attributes. Light blonde hair, fair skin, high cheekbones, and a set of penetrating blue-gray eyes all work to her advantage, offsetting her slightly elongated face and thin lips. What brings her features most to life is the keen intelligence that lies behind them.
Her career has had both good and bad effects on Carolyn's beauty. On the plus side, she looks great by comparison sitting alongside less-attractive financial players (including her boss, Donald "What does he do to his hair, anyway" Trump). On the other hand, Carolyn's serious persona makes her seem older than she is, and detracts from her likeability.
One of the rules Carolyn Kepcher lives by is the old adage, "dress for success." You're most likely to see her dressed in a power suit and low-cut blouse. She keeps her hair styled in a prudent blend of the professional and the feminine, cut at a manageable shoulder-length with bangs in front.
Although Carolyn looks sharp in the business world, she doesn't seem too interested in clothes for clothes' sake. Sharp-eyed viewers noted that Carolyn wore the same earrings on her O'Reilly Factor appearance as she did on The Apprentice. Maybe that sums up Carolyn Kepcher's style best: elegant yet economical.
Carolyn Kepcher - Trump's Right Hand Woman
Hand-picked by Trump from the ranks of his top executives, Carolyn Kepcher acts as Donald's eyes and ears on NBC's runaway hit show, "The Apprentice." Kepcher is seen each week seated on Donald's left in the dreaded boardroom.
"She's also very firm, very tough, very smart, very shrewd and has good judgment," Trump says of Kepcher, who is also an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, as well as general manager and chief operating officer for two Trump National golf clubs, in Briarcliff, N.Y., and Bedminster, N.J.
In the first episode, in Trump's introduction of Kepcher made it clear she was no softy. In the third episode, Kepcher took the women to task for their reliance on sex to win the first three challenges, letting them know this kind of behaviour was not going to get them the job. While somehow making it seem that she still wanted a woman to win.
Kepcher has been with Trump for about nine years. A native of Westchester, Kepcher came to Trump's company via the hospitality industry, where she was previously director of sales and marketing for the Beck Summit Hotel Management Group of Boca Raton, Fla.
Now a resident of Connecticut, Kepcher is married with two small children.
What's she looking for in a winning apprentice? Leadership, creativity, "the whole package," she says. "From working for Mr. Trump for the amount of time that I have, I know what he's looking for - a take-charge person . . . He's looking for truly talented people."
And Kepcher has no time to dwell on her newfound fame. "To be perfectly honest," she says, "I'm a little too wrapped up in my real job right now to actually go out and enjoy it."
Carolyn Kepcher: The Apprentice
Though her role on Donald Trump's reality TV series "The Apprentice" made her a celebrity, Carolyn Kepcher was often recognized by people who could not recall why she was famous. "I was at an event," she once recalled, "and... [Donald Trump's] wife came up to me and said, 'You look familiar,' and the person she was with said [whispering], 'That's the girl from The Apprentice.' And she said, 'You're that bitch on the show!'"
Carolyn Kepcher advised woman to never be emotional, always be confident
For Carolyn Kepcher, a high-energy level and perseverance have led to a top job in the Trump Organization and a key role on the television show "The Apprentice."
Kepcher is an executive vice president of the organization and chief operating officer of Trump National Golf Clubs in New York and New Jersey and has worked for real estate mogul Donald Trump for 10 years.
She and senior counsel George Ross inform Trump of how the competing teams on the reality show are performing. After weighing their reports, "The Donald" decides to whom he will say the now-famous words, "You're fired!"
Kepcher, whom many viewers see as unapproachable, was warm and encouraging Tuesday night as she discussed her career to about 350 people. The occasion was the YWCA Women's Leadership Initiative's "Welcome to the Boardroom: An Evening with Carolyn Kepcher" at La Centre in Westlake.
Local high school seniors who won a "Junior Apprentice" competition raising money for children's books said they liked Kepcher when they met her Tuesday night.
"It's not easy being a woman in a high position in business," said Jessica Crisi, one of seven seniors representing the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center in the contest.
The event was the highlight of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland's initiative, a career development program for women.
Kepcher, 35, touted her book, "Carolyn 101: Business Lessons from The Apprentice's Straight Shooter." She told the audience of mostly women that she succeeded because she had drive, she persevered, and she had lots of energy.
"People need to sit back and take inventory of [their careers] and you're not going to appreciate your achievement unless you do," she said in an interview before her speech.
She advised women to never be emotional; always be confident.
"If you can maintain a standard confidence level, I think that's the best thing you can possibly do," she said.
Carolyn Kepcher is Donald Trump's COO, not his barber
A day after shooting the final episode of The Apprentice, Carolyn Kepcher, Donald Trump's right-hand woman, arrived in Cleveland to give business advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs. But the most pressing question wasn't about commerce: Can't that rich man buy himself a decent comb-over?
Kepcher, stylish in four-inch stilettos, a pink turtleneck, and madras pants, replied coolly, "I'm his COO, not his barber."
Carolyn Kepcher gives lessons how to impress a boss
You won't learn answers to stock interview questions by watching Donald Trump's reality TV show "The Apprentice." But you will see first-hand examples of how -- and how not -- to impress a boss or hiring manager.
Here are seven lessons brought to you courtesy of The Donald and the rest of "The Apprentice" gang on how to get your interviewer to say "You're hired!"
1. Separate yourself from the pack: Don't be average. Hiring managers want someone who will go the extra mile and not fall into that corporate comfort zone. That's how Trump's boardroom assistant and executive vice president, Carolyn Kepcher, got her job.
According to Kepcher, the way to get your boss' attention and rise to the next level is to "define an area of responsibility that is entirely your own and then make that area outstanding."
2. Show you are a fit: You need to come across as a person whom others will be comfortable working with while demonstrating your unique skills and abilities.
Your friends may find your quirks charming, but at work you need to appear calm, professional and in control. Displaying excessive emotion, making ill attempts at humor, exhibiting Stacy J.-like superstition or engaging in any other behavior that could be seen as odd or unstable will eliminate you from consideration.
3. Look the part: Studies show that people form lasting impressions of others within the first 27 seconds of meeting them. In competitive situations such as "The Apprentice," you can be sized up in as little as three seconds. If you dress too formally, you may give the impression of being rigid. If you are too casual, you send the signal you do not take the interview -- or the job -- seriously.
Before selecting what to wear, talk to employees at the company where you will be interviewing and find out the dress code. And lest we beat it to death with Raj's cane, you should be well-groomed and your clothes clean, tailored and pressed.
4. Take ownership: If you don't speak up for yourself or assert your expertise, no one else will. Companies are looking for employees who will take the initiative and make their own opportunities.
When interviewing with a prospective employer, never portray yourself as a victim. You could end up like Rob, who contributed little in the first task and was fired after complaining he was "underutilized."
5. Demonstrate your versatility: With corporate reshufflings becoming almost an annual event, companies want employees who can shift from project to project and from team to team. Last season's winner, Bill Rancic, who now serves as a substitute boardroom assistant, said he won the job because of his agility.
"A lot of people went week after week using the same techniques and management style; that's not how it is in the real world," Rancic said. In his new book, "You're Hired," Rancic advises job hunters to show they are flexible and can adapt to new tasks and situations.
6. Don't let your ego rule: Self-confidence is great, but avoid exaggerating your accomplishments or coming across as brash or arrogant. Bradford, a lawyer and real estate investor, earned exemption from being fired after leading his team to victory in the first competition. But in a moment of boardroom bravado, he threw it away, confident his abilities would carry him.
Though Trump considered Bradford "the best person in the room," he saw the move as "extremely impulsive and stupid." He fired him saying, "If you were running a company and made that kind of decision, you could destroy that company instantaneously."
7. Remember names: Of course Bradford's other boardroom slip-up occurred when he referred to Trump exec Kepcher as Caroline (with a long "I") instead of Carolyn. Learn the names of your interviewers. Know how to spell -- and pronounce -- them.
Despite the glamour and glitz, "The Apprentice" is just like any other job interview. It's not enough to give potential employers a reason to hire you; you need to be smart enough to avoid reasons for them not to hire you.
BioSpace 2005 Career Expo to Feature ''The Apprentice'' Co-Star Carolyn Kepcher
BioSpace, the leading provider of life science career fairs, announced today that Carolyn Kepcher, Executive Vice President of The Trump Organization and star of the hit television program "The Apprentice," will be the featured guest speaker for the BioSpace 2005 Career Expo at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel on Tuesday, June 21, 2005.
Ms. Kepcher's speaking program is by invitation only and exclusively for those Human Resources professionals exhibiting at the BioSpace event. Her talk will follow a special cocktail reception at the conclusion of the Career Expo on Tuesday, June 21. Ms. Kepcher will address topics and issues relevant to the Human Resources field and also answer questions from the audience. "We wanted to create additional value for our loyal exhibitors," said Chris Amato, Career Innovations' Founder and President. "Having Carolyn Kepcher speak enhances the overall experience. While she is entertaining on 'The Apprentice,' her role in The Trump Organization makes her uniquely qualified to address a myriad of career development issues." Additionally, all BioSpace HR exhibitors will receive a signed copy of Ms. Kepcher's book, "Carolyn 101: Business Lessons from The Apprentice's Straight Shooter."
BioSpace has successfully produced and managed the BIO career fair for the past four years and has decided this year to produce its own event and move it to a more convenient time. "Holding the event during the actual conference means more conferees will benefit," said Amato. "Our experience has shown that exhibitors struggle with the demands of staffing a Sunday event. This format will provide for the highest level of opportunity for our exhibitors and job seekers alike." The event will be held on Tuesday, June 21 during the week of the convention in order to make it easier for attendees of the conference to participate.
From its proprietary Life Science Talent Database of over 750,000 life science professionals, BioSpace targets and invites those individuals matching the criteria supplied by its HR exhibitors before the event. This unique and efficient screening process guarantees the most relevant job seekers at the Expo. BioSpace is the largest life science career fair company in the United States and has produced over 100 Career Expos in the U.S. and Canada over the past 7 years.
About Carolyn Kepcher
The Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, Carolyn Kepcher's popularity has recently soared with her role on the NBC hit reality series "The Apprentice." Known as "Trump's sidekick," the 35-year-old Kepcher is the Chief Operating Officer and General Manager for the Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York and The Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. She has been with the Trump Organization since 1994 and currently oversees the day-to-day operations of over 250 employees at both Trump golf properties.
Described by Donald Trump as a "professional and a perfectionist," Kepcher is talented, well-respected and competent, and "never does anything less than a great job." A tireless worker and a firm believer that perseverance leads to accomplishment, Kepcher speaks with authority on a variety of issues such as a woman's role in corporate America, leadership, change, balance, overcoming stereotypes and obstacles, and management.
Carolyn Kepcher's new book '' Carolyn 101: Business Lessons from The Apprentace's Straight Shooter''
Kepcher, 35, is the chief operating officer and general manager for the Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor and the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. She is also an executive vice president of the Trump Organization. On "The Apprentice," a television show in its second season where contestants compete for an apprenticeship with the Trump Organization, Kepcher serves as the eyes and ears for Trump. She observes team competition in the field and is a boardroom judge.
In her book, written with Stephen Fenichell, Kepcher provides tips on asking for a raise, being a good employee, balancing work and family and other business issues. The following is an excerpt of a recent interview with Kepcher.
Question: Who do you see as the target audience for this book?
Answer: I think the target audience is basically anybody who is just coming out of college or somebody who is looking to get back into the workplace or somebody who is really looking to make a career change or move up.
Q: You wrote that your personal values can be summed up in a sentence, "Whatever you do, always remain a lady." What does that mean to you?
A: It's really talking about the way you want to be perceived. Sometimes you get so angry you just want to yell at somebody or something. Sometimes you just want to break down and cry. There's a million emotions there. Sometimes you just want to go back at somebody because they said something to you or something against your idea. But if you remain a constant and you remain a lady, you will always be remembered as that and you'll be respected.
Q: You strike me as extremely confident, even at a fairly young age. You were making presentations before Donald Trump at age 25. What would you say gave you that confidence?
A: You could say I've actually learned it. I said this in my book, which is very funny, that I think being a waitress is the best approach to a sales position. You force yourself to meet people all the time, talk to them, sell yourself, sell a product, close the deal and hopefully make money at the end. ... If you don't handle yourself properly, you probably won't get far.
Q: You wrote quite a bit about mentors. Where do you suggest people turn if they haven't found one within their workplace?
A: It's really hard, isn't it? It truly is something that's very hard. That's something where again you have to kind of spot an opportunity. There might be somebody who might be a very good mentor and you wouldn't even know it. You may be actually talking to this person on a daily basis and you wouldn't even recognize that this would in fact be a good mentor.
Q: You wrote that when Donald Trump first approached you about "The Apprentice," you said "It sounds pretty hokey." Do you still think it's a hokey idea?
A: No. And I didn't think it was hokey when it was explained to me. I had this vision of 16 contestants running around the Trump Organization offices with cameras, and cameras going on contracts in the middle of negotiations. I said this is just going to be absolutely disruptive and nobody's really going to want to do business with us. ... Once it was explained to me, I thought it was brilliant.
Q: What is the single most important tip for people who want to succeed in business?
A: Persist and perseverance is basically it. I've gone through my road down here - I should say my road up here - and it's because numerous times I probably should have quit or just walked off or left because I wasn't happy, but I saw this opportunity, and I saw an end result or goal and I was just going to continue going on until I met that goal.