URI graduate flies high with the Trumps
Elizabeth Rau, 401-874-2116
KINGSTON, RI, Jan. 8, 2013 – Amanda Miller might admit she goes up, up and away on Donald Trump’s private jet, but don’t expect her to reveal what she’s writing in her notebook on the real estate magnate’s hit reality show.
Those writings are secret. “Just some observations,’’ says Miller, with a chuckle. Fans of “Celebrity Apprentice’’ surely recognize Miller, a 2008 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, as the show’s discreet “receptionist’’ who barely utters a word.
That’s fine with the 26-year-old New Yorker, who is thrilled to land the part and also work for Trump as vice president of marketing for the Trump Organization, his real estate and business empire based in the Big Apple.
How did she go in such a jiffy from college to an international company run by one of the most famous men in the world? Hard work and serendipity.
She met Trump and his family while working as a 15-year-old waitress at Trump National Golf Course in Westchester, N.Y., where Miller grew up. She made such a good impression he hired her two weeks after she graduated from URI’s textiles, fashion merchandising, and design program in the College of Human Sciences and Services.
“I’ve always loved fashion,’’ she says. “And I loved the program at URI.’’ She took a variety of fashion-related classes and discovered in a college sewing class that she wasn’t much of a seamstress, so she concentrated in merchandising and business.
Her job for The Donald is a perfect fit. She handles marketing for his real estate and golf interests and is also involved in daughter Ivanka Trump’s collection, helping market her expanding brand of clothes, shoes, handbags, sunglasses, fine jewelry and perfume.
“It’s been incredible,’’ says Miller. “I absolutely love my job and the variety of projects I’m privileged to work on. It’s been exciting to use my fashion experience from URI on the Ivanka Trump Brand, now one of the fastest growing in the industry.”
The TV show is a lot of fun too, says Miller, whose famous and oft-quoted line is “Mr. Trump will see you in the boardroom now.’’ She gets to hobnob with celebrities, including Gary Busey, Stephen Baldwin, LaToya Jackson, Trace Adkins, Marilu Henner, and Lisa Rinna.
For the record, Poison frontman Bret Michaels was one of her favorite contestants. “You could really see the heart he put into every task,’’ she says. Former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza was special too: “Beautiful on the inside and out.’’
This season, contestants will compete to raise money for charities. Every week, they’ll work in teams to complete tasks, using their fame and business skills to win. Each task ends in the boardroom, where Trump and his advisors judge the results, sometimes with furrowed brow.
“Celebrity Apprentice’’ isn’t Miller’s only claim to fame. In a three-minute YouTube video she gives viewers a tour of Trump’s custom-designed jet with gold-plated seat belts, a 57-inch television, a guest room with two mohair sofas, and a master suite with gold silk walls. The master bathroom is outfitted with a shower and a 24-karat gold-plated sink.
Since it’s debut a year ago, the video has become a YouTube sensation, with more than 2 million hits and coverage in the press worldwide. “It’s amazing,’’ Miller says, of the 757. “Absolutely beautiful!’’
As for the Trumps, well, she says they are great employers. “I couldn’t be luckier to work here,’’ she says. “We have such great people at the Trump Organization. I have terrific bosses who are an inspiration for a young businesswoman.’’
Her parents are delighted with her accomplishments. Her father, Glenn Miller, an insurance executive, attended URI for two years in the 1970s. “I have a wonderful family that has been supportive all along,’’ she says. “I’m extremely grateful.’’
To see Miller in all her roles, visit nbc.com/the-apprentice, “Mr. Trump’s 757’’ on YouTube, and trump.com. You can also catch her on the season premiere of “Celebrity Apprentice’’ in March.
Miller will be watching the first episode, just like millions of other viewers. “I can’t wait for each week. It’s all been incredibly fun – and amazing. I certainly appreciate everything.’’
Amanda Miller, a 2008 graduate of the University of Rhode Island and vice president of marketing for the Trump Organization.
Photos courtesy of the Trump Organization.