As most of you know I’m always interested in exchanging information with people who have successfully crafted strong personal brands through careful attention to managing their reputations while in the public eye. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing such an individual. Carolyn Kepcher formerly of The Trump Organization and best known to the public for her role as Donald’s intelligent and level-headed top executive on the hit TV show “The Apprentice” has built a very strong personal brand. Donald hand picked Carolyn for her part on “The Apprentice” from the ranks of his senior executives. “She’s also very firm, very tough, very smart, very shrewd and has good judgment” said Trump. My perception based on my interactions with Carolyn is that she has played her cards well…She has obviously leveraged her experience, savvy and very strong work ethic to create a level of personal branding to be envied by all. On to the interview…
Mike Myatt: Our readers are obviously familiar with you based upon your role with The Trump Organization and “The Apprentice,” but please give us some background on your career prior to your association with Trump.
Carolyn Kepcher: Considering that I have worked for The Trump Organization for 11 years, it is fair to say it has taken up most of my “career history” (I am 37). Prior to working for Donald I was employed with a management company, which is how I actually met him. I was operating one of the properties he purchased and after we closed on the property he asked me to join his organization.
Mike Myatt: What do you feel are your greatest strengths?
Carolyn Kepcher: I have developed excellent communications skills along with an innate sense of how to manage people, process and risk while still achieving the desired objectives.
Mike Myatt: What would you say was your “defining moment” as an executive?
Carolyn Kepcher: I held a senior management position at a very young age in a predominately male arena…the golf industry. While this was very difficult because I had a lot to prove, I learned many invaluable lessons about what it takes to be successful in business.
Mike Myatt: Do you have a mentor and how important was that person to you?
Carolyn Kepcher: Yes…His name was John Murray and I worked under him before I worked for Donald. He taught me “the ropes” because he had a genuine interest in my success. I could not have risen to EVP status without his guidance years ago.
Mike Myatt: Who do you respect most in the world of business?
Carolyn Kepcher: There are really too many people who deserve mention…I have benefited from many quality relationships that have afforded me experience, wisdom, assistance, guidance and opportunity. As a result I have a profound respect for many of those whose paths I’ve crossed and for many others whom I’ve yet to have the pleasure of meeting.
Mike Myatt: If you could give one piece of advice to our readers what would that be?
Carolyn Kepcher: Seek out and find what matters in life! It isn’t easy, especially for a woman to balance a career, a family and YOU! Stay true to your beliefs, find steady ground (although it isn’t easily found), keep your PRIORITIES in check and choose your spouse carefully.
Mike Myatt: What’s next for Carolyn Kepcher?
Carolyn Kepcher: I have recently formed Carolyn & Co. for the purposes of providing a broad array of services and assistance to career women. Given my background and experience I have a very unique perspective on what it takes to become a successful woman in today’s competitive marketplace. I have developed a passion and desire for sharing my insights with other career women seeking a better quality personal and professional life and have developed a business around fulfilling the unmet needs of the working woman. Among other things, Carolyn & Co. will provide women with an opportunity to chat with experts as well as collaborate with other women experiencing similar circumstances and situations. More information can be found at www.carolynkepcher.com.
Mike Myatt: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Carolyn Kepcher: Don’t believe everything you read!