News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 10, 2013

‘The Apprentice’ winner to speak at Chamber dinner

Bill Rancic was first season winner

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — You’re hired!

That’s what the speaker at this year’s Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce 100th anniversary annual meeting heard from Donald Trump back in 2004 on the reality TV show, “The Apprentice.”

Bill Rancic, the winner of the first season of the NBC primetime show, is scheduled to speak to approximately 800 chamber members and their guests at the business advocacy group’s annual meeting in Hulman Center on Aug. 28.

“Typically, this is a sell-out event,” said Lori Danielson, chairwoman of the annual meeting committee. “We think this year, being the 100th anniversary, is even more exciting.”

Those attending will get to journey back in time as the chamber is teaming with the Vigo County Historical Society to present a “living timeline,” highlighting landmark moments from the city’s past 100 years of business, Danielson said. Those attending will also “experience some of the unique ways that business was conducted years ago,” she said.

The evening will also include a silent auction, which organizers say will include unique and valuable items, and also awards presentations to area business leaders.

“This year’s 100th annual meeting will be a celebration of the past, present and future of the Terre Haute business community and specifically, how doing business in Terre Haute has changed over the past one hundred years,” chamber president Ken Brengle said.

Rancic, the keynote speaker, is a best-selling author and real estate developer. He also produces and stars in several television programs including the A&E series “We Mean Business” and the Style Network’s reality series “Giuliana and Bill.” He is the executive producer of the Discovery Channel program “Repo Man.”

Since winning the first season of “The Apprentice,” Rancic has also made regular appearances on television programs such as “Today,” “The Tonight Show,” “The View” and various CNBC programs.

“He is the perfect speaker for an event like this,” Brengle said, “as he will tie in his personal business experience, leadership characteristics and business success tips for navigating change, all of which contribute to the future success of any business large or small.”

Rancic is also deeply committed to the idea of “giving back” to his community, Danielson said, a message that fits well with the chamber’s work over the past 100 years.

“I think it is important to look back at what the community and the businesses have accomplished and really come together and celebrate that,” Danielson said. “But let’s also push forward. There’s a lot of great momentum in the community right now.”

Tickets are $100 per person or $640 for a table of eight. They are available through the chamber’s website,, or by calling 812-232-2391. Sponsorship packages are also still available, Danielson said.