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FAU Grad from Wellington Fired From 'Apprentice'

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FAU Grad from Wellington Fired From 'Apprentice'

?Apprentice? Marisa DeMato of Boca ?fired? by Donald Trump

Feb. 18, 2007
By By Skip Sheffield
Boca Raton News

If you?re going to be fired, you might as well do in a grand way.

Marisa DeMato was fired by no less than Donald Trump Jan. 28 on the fourth episode of NBC-TV?s nationally broadcast Sunday night series, ?The Apprentice.? DeMato, 28, took the experience calmly and unflinching, with dignity intact.

?The Kinetic team was a great team,? she said recently, relaxing at Sanborn Square in Boca Raton. ?We had sales, marketing, entertainment industry and lawyers. We got to stay in a beautiful mansion on Mulholland Drive that had a spectacular view of Los Angeles. I thought I came up with a good idea with the chicken suit, but Heidi shot it down. I think she had a real problem with me. I know I?m a very strong person. I could see it coming.?

?It? is Donald Trump?s stern declaration, ?You?re fired!?

Weep not for Marisa DeMato. The Wellingtonian already has a good day job as a lawyer at the Boca Raton office of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins. She has her own Web site (MarisaDeMato.com) and her friend and fellow lawyer Stuart Davidson has created a Marisa DeMato blog on Blogspot.com.

Nicknamed ?The Politico? on ?The Apprentice,? DeMato makes no bones about having political ambitions.

?I am still in contact with NBC,? she confirms. ?And they will be flying me back to California for the finale. Everyone on the show has an agenda. I was thrilled when they nicknamed me `The Politico? because I do have political aspirations.?

DeMato majored in political science at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and while an undergraduate she served as an intern for U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler. When she was in law school at the University of Baltimore, she was a legal intern in the office of the attorney general of Maryland.

Like all ?Apprentice? contestants, DeMato was selected at a casting call. In her case, it was Tampa in March of last year. When DeMato made the first cut, she returned for a second round in Tampa.

Excitement was mounting in her law office as she made that cut and was invited to fly to California to meet Trump himself.

?For the first time, Donald Trump personally selected each of the candidates,? she revealed. ?We didn?t know we were going to meet him. He is very involved in the California production.? So are Trump?s daughter Ivanka and son Donald, Jr.

?I got along very well with Ivanka,? she reported. ?I admire Donald Jr. He is very serious and has a strong work ethic, like his dad.?

Despite her rapport with the Trumps, DeMato ran afoul of another alpha female, Kinetic team captain Heidi Androl. Both teams were charged with promoting a new dish at a California chicken restaurant chain called El Pollo Loco. Whichever team made the most money in one day would be declared winner.

DeMato said she wanted to call it the ?Bravado Bowl? but was shot down in favor of ?Paradise Pollo Bowl.?

Another of DeMato?s ideas was to have someone dress up in a chicken suit as the chain?s mascot to drum up business on the street. Heidi rejected the idea, but DeMato says there is more to it than meets the eye.

?What they didn?t show in the final edit was that the Arrow team used the chicken suit as part of its promotion. If they had showed that, I would have been vindicated.?

Nevertheless the Arrow Team won and DeMato was ?fired? from her non-paying job. At one point The Donald warned her to ?shut up? as she tried to defend herself.

In the time since she left the show, she has used her higher profile to advantage as a pro bono speaker for worthy causes such as the Democratic Party, cancer and stem cell research. At 6:30 p.m. March 2 she will speak at the American Diabetes Association Carnivale in Wellington.

?I?m her Number One fan,? declared Stuart Davidson. ?It was very exciting to have someone we know on national television. We are all very proud of Marisa, and we think she has a very bright future.?

?The Apprentice? airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on NBC-TV channels.
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