NEW YORK (AP) – Donald Trump selected Kendra Todd as his first female “Apprentice,” handing her a job with his organization and a $250,000 salary at the close of the NBC reality show’s live finale Thursday night.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Todd told The Associated Press after her win. “I was the girl who used to watch this on television and here I am. Dreams do come true. Just work hard and you’ll get there.

Todd, the 26-year-old “book smarts” real estate broker from Boynton Beach, Fla., bested entrepreneur and mother of two Tana Goertz, of Des Moines, during the final boardroom battle.

Goertz didn’t go down without a fight, assertively pointing out that a winning idea for a round Pontiac brochure during one of the tasks was her idea.

“I was pretty sure that was going to happen,” Todd said. “Believe me, I had my strategies in line. I knew everything that they might come at me with. I am a team player. I give credit where credit is due. … (But) certainly there’s more to a brochure than just the shape.”

In the previous two “Apprentice” finales, Trump chose cigar business owner Bill Rancic to oversee the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and software executive Kelly Perdew to work on the Trump Place real estate development and Trump Ice bottled water projects in New York.

Trump is already in search of another “Apprentice.” The fourth season and a spin-off starring Martha Stewart are in production.

On the Net:

AP-ES-05-19-05 2343EDT

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