Long Island Bred: The Apprentice's Chris Russo
by Derek Grosso
Chris Russo, a Senior Vice President at Gunn Allen Financial in Westbury, can be described in many ways. All of which are indicative of success in business and that of an accomplished entrepreneurer. We caught up with Chris, from Season 2 of NBC's "The Apprentice," to talk about what he has been up to since the show, living and working on Long Island.
Where are you located right now?
I still live in Mineola. My office is in Westbury.
What are you currently working on?
In June I was in Malibu shooting the show, "Battle of the Network Reality Stars," which aired in August on Bravo. Its 32 reality people competing in sports like they did in the 80's. It was a great time and I hope to be able to compete in a future show.
Have you had any big news or announcements since you were "fired" from The Apprentice?
My son Marco Russo was born on August 29th and has been the greatest gift that I received in life. We opened another office on 30 Wall Street, right across from the NY Stock Exchange. It was a dream of mine since I became a financial advisor 10 years ago. I have been a regular on Fox News Networks Financial shows. I have done over 20 appearances which has been a great honor because these were the shows I watched every Saturday morning, and I was a fan of Neil Cavuto. Wow, looking back over the last year I have been truly blessed.
If you had been hired as The Apprentice, how would it have made your life different?
Oh forget about it, the opportunities would have been endless. I am very good at taking a situation and maximizing its gains. I could and would have found a way to parlay it into some serious wealth. Keep in mind the key word is wealth not money, there is a big difference.
You obviously visited the Island of Manhattan for the show... any interesting stories or places you care to talk to us about with regard to Long Island?
Being a New Yorker it was home for me. I love the fact of not having to drive back on the LIE or take a train home. I lived in the prestigious, globally known Trump Tower. What's better than that?
If there were an opportunity to do an All-Star Apprentice (with top candidates from all seasons competing again for a job with The Trump Organization), knowing what you now do about yourself and some of the other candidates, would you compete?
That's a great question. First of all I think it would be a very different show. They would choose the more popular characters, which would have their agents make sure they were getting paid very well to be there. I don't think people would compete as hard because they are already getting paid and just want the airtime not the job. Trust me, that is the ONLY reason anyone would put themselves through such a challenging experience. If you don't believe me, see how many people would compete in an All-Stars, that wasn't going to be televised. And secondly, even if I were chosen my wife would not want me to be away again. It was rough on her while I was gone (she was pregnant) and when I came back all the attention was on me and not the baby. It was a rough crossroad for my wife and myself, so I don't know if I would push my luck. If she were cool about it I would definitely consider it.
In what location would you hope a show like this be taped?
New York City. I would need to be close to my family.
What is your favorite restaurant?
I enjoy Parkside in Corona, Queens. I have also become a regular at Conti's on Northern Blvd. I can honestly say they have they best food, outside of my own kitchen of course.
What is your favorite U.S. city?
Come on man, New York. (Although Vegas is a close second).
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Croatia and Vegas
What is your favorite word?
What is your favorite TV show?
What is your favorite personal quote?
"Sometimes Less is More."
Is there anything else you would care to mention that we haven’t talked about?
If there is anyone out there who is looking for a portfolio review, I would love to conduct one for anyone who is interested. Business has been great and I would love to be able to help as many people as possible become wealthy.
For those who want to know more about Chris, his business opportunities and appearances, visit www.crusso.com.