Marcus Lemonis is searching for the perfect business partner to help manage his fast-growing business portfolio in CNBC’s latest series. Out of the thousands of people that applied for “The Partner,” ten finalists were called to Chicago to participate in a series of challenges and demonstrate why they deserve to be Lemonis’ business partner through the ultimate interview process. They include:

  • Billy Canu, Owner of Brighthaus
  • Stephanie Sievers, CEO of Aneca Federal Credit Union
  • Chuck Brewer, Owner of Soupremacy
  • Michael Graves, Partner at Graves Advisory Group
  • Carrie Chitsey, CEO of One Touch Brand & BLK24
  • Erin Cobb, Founder of Float Seattle & Cobra Lounge
  • Peilin Pratt, Co-owner of
  • Buffie Purselle, Owner of Buffie the Tax Heiress
  • Ricardo Martinez, Founder of Ad Hoc Agency
  • Julianna Reed, Program Manager at I Am That Girl

According to the press release, Lemonis is looking for someone with incredible drive, integrity and passion who can “help inspire these up and coming business leaders, sustain their growth and their enthusiasm, and ensure that the sound investments we made today, are even more sound in the decades ahead.”

After some mixing and mingling (and one giant hug) among the candidates, Lemonis is immediately impressed by Stephanie’s confidence and Buffie’s preparation but shows initial concerns about Michael, Billy and self-proclaimed “hippie capitalist” Erin.

Their first challenge is to explain to Lemonis why they deserve to be the partner in a two-and-a-half minute pitch. There is, however, a twist: Lemonis hired a focus group to fill up the boardroom and “create intimidation” among the candidates. Many are shocked to walk in and find more than 50 people, in addition to being blinded by the bright lights and tripping over their words.

After the first test, Lemonis has a general idea of what each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses are and has his own standouts. Ultimately, however, only five people will make it to the next round. Moving forward on their journey are Chuck, Peilin, Erin, Buffie and Julianna.

ELIMINATED WEEK ONE: Carrie Chitsey, Michael Graves, Ricardo Martinez, Stephanie Sievers and Billy Canu

Social Media Reacts to “The Partner” Premiere

Marcus Lemonis, entrepreneur and host of the hit CNBC show “The Profit,” hopes to find the perfect business partner to help him run his ever-growing portfolio of business investments in “The Partner.” In three seasons of “The Profit,” Lemonis has invested nearly $50 million and now seeks a trusted partner. In the end, the partner will receive a half-million dollar contract, an equity stake and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help manage Lemonis’ business empire. The five-episode series airs every Tuesday at 10 p.m. on CNBC.

What are your thoughts on “The Partner”? Who do you think Marcus Lemonis will ultimately choose to be his partner? Sound off in the comments section below!

Photo credit: CNBC

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