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CJ Follini (born New York) is an American digital media entrepreneur, film producer and real estate investor. A native New Yorker who built his group of companies by investing in alternative real estate types such as: digital film studios; healthcare real estate; student housing; and artist residence clubs as well as providing venture capital for early stage digital content creators.
Follini grew up in Westchester County and New York City where he attended the Jesuit high school – Fordham Preparatory School. He also competed in collegiate ice hockey while in Boston. Follini received a General Course Degree in Econometrics from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. While in London he played rugby for LSE. He also studied in the Executive Masters program at Harvard Business School.
From the age of 12, he worked at entry level construction jobs learning the building trade from his father, Charles Follini Sr., a highly decorated former fireman with the FDNY and the CEO the building conglomerate responsible for Idlewild Airport – the Edenwald Group. Follini has been a successful developer and investor in alternative real estate such as: industrial; waterfront land development; brownfields re-development; film studios; and most recently, medical office and senior housing. The following are a few career real estate milestones:
Real estate career
- Developed a 400-acre (1.6 km2) site with the Rockefeller Group for the expansion of the International Trade Center in Mount Olive, New Jersey.
- Developed a re-claimed 12-acre (49,000 m2) brownfield located on the waterfront in Queens, New York. Purchased for $9,000,000 out of bankruptcy, Follini sold the property three years later to the Bayrock Group, Donald Trump's partner in Trump SoHo for $27,500,000.
- Formed Noyack Medical Partners, LLC to develop and acquire health care real estate ( i.e. medical office buildings). Since 2003, Follini has accumulated a $100MM+ portfolio.
- Formed North Street Community to develop 23-acre (93,000 m2) former St. Agnes Hospital Campus in White Plains, New York purchased at a foreclosure auction for $22,000,000. Recently announced the largest active adult housing development in North America.
The 730,000-square-foot (68,000 m2), $250MM planned campus also includes assisted living and medical office buildings.
- Purchased the commercial half of the tallest building in Brooklyn, the famed landmark – One Hanson Place
- Created and hosts the Ngage podcast (formerly Naked Cause podcast) since January 2016 to discuss topics of employee engagement, human capital management & cause marketing.
- As a Senior Executive of Shooting Gallery and as Founder and CEO of Gun For Hire Production Centers, the largest independent film studio and digital media centers in the United States,respectively, he conceived, designed and renovated 400,000+ square feet of digital media studios in New York, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles. Known as the Gun For Hire Production Centers, his New York site won the Crain's Small Business Award in 1998.
In 2011, CJ Follini created and directed Art/Trek NYC and its broadcast on cable by NYC Media and Ovation Network. Art/Trek is a docu-series that explores NYC's five boroughs in a quest to showcase new and emerging artists. Traveling in the show's signature mobile art gallery – a converted recreational vehicle, nicknamed the ArtV – host CJ Follini joins a different borough-specific co-host in each episode to meet a rising artist who's on the verge of breaking into New York City's competitive art scene. Each artist puts together an impromptu art show in the ArtV and invites residents from their neighborhood to view the work and share their opinions about the art on camera. One of the five artists will be selected to have their own gallery show, which will be featured in a future episode.
In 2000, Follini produced the short film Bullet in the Brain, winner of ten festival awards including the first Million Dollar Hypnotic/Universal Short Film Award. He also produced Someday, a music video for Irish pop band "Tellulah Crash," and a public service announcement for the R.E.A.C.H. Foundation, an organization that helps children with life-threatening diseases and children in low-income school districts.
Recently, the U.S. EPA objected to three more federal permits for mountaintop-removal coal mining citing its disastrous effects on the environment and local water quality as alerted in Burning the Future: Coal in America
Additional production credits for CJ Follini include:
- 2000 "You Can Count on Me" with Laura Linney
- 2000 "Once in the Life" with Laurence Fishburne
- 1999 "Judy Berlin" with Edie Falco
- 1998 "Croupier" with Clive Owen
- 1996 "Sling Blade" with Billy Bob Thornton
- CJ Follini is Co-Chairman of The board of directors of the HERE Arts Center in SoHo which honored him with the prestigious HEREmanitarian Award in June 2014.
- Winner of The International Documentary Association's 2008 Pare Lorentz award for Best Documentary 
- Winner of 1998 Crains Small Business Award for Gun For Hire Digital Media Centers
- Winner of 2001 Universal Studios/Hypnotic Film Award for "Bullet in the Brain"
- "Paid Notice: Deaths FOLLINI, CHARLES F." The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- "$250M Senior Project Gets Key Approval". GlobeSt.com. 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- "Noyack Medical Partners Snags Office Condo". GlobeSt.com. 2008-05-19. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- Croghan, Lore (1999-01-04). "TAKE 2: FILM FIRM EXPANDS IN VILLAGE; GUN FOR HIRE LEASES MORE SPACE AS DEMAND GROWS FASTER THAN EXPECTED | Crain's New York Business". Crainsnewyork.com. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- "Apps - Access My Library - Gale". Access My Library. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20130121174041/http://www.nyc.gov/html/media/html/tv/nyctv_life_arttrek.shtml. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2013. Missing or empty
- Ronnie Scheib (2008-02-28). "Burning the Future: Coal in America". Variety. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- http://www.variety.com/profiles/Film/main/34420/Bullet%20in%20the%20Brain.html?dataSet=1. Retrieved November 12, 2008. Missing or empty
- "EPA puts brakes on 3 more mountaintop mining permits". NYTimes.com. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- "IDA's 2008 IDA Documentary Awards Competition Nominees Announced | International Documentary Association". Documentary.org. 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- Carey, Patricia (1998-10-12). "Triumphant in Technicolor". CRAINS New York. Retrieved 2012-10-01.