Christopher Johnson (left), founder and head coach of Hollister Construction Services, was honored recently by the March of Dimes North Central New Jersey. He is joined at the podium by Geoffrey Schubert, senior vice president of advisory and transaction services at CBRE. — Courtesy: March of Dimes/Hollister Construction Services
By Joshua Burd
More than 200 members of New Jersey’s commercial real estate sector turned out to honor Christopher Johnson of Hollister Construction Services, raising more than $375,000 for an annual event hosted by the March of Dimes North Central New Jersey.
The reception, which took place on June 13, drew a who’s who of industry players to the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus. In the process, the local chapter broke its previous fundraising record in support of efforts to improve the health of mothers and babies.
Johnson, Hollister’s co-founder and head coach, headlined an event that also included a silent auction and a putting challenge that was postponed due to weather. The construction and real estate industry veteran noted that he and his wife Jennifer “have been blessed with two healthy children,” but he recounted two stories in which family friends grappled with premature births.
“It’s something that’s been personal to me for a long time,” said Johnson, whose firm is based in Parsippany, later adding: “I couldn’t imagine how difficult it would be emotionally if we had our children and didn’t come home from the hospital with them. I think that’s a rite of passage.
“So at the end of the day, I’m for anything that helps kids go home with their moms.”
All images courtesy: March of Dimes
The program included remarks from last year’s honoree, Sam Morreale of Vision Real Estate Partners, who alluded to the buzz in the room and the influence of the industry executives that had turned out. He challenged the attendees to pledge additional support to the March of Dimes cause, which helped contribute to the organization’s record-breaking evening.
He also noted that the Hollister Foundation pledged to match gifts of up to $25,000.
“We could all go home and say we’re going to do something,” said Morreale, Vision’s founder and managing partner. “I’m really imploring you all tonight: Do it now. This is a ‘do it now’ industry, so let’s take the opportunity to do it now.”
Michael Klein of HFF and Christopher Marx of Savills Studley chaired the annual event, while Erik Sletteland of Structure Tone Inc. served as chair of the Pynes Putting Challenge.
This year’s sponsors included:
- Presenting Sponsor: Hollister Construction Services
- Platinum Sponsor: Vision Real Estate Partners
- Gold Sponsors: Encon Mechanical Corp., Mack-Cali Realty Corp., Onyx Equities LLC, Orion Interiors Inc. and RTI-IMI.
- Silver Sponsors: Fox Rothschild LLP, HFF, HLW, JLL, M&T Bank, Peak Environmental LLC, Prism Capital Partners, LLC, Rockefeller Group, Russo Development, Saxum Real Estate, Skoloff & Wolfe P.C., Structure Tone, Workspace Property Trust and Zipp & Tannenbaum LLC.
“To know that the funds raised will help support better outcomes for children and moms, which is a cause that our family, our business and our foundation supports, makes the night unforgettable,” Johnson said. “I’d like to thank everyone that has and continues to support the March of Dimes Real Estate Awards Reception. The cause is obviously near and dear to many hearts. I’d like to share with you a quote that I keep on the wall of my office:
“‘One hundred years from now, it won’t matter what kind of car I drove or what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank nor what my clothes looked like. But that the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.’ ”