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Johnny Marines Wears Many Hats: He is a Music Executive Turned Entrepreneur, Real Estate Investor, Tech Investor, and a Former NYC Police

Johnny Marines is a former New York Police Department officer who grew up in the Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City. For as long as he can remember, he has wanted to be an entrepreneur and work in the world of entertainment.

Currently, Johnny is an entrepreneur running multiple businesses, including a restaurant and other nightlife businesses. He is also a real estate investor involved in the development of many residential businesses, and sits on the advisory board of a music platform called Trubify.

I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. My father owned a Social Club and his hard work and success motivated me to follow in his footsteps. However, I didn’t want to stop there. I wanted to continue to take on new projects and develop new skills that could increase my success I started in the nightlife business thanks to my father and along the way, I was fortunate enough to make connections with other successful entrepreneurs that eventually led me into the restaurant and real estate business.” Johnny shares.

It was in 2002, while in the midst of his police career under Mayor Guliani’s administration in NYC, that Johnny entered the music business. He became the manager of a well-known Bachata group at the time called Aventura. He is the first NYPD officer who has been able to successfully work his way up in the music industry.

By 2010, Johnny continued to manage the lead singer of the group who is now known as the King of Bachata, Romeo Santos. Under his leadership, Romeo Santos has been nominated to multiple awards and gone on multiple world tours. 

Through it all, Johnny has continued to invest in his own entrepreneurship ventures such as his restaurant and nightlife businesses. This was particularly hard to do in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought with it a host of regulations and controls that sought to protect people but affected businesses both large and small, the latter being the most harmed since they could go bankrupt.

“It is virtually impossible for a restaurant or nightlife business to be profitable having to deal with government restrictions and guidelines because of COVID-19. Luckily for me, my business partner Eddy G and I are our own landlords and have been able to stay afloat during these difficult times.” Johnny comments.

Overall, Johnny tells us that setting up and running a business brings with it several challenges among which is having a good team to work with and making sure customers’ needs are met.

The team plays a key role in determining the success of the business, so it is very important to hire the right people.” Johnny says. “Providing a unique experience that appeals to potential customers is also a challenge, as you will want your business to be a place where customers are exceptionally satisfied.” 

Other challenges businesses deal with is trying to stay within a reasonable operating budget to avoid the risk of going out of business at all costs. But Johnny claims that the pandemic has caused companies to get creative to stay in business, which is an opportunity to improve best practices.

Fortunately, with more than two decades of experience, Johnny has been able to overcome these challenges and achieve success with all his businesses in the nightlife, real estate and music industries. In addition, he is a Strategic Partner at PSG (Pro Sports Gaming). They will be releasing their first video game this year. 

“For me, success means being able to execute your ideas and see them come true. Often, I meet people who have great ideas but are unable to execute them making their ideas worthless.” Johnny explains.

Through his career, Johnny has received recognition from Billboard, the Hispanic Society, Harvard University, the New York Governor’s office, the City of Newark office, as well as various U.S. representatives and senators.

In 2021, Johnny is focused on opening an elegant Latin-themed restaurant and lounge located in the heart of downtown Elizabeth, New Jersey. On the real estate front, Johnny and his partner Cesar Pina are developing an 80-unit residential complex. For the remainder of this year, Johnny expresses that among his plans is to open an 

“We are also rehabilitating a former Catholic school that will be used for a child development program in Paterson, New Jersey, by the board of education.”

Find out more about Johnny and his businesses here.

Sofia Vargas is a News Columnist at Disrupt Magazine & a Senior Associate at Now Strategies Group

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