Mr. John Catsimatidis
Chairman & CEO, Red Apple Group
John Catsimatidis is the Chairman and CEO of the Red Apple Group, which has holdings in real estate, retail petroleum products, convenience stores, oil refining, heating oil, transportation fuels, insurance, finance, aviation, and supermarkets, with invest- ments in both medical and industrial technology. John also hosts a #1 rated weekly radio program on AM970TheAnswer.
In 2013, John sought the Republican nomination for Mayor of New York City, and finished second with 41% of the vote against an establishment candidate.
Born in Greece on the island of Nisyros, John and his family came to New York in 1948 when he was 6 months old, living in a walk up apartment in Harlem.
John attended Public and Parochial schools, and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School. In 2008 he co-founded the $10 million Brooklyn Tech Endowment Fund, the first of its kind for a public school.
While studying engineering at NYU, John worked in a supermarket owned by a close family friend who lent him the down payment on a small supermarket on 99th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. This was his first Red Apple store, opened in 1968, which ex- panded into 20 more that evolved into Manhattan's largest, high quality chain when he ac- quired over 40 supermarkets from the iconic, 114-year-old Gristedes company.
In the mid-1980's, John acquired United Refining Company of Warren, Pennsylvania, serving the energy needs of western Pennsylvania, northern New York and eastern Ohio, and includes 400 gas stations and convenience stores.
In 2012, John acquired United Metro Energy, a major oil storage and distribution facility in Long Island and New York, as well as building one of the largest Bio Diesel facilities in the country in Brooklyn.
John’s Red Apple Real Estate has substantial investments in New York, New Jersey, and Florida with three housing and commercial development projects underway in Brooklyn, New York City, St. Petersburg, and a major development on the shore of Coney Island.
A licensed jet pilot, John started a corporate jet company in the late 1970's and built it up to 48 jets when he sold to Net Jets. Catsimatidis’ owned and operated the 11th largest commercial airline in the United States, Capitol Airlines. Currently his Red Apple Aviation operates personalized, large corporate aircraft.
Mr. Catsimatidis’ companies post annual sales of approximately $5 billion, with over 8,000 employees.
In March of 2014, John started a radio program “Cats Roundtable,” which airs on Sunday mornings on 970AM and has become the number one rated Sunday morning talk show. The program is a mix of news, politics and entertainment, and airs in New York, Buffalo, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse. Today is airs in 14 States which is live-streamed and available on podcasts at: CATSROUNDTABLE.COM
In 2019, John launched CATS AT NIGHT, a live drive time radio show on AM970 on Wednesday's.
In 2019, Red Apple Group Media acquired the iconic WABC Radio.
John married Margo Vondersaar, President of MCV Advertising, in 1988. Their charitable interests include the Kidney Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Police Athletic League, Boy Scouts, and the Law Endorsement Foundation, from which John received the Federal Homeland Security Patriot Award from Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security.
John & Margo have two children; daughter Andrea Catsimatidis, a graduate of NYU Stern Business School; and son John Jr., also a graduate of NYU Stern Business School. Both Andrea and John Jr. work with their father at the Red Apple Group headquarters.