Keyston Franklin, PMP
Simply put, there would be no Gallantri Industries without Chris. Chris was one of my mentors at Founder Institute and was instrumental in Gallantri’s business development. Chris is a passionate and knowledgeable individual with deep insights in a variety of industries. He is driven, dedicated, and fearless in his service to his clients and the businesses he engages. His ability to couple enterprise and social impact is innovative and needed. If you want more from yourself and your business you want Chris.
Had I written about what it’s like to work with Chris a year ago, it wouldn’t have been a recommendation. It would have been a warning. Chris and I did not get off to a good start, which luckily he does not hold against me. In my defense, it was March 2020, the pandemic was swiftly taking over and shutting down the world. My emotions were running high, my company’s revenue was running low, my ego had been bruised by miscommunication among our leadership team, and my to-do list had been cleared because we had paused production of our 15 monthly magazines.
In other words, I had a ton of negative energy to burn, and that’s when I met Chris. All I knew about him was that he used to be in PR and had recently gone through our sales training program to start selling ads in the Las Vegas market but had somehow worked his way into a seat at our leadership table before I even knew he existed. (Pre-pandemic, I tended to get lost in the making of the magazines vs the business operations side.)
I saw red flags everywhere with this guy. (Or I thought I saw, which is to say I imagined.) I took one look at his LinkedIn profile and saw a mountain of hyperbole, and my bs radar starting blaring. (Side note: he’s taking me up on my unsolicited offer to do some revisions, coming soon!) I made a swift decision after two Zoom meetings with Chris that he was not who he claimed to be and I was positive—POSITIVE—that he was out to ruin us… I just couldn’t figure out why. That’s because he wasn’t out to ruin us—so obvious in hindsight, so impossible to see in my early pandemic panic phase. I have never been so wrong about someone, nor have I ever been so grateful to have been so wrong.
I credit Chris and his big ole brain with saving Sensi. We had been running full speed in so many directions when the pandemic forced us to pause and take stock of where we were and figure out where we were going. Chris put together a plan that got us on the right path—a better path that leads us to greater impact. He has an incredible innate ability to see the big picture and to realize potential implications of even the smallest decision as soon as something is presented. And because of that, he was able to zoom way out on our company model and business plan and put together a road map for the company’s future success—and then lead the way there. Not by force but by asking the questions our leadership team needed to be asking ourselves so we all saw the bigger picture as well.
If you have the chance to work with Chris, take it. Do it. Jump on it. Be prepared to listen to him talk a lot, because he talks a lot. A lot a lot. And you’ll learn a ton as you listen. When he starts going, focus. Take notes. Record if you can, his brain works fast but what he says is relevant and you’ll be better off if you remember it. Because he will remember it. He’s got a memory like no one I’ve met. And he’s versatile. He came to sensi with no cannabis experience or background but he has grasped the unique complexities that surround the industry better than many industry veterans I’ve known. He keeps the same kind of strange hours I do, he doesn’t take anything at face value, he’s inquisitive, he doesn’t tolerate slacking, he says exactly what he means whenever he means it, and he’ll debate you on any topic under the sun just for the fun of debate. He likes a challenge. He’s the first person in my career who’s asked me to do better, not to just do more.
Kristina (Lopez) Adduci
Chris is one of the most strategic visionaries I know. It is his mission to watch each and every person who comes into his orbit, to flourish, blossom and thrive. He has pushed me and my company to the highest standard, and we wouldn’t be where we are without his guidance and network. He is a brilliant and effective communicator and is the first one to raise his hand to help others. A true polymath to his core, Chris is a champion for everyone. It’s a privilege to know him.
There are very few who can match Chris’s energy and enthusiasm when it comes to having him on your team. Creative beyond compare, he understands the dots of your business and sees how best to connect them.
More importantly, what started out as a buyer-vendor relationship quickly grew to and has remained as a genuine friendship despite the project I hired Chris to manage has long been completed.
That says a lot about Chris, and even without him presently being a service provider to my firm he continues to work for me on its behalf, a remarkable and rare quality in today’s world.
Chris is a focused and dedicated business leader who is passionate about his beliefs and drive for social impact. A polymath with vast knowledge, I am truly honored and inspired to work alongside Chris. He is the real deal.
Chris is a force of nature when it comes to the planning and execution of communicating strategies. I guess because he learned Marketing from the ground up, he can talk the talk but also walk the walk, which translates into leading agencies by example, managing a partner network that generates results and directly contributing to the creation of high-quality content.
Sometimes you cross paths in your career with a leader who really takes you aback – someone who forces you to question everything. What’s the purpose of this? How can we make this better? Are we alone in the universe? The important stuff. I was really comfortable before Chris came into my life. I was relaxed and cruising along at 60 mph when he took me under his wing and asked, “Have you ever been to space?” and the next thing you know we’re breaking the sound barrier.
Within our first months together, our small team built an entire department, launched a website, laid the groundwork for campaigns, created a digital distribution plan, and outperformed competitors. None of that would have been possible without the insights and guidance from Chris. I realized very soon that Chris’ disruption in my life was highly calculated. He sees potential in every project and brings a never-ending list of unique initiatives forward. I am grateful for him challenging me and his 24/7 mentorship. Since learning from Chris, I have transformed my approach to strategy. Any brand or person lucky enough to work by his side has hit the lottery.
Jac A. Charlier
I worked with Chris for two years on an IT project. The two words that describe Chris and make him a great asset to any business are enthusiasm and acceptance. Chris brings passion and energy to his work, and freely shares that with those around him in a way that is contagious! Through times up and down, this is a huge asset for teams. Chris has the wonderful ability to accept all comers to the team. It cannot be stressed enough in this time of rapid social change how important it is that in the workplace all are acknowledged, respected, and accepted. Chris does this effortlessly and naturally. It is my pleasure to serve as a reference for Chris.
Toni L. Carter
Chris Foltz is an Innovative, Passionate, Community Leader – who knows how to get the job done. He genuinely cares about humankind and will go out of his way to ensure the next generations of young people have a real chance at succeeding in life. Chris AND his team are kind, caring people who find the good in everyone they meet. I highly recommend partnering with Chris and the Social Policy Institute professionals. They are nice people to do business with.
I’ve worked with Chris Foltz for the past year and have learned a great deal from this young man, especially, “anything is possible”. Our company was hit hard due to the pandemic – it put Sensi out of business for we could no longer host live events and print award winning magazines.
We subsequently went into a six month pause. Chris was part of the team that had to reimagine the business and lead the organization through transformation. No doubt, Chris is brilliant and helped us understand how we could leverage our strengths to restart as a complete virtual and digital company.
Chris shined as a leader during this crisis (a few examples ) – planned and executed a sophisticated web presence, developed/proposed/implemented innovative organization models, identified and realized new revenue models, and replaced many paid subscription services with improved low cost / no cost tools to the run the business.
I would love the opportunity to work with Chris again. He is a forward thinking innovator who has a big heart and is always there for you with a helping hand.
Michero B. Washington
Those of us who have been in the vanguard of diversity understand that “diversity” isn’t only an issue of “black and white”. The true essence of the term transcends what can be “seen” – it reflects and includes a diversity of thought, practice, vision, and execution/action.
It has been my distinct pleasure and honor to work with Mr. Christopher (Chris) Foltz in several capacities over the last few years. I have seen him in “action”, thus exercising true diversity in his everyday professional life. Rarely do you have an opportunity to work with someone whose core values are entrenched in diversity and inclusion and even more importantly, isn’t afraid to speak his ‘truth” and intentionally integrates these aspects into the programs and services that his organization provides.
His team of practitioners and supporters represent a broad range of the population that includes age, race, language, religious beliefs, socio-economic backgrounds, and sexual preference; thus including a broad spectrum of individuals that represent constituents across the Country.
Mr. Foltz is a change agent, leader, and “tree shaker” which in essence, represents true diversity and I look forward to continuing the work knowing that someone like Chris Foltz is one of the consummate voices leading this charge.
Judith Iglehart, Ed.D
Russell is simply a superstar at Due Diligence needed for startup companies. He is super smart, highly organized, and willing to take the time to learn a new skill. At Keiretsu Forum he joined every DD committee for one year, adding his expertise and knowledge to the team effort. His professionalism and deep knowledge of technology are assets that he is more than willing to share. Itt is a pleasure to work with him at Keiretsu Forum.
Richard William Guerra
In the year that I have known Chris, it has become very apparent to me that this will not the last LinkedIn recommendation that I will give him. Where we both come from, what we’ve been through in our youth, the challenges we overcame together as colleagues to up to this point in time.
These things have all shown me that we are brothers with a shared vision and heart. We will create more together, learn from each other and have each other’s backs. I have never been more excited to manage a new project or create new business with another person.
I wouldn’t have made out of the pandemic with as much opportunity ahead of me, or wisdom within me, without Chris’ guidance and support. Sensi Media is standing tall today in large part because of his tenacity, dedication, and commitment to a stronger organization and smarter business. It’s past time for those who wish to authentically build community & make an honest impact to hear from Chris on multiple platforms, often. I plan to make that happen.
With great pleasure, I would like to recommend Chris, as I started working with Chris his willingness to share skills, knowledge and expertise was astounding. He works super hard for you to succeed and create a company that will matter. He also takes a personal interest in your project and you can turn his recommendation into hands-on tasks. Positive but makes you think about all details of the company. Provides guidance but also gives you critical feedback in a way that is motivating and helps your company become emerge as a leader in the industry
I am typically a man of too many words, so let my brevity speak volumes. Chris Foltz makes my business better and my mission stronger. Many people can produce websites, make posters, etc…but I’ve never met anyone else who can so quickly lock in to the vision and brand of our company and help us better understand who we are, how to put our mission at the center of our business, and who we should meet.
He’s two parts brand strategist, one part match-maker, one part implementation arm, and perhaps the most important, he’s all heart. It’s that incredible heart that eclipses all of the other stuff because as a mission-based business we are usually speaking a foreign language to others when we talk about our passion, our commitment to making the world a better place, and how we plan on integrating our commercial footprint with our bigger picture vision for the world.
When we first met Chris we were committed to our mission but didn’t think we could put it at the center of our brand. Now we are comfortable shouting from the rooftops that we want to change the world – and our chances are much bigger having Chris and his team on our side.
Thank you Chris for sharing your heart with us, I’m know you could be working for bigger companies with bigger budgets but you choose to work with those of us that share your values and that’s priceless.
I am writing to recommend Chris as an energetic visionary, both passionate and motived in all that he focuses on: politics and political action, social enterprises and entrepreneurship, IT platform development, communications and engineering innovations. Chris has been a friend and colleague for years–a friend to TASC and a colleague in our work. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Chris Foltz is easily one the brightest, most insightful experts in his field. He challenges conventional models and thinking with compassion and respect to improve the corporate, client and consumer’s experience at all levels.
Audrey Ross Powell, M.D.
Christopher Foltz is the ultimate professional and scientist. He is very knowledgeable about the science of cannabis and is dedicated to research, development and education. He is invested in the success of others.
Russell has a good intellect. He was hired by a Distinguished Laboratory Fellow who was my office mate at Ames 1 day per week (George Michael, not that Rock Star, but a rock star in the field of supercomputing). If George hired Russell, then I would trust Russell. I was drafted (of sorts) to moderate an early Ad hoc computer security group (COMPSEC). Russell was one of the great intellects of the Bay Area computer scene, coming from MIT, at that time. He carried on the role-playing situations which others only adopted later. My and our group’s issue was maintain the productivity from the bad parts of security. Russell assisted well in this
I’ve been working with Chris for about a year now. And during that time I’ve witnessed his incredibly quick thinking mind come up with the most creative and genius solutions and ideas. The talent oozes from him. It’s truly an honor to work with him, as he’s an incredible mentor and human being. The man never sleeps and he gets things done!
Chris was amazing to work with, because along with his considerable technical expertise he brings an inexhaustible passion to whatever task is at hand. He helped us build a website from scratch, ahead of our very rushed timeline, while adding several outside-the-box features we hadn’t even thought of. He continues to offer us invaluable advice about strategic partnerships, communications, and branding. I don’t know anyone with the same amount of energy, creativity, and determination to work on behalf of needy communities in Chicago
I have known Chris for over 20 years. He greets new challenges with a great deal of enthusiasm. Chris is very intelligent and very much wants everyone to succeed and live well. He has worked for organizations big and small.
He has led them and labored for them. Truly, Chris will succeed at most any task, which is why his experience is so vast. I love learning from Chris and interacting with him
Chris Foltz became an advisor for my company and has been nothing but the brightest light. I created my organization to find activists and game changers. Finding Chris validated and solidified the momentum and direction I am taking for our company. Not only is he one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, but his empathy and caring personality is immediately apparent when you first meet him. Working with Chris feels like he is always present and concerned for your company any time of the day or night, and he is always there to talk personally about thoughts, feelings, and everything that goes into a startup. My hopeful take away for anyone reading this: Do not start a startup without Chris. He is going to change the world in many thoughtful ways, and I am going to help him, so should you.
Chris is more than an asset to Sensi Media Group, he is helping to redefine the industry. With his expertise, passion, and skill set (so many I could list), Sensi Media Group is on the cutting edge of transitioning from traditional communication to exploding on the scene and capturing the world’s attention with our message. He advanced in the company as quickly as he did because our founders recognized his talents and needed him on the management team. I am thrilled and honored to be working with him during this very exciting time of growth to new heights.
Alan L. Farkas
Chris has a great mind for elections and politics. He knows how to leverage technology and available media to achieve maximum results.
I worked with Chris on a branding project for a start-up concept that I was evaluating. Chris and his team developed the logo, brand essence, brand message, and website for us. They did a terrific job. What I enjoyed most about working with Chris was the creative dialogue we had regarding the concept. He helped me expand the horizons of what the concept could be and how it could be implemented. Furthermore, he made crucial introductions to industry experts that helped solidify our understanding of the market. I look forward to working with Chris in the future and being inspired by his attitude that anyone can change the world!
Chris taught me at Columbia College Chicago as my Entrepreneurship professor, and he completely changed my way of thinking about business and myself as a leader + entrepreneur. His way of teaching is unconventional, but in the best way possible. He cut around the structure and “fluff” most colleges require you be taught, and dug in to teach us the REAL way of being an entrepreneur and applied everything to real life situations and shared his personal experiences. Overall, Chris has been one of the most genuine professors I’ve ever had, and I’d highly recommend anyone taking any kind of class or teaching they can get from him.
Chris is one of those people that I see and want to emulate. He is only a couple of years older than me, yet the things he has accomplished seem almost inconceivable to me. Not only does he get things done, the things he is doing are changing the world and our communities in a socially responsible way. Chris is dedicated to improving the lives of the people around him, serving others on a level that shakes up even the highest levels of government. If more of the leaders in this country could have the conscience, confidence and desire to make our home a better place, rather than focusing strictly on the personal financial implication an action may have, we would be living in a much improved and peaceful society. I hope to one day do what Chris does. That is my ultimate dream.
Chris is a passionate and professional individual who cares about the greater good of the community. Any project that I have worked on with this man has been successful. He has great insight and I highly recommend him
Alderman Bob Fioretti
In my entire career as a lawyer and as the Alderman representing Chicago’s downtown Second Ward I have never met someone with industry insight like Chris Foltz. Chris Foltz’s dedication to the local and global community is present in their teams strategy on a daily basis.
Chris Foltz is an inspirational and amazing man to work with. He brings an unbelievable upbeat energy to work every single day. His presence keeps everyone on their toes and inspires everyone to excel in every way. He is a brilliant thinker writer and speaker and I looked to him for much knowledge during my internship at CFCO. He allowed me to be a leader in my position and bring my ideas to the table even as an intern. It was an honor working with Chris, he has a sincere passion and dedication for his work and is a rising star in his industry and the Chicago area. Chris will always be a person to keep in my close network and everyone who does will not regret it.
It is without question that you are making a lasting impact not only on the city of Chicago but you are someone we can all look up to for a multitude of reasons. You give back to the community, you are philanthropic, and you are a great teacher.
But most all you are a revolutionary entrepreneur. I wish you all the best with your future endeavors and projects and always strive to make a difference one person at time one day at a time
Chris Foltz is extraordinarily dedicated to his clients, business partners, and vision. I have had the privilege of working with Chris as a strategic business partner while I was an intern at JMP Global beginning in September of 2011. At every turn, I observed Chris going the extra mile to help our team succeed. Chris not only provided us with an arsenal of creative solutions and successful marketing strategies, but he did so with a genuine, infectious enthusiasm.
I also have had the extreme pleasure of hearing Chris give one of his motivational speeches at JMP Global’s business networking event, Think Big. Act Bigger. Chris proved himself to be a gifted storyteller who uses his extensive experience and entrepreneurial spirit to inspire others.
I have witnessed him consistently going above and beyond to connect with clients, audiences, and guests while making sure to answer all questions pragmatically, thoroughly, and with a touch of good humor. I highly recommend Chris to anyone seeking communications and/or marketing strategies that deliver results.
Chris Foltz taught my Business & Entrepreneurship graduate class at Columbia and it is with great privilege that I write this recommendation. Having attended Columbia for both my undergrad and graduate degrees, I write without hesitation that Chris was by far my most passionate and inspirational teacher.
Chris Foltz has a strong drive to not only educate his students, but to help them achieve outside the classroom. He welcomed me to learn from him at his business and helped me develop relationships that have shaped my career today.
If you know Chris, then you have most likely heard him say to, “Make things better; not for the money, not for the glory, but simply because you can.” One experience I will never forget is working outside of the classroom with Chris on his anti-bullying campaign. That’s when I truly saw what giving back is all about, and I was honored to be apart of it.
Chris has made a huge impact on my life and his class has truly been the most beneficial of my collegiate career.
I was fortunate enough to work with Chris as part of the Illinois Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Enterprise. Quite simply, he is a hard-working, diligent individual who brings passion and enthusiasm to fostering the creation of social enterprises throughout the state of Illinois. As a current business partner, Chris brings a strong no-nonsense approach to encouraging businesses and social enterprises to make a positive impact. Admittedly, he has a unique personal style, but that only adds to his commitment to bringing about positive change. He is a strong collaborator who has shared his talent and insight numerous times in the past. I strongly suggest connecting with him and learning more about his work.
William "Sonny" Saranow
Chris is great at what he does. He truly is an expert in communication strategy. My company hired Chris to work on our website and the site was done in a matter of days and was truly well done. I highly recommend Chris. He is a pioneer in his industry.
Chris has great political instincts. He brings thought and innovation to a campaign and executes with unwavering enthusiasm and loyalty.
Adrian Dalton, MBA
Working with Chris Foltz is an experience I will never forget. He strives everyday to improve the world around us and his dedication to the many causes he is involved in is unparalleled. When Chris succeeds the effects are felt by many, and when things don’t work out he turns it into a discovery process that leads to greater good.
I have had the pleasure of working with Chris in various capacities over the last seven years. He always delivered a quality product and has the “over-deliver” mindset. Fast Forward to 2013-2014 where we became colleagues teaching Entrepreneurship at Columbia College downtown Chicago. I know first hand Chris’ Students were blessed to have his expertise delivered directly through his various personal entrepreneurship ventures. As far as Chris the Humanitarian, I can attest to all of his credentials stemming from 2012 to the current.
J. David Combs
Chris Foltz made the most of every moment he went with his students. He brought his experience, both successes and failures, into the classroom as an opportunity to relate the class to the real world. In doing so, he challenged his students to build on what he had to offer.
Chris is one of the rare professors that seemed to understand the responsibility of the influence he held as a professor. He held to that responsibility, regardless of the environment around him.
He is a rare breed of teacher. One that will never feel quite at home in a classroom, yet is exactly what so many classrooms desperately need.
Coming into Christopher Foltz’s class once a week was what I looked forward to the most coming downtown to class. With his inspiring stories, engaging lectures and his passion for the arts and business, he made students eager to be involved in class.
Not only did he teach core lessons and what was appropriate for the class style. He actually got to know each and every student. With sincere interest he discussed what each persons goals were and where they saw themselves going after Columbia. He also talked about how they could achieve those goals and what he could do to personally help them.
His class gave each and every student purpose and direction. Those who didn’t know what they wanted to do after Columbia came out of that class with a clearer understanding of who they were and what they wanted to achieve on a bigger scale.
He truly has the most dedication to his students that I have ever seen from any teacher at Columbia College Chicago. With this being said I would recommend Christopher Foltz for any teaching, leadership, or mentor position.