While most know CJ Wilson's name from his professional pitching career in Major League Baseball, he has since grown into many industries - photography, philanthropy, podcasts, and cars. His need for speed translates from his four-seam fastball to the racetrack, in starting CJ Wilson Racing, and his ownership of Audi Fresno, BMW Fresno, and Porsche Fresno. As a father of two, founder of CJ Wilson's Children's Charities, and host of the "The Throttle Dogs" podcast, it's safe to say that CJ does it all - and does so in style.
CJ, along with his leadership team, dresses like a true gentlemen. Audi Fresno and Porsche Fresno General Manager Mazy Hassanpour and BMW Fresno General Manager Mike Ghalambor step onto the dealership floor in true Patrick James fashion - keeping things classic with a sport coat and button-up. While Mazy opts for deeper hues of navy and grey, Mike typically gears more towards lighter shades.
We sat down with CJ amidst his busy lifestyle, where he, Mazy, and Mike lead three dealerships with ease. Read on to learn more about Fresno's "Car Guy".
How did you transition from professional baseball to a career in the car industry?
My love for cars started when I was young, watching my father as a pit crew member and spending my spare time on the dirt track. I've always wanted to be a race car driver - and after my baseball career, I wanted to keep that precision, speed, and team atmosphere at the forefront of my life. In 2010, I started CJ Wilson Racing, a professional racing team, with the goal in mind to compete throughout the country. When my wife, Lisalla, and I made the move to the Central Valley, I entered the local industry as owner of Audi Fresno, BMW Fresno, and Porsche Fresno. Since then, I've been able to live out my passion each day at the dealerships, and still have time to visit the track.
You moved to the Central Valley in 2017, and have since planted your family's roots here. What has that been like?
We really enjoy Fresno - I think it's the next big thing. Between the rich agriculture, state-of-the-art medical facilities, an epic food scene, and strong local businesses, I know Fresno is California's gem. Lisalla and I are excited for our girls to grow up here.
Husband, father, dealership owner, racer, podcaster, investor, the list goes on… How would you describe your style?
I'd say my style is very flexible. I'm always on the go, so technical pieces are usually best for my lifestyle.
What do you like most about the Patrick James brand?
The Patrick James brand has longevity in this community. That's something that I really admire. It's been a Valley favorite for years, and as a local business owner myself, I'm all about supporting local people.
CJ, Mike, and Mazy are seen wearing items from 34 Heritage, Alberto, Andrew J, Bugatchi, Cole Haan, Robert Graham, Robert Barakett, and Trask. Check out the Patrick James spring collection from these brands, now online and in stores.