It takes a Herculean effort to build a successful enterprise and legacy worthy of accolade. Determining the right venture to pursue and the appropriate manageable steps to drive growth are no easy task. However, for Sheila C. Johnson, the triumphant media and entertainment mogul, learning how to toggle back and forth between successful ventures has led her to create an empire that business executives can learn from.
For those who may be unfamiliar, Johnson is a powerful force in the entertainment industry. She was a founding partner of BET Network Entertainment, which was sold to Viacom in 1999 for an estimated $3 billion. After this lucrative deal that landed her on a Forbes billionaire list, Johnson went on to spread her business expertise and wealth across several arenas, such as media, hospitality, sports, the arts, education and humanitarian causes.
In 2005, Johnson became the Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and President of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics following the sale by the late Abe Pollin, Chairman of Washington Sports and Entertainment, to Lincoln Holdings, LLC. This deal made Johnson the first African-American woman to be an owner of three professional sports franchises including the Washington Capitals (NHL) and the Washington Wizards (NBA).
Currently, Johnson is the CEO of Salamander Hospitality, LLC, a luxury hospitality company she founded in 2005. In this role, Johnson oversees a growing portfolio of properties including the soon-to-be-opened Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, VA, where she and her family resides.
In addition to Johnson’s accomplishments in the business world, she’s also achieved recognition for her philanthropy efforts. In 2006, Johnson was named the global ambassador for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization that combats global poverty by empowering women. Johnson also serves as a member of Accordia Global Health Foundation’s International Council, where she rallies support for the foundation’s efforts to overcome the burden of infectious diseases in Africa.
Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Illinois, along with several honorary degrees from numerous institutions. She is an accomplished violinist, and continues to be an avid supporter of the arts and education. In fact, she was selected by former Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell, to the University of Virginia Board of Visitors, and appointed by President Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Johnson will share her remarkable accomplishments and valuable insights this February at the 19th Annual Strategic Growth Conference. For those interested in hearing Johnson speak, visit the ACG website for registration information.