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2013 Conference Keynote - Sheila C. Johnson
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Sheila C. Johnson

Sheila C. Johnson

Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, Co-Founder of BET

Lessons from a Leader
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 8:15 am General Session, Bonnet Creek Ballroom
This program has been pre-approved for 1 strategic credit.

HRCI Seal The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute's criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.

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As a groundbreaking business woman and entrepreneur, Sheila Johnson knows how to take calculated risks and how to surround herself with smart people. And, in today's challenging business environment, hard work and collaboration cannot be overlooked. In this engaging presentation she imparts lessons learned--including how to create the right corporate culture and the importance of embracing technology. She also stresses the importance of being a "work in progress" to ensure future success.

Learning Objectives:

1. How to create a culture of collaboration within the organization. 
2. Understanding and maximizing the talents and diverse backgrounds of all team members to create an environment where open dialog exists How to make sure that your organization is always a work in progress, so that everyone is engaged in staying ahead of the curve, and not regressing back to the mean.
3. Why it's important to embrace technology at all levels of the organization, and how to use that technology to take calculated risks aimed at business growth.


Sheila C. Johnson is a successful entrepreneur and impassioned philanthropist.

As CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, a hospitality company she founded in 2005, Ms. Johnson oversees a growing portfolio of luxury properties. Grand Golf Resorts of Florida features three golf and family resorts reaching from the Gulf to the Atlantic – Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, Reunion Resort in Orlando, and Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast. The ultra-luxurious Salamander Resort & Spa will make its highly anticipated debut in August 2013 in Middleburg, Virginia, in the heart of Virginia’s horse and wine country.

Ms. Johnson is Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and President and Managing Partner of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. She is the only African-American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams, including the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals.

Ms. Johnson is a partner in ProJet Aviation, a comprehensive aviation service company specializing in aviation consulting, aircraft acquisitions, management, and charter services. She is also a partner in Mistral, the makers of fine bath, body and home products.

Ms. Johnson has also long been a powerful influence in the entertainment industry, starting with her work as founding partner of Black Entertainment Television. She has served as executive producer of four documentary films, including Kicking It, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival; A Powerful Noise, which premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival; She Is the Matador; and The Other City, a critically acclaimed portrayal of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Washington DC, which premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

In May 2011, Ms. Johnson joined the AOL Huffington Post Media Group as Strategic Advisor for Multicultural and African-American Initiatives.

In 2006, Ms. Johnson was named global ambassador for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization that combats global poverty by empowering women. Since 2011, she has served as a member of Accordia Global Health Foundation’s International Council, rallying support for the foundation’s efforts to overcome the burden of infectious diseases in Africa. Ms. Johnson is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

A fervent supporter of education and the arts, she serves on the Board of Governors of Parsons The New School for Design in New York, and is also a board member of the Sundance Institute, the Tiger Woods Foundation, and the ANNIKA Foundation

An accomplished violinist, Ms. Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Illinois, as well as honorary degrees from numerous other institutions. She lives in Middleburg, VA, is married to the Honorable William T. Newman, Jr., and has two children.

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