Sheila C. Johnson is Founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts (SHR), which operates a collection of properties along the east coast and in the Caribbean that includes Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, which has been awarded the distinguished Forbes Five Star rating.
As Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Ms. Johnson is the only African-American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams: the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals, and the WNBA’s 2019 World Champions Washington Mystics, for which she serves as President and Managing Partner. Additionally, Ms. Johnson is a member of the Collective Bargaining Committee of the WNBA. She also served on the Executive Committee of the United States Golf Association where she spearheaded efforts in increasing diversity in the game of golf.
In 2017, Ms. Johnson was named on Forbes Magazine’s Top 50 America’s Richest Self-Made Women. In 2016, she spearheaded WE Capital, a venture capital consortium to support and invest in female-led enterprises with a goal of promoting social impact and generating financial returns. In 2019, she was recognized as a Women Who Mean Business honoree from the Washington Business Journal.
Ms. Johnson has 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 documentary and feature films. Ms. Johnson is founder and chair of the Middleburg Film Festival, an annual celebration of independent films. It continues to attract Oscar worthy films such as Greenbook, La La Land and 2019’s Oscar winner Parasite.
In 2006 Ms. Johnson was named global ambassador for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty by empowering women to help entire communities escape poverty.
A fervent supporter of education, the Sheila C. Johnson Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School supported a cohort of 50 fellows – emerging leaders dedicated to improving the lives of the underserved. Ms. Johnson endowed two chairs at her alma mater, the University of Illinois – School of Music. At the University of Virginia, she created the Center for Human Services which brings together evaluation and treatment in various specialties of childhood development.