Sheila C. Johnson | Founder & CEO, Salamander® Hotels & Resorts


Sheila C. Johnson is an entrepreneur and philanthropist whose accomplishments span the arenas of hospitality, sports, fashion design, TV/film, the arts, education, women's empowerment, and community development.

Ms. Johnson is CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, LLC, a company she founded in 2005. She oversees a growing portfolio of luxury properties including Innisbrook, a 900-acre golf and spa resort on the west coast of Florida; Fishing Lodge Cap Cana, a luxury villa resort in the Dominican Republic; the Five Star Woodlands Inn near Charleston, South Carolina; and the much-anticipated Salamander Resort & Spa, currently being constructed in Middleburg, Virginia. She'll soon be launching a premiere collection of scarves, Sheila Johnson's Resort Collection 2013, for women to wrap themselves in luxury. Find more information at www.sheila-johnson.com

As Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and President and Managing Partner of the WNBA's Washington Mystics, Ms. Johnson is the first African-American woman to have a stake in three professional sports teams, including the Washington Wizards (NBA) and the Washington Capitals (NHL). As a founding partner of BET (Black Entertainment Television), she pioneered modern television programming and created the award-winning program Teen Summit, an issues-oriented talk show for the network's youth viewers. Currently, Ms. Johnson produces films that convey a strong humanitarian message, with completed projects including Kicking It, A Powerful Noise, She Is the Matador, and, most recently, The Other City, a critically acclaimed documentary about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Washington DC.

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

A fervent supporter of the arts and education, Ms. Johnson was appointed by President Obama to the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. She also serves as Chair of the Board of Governors of Parsons The New School for Design in New York, as well as on the boards of the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees and the Tiger Woods Foundation.

In 2006, Ms. Johnson was named global ambassador for CARE, a leading aid organization that fights global poverty by empowering women. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

An accomplished violinist, Ms. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Illinois, as well as honorary degrees from numerous other institutions. A mother of two, she lives in Middleburg, VA, with her husband, the Honorable William T. Newman, Jr.