Sheila Crump Johnson is an American businesswoman, co-founder of BET, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, and the first African-American woman to attain a net worth of at least one billion dollars.
Johnson is team president, managing partner, and governor of the WNBA's Washington Mystics, a position she earned before the 2005 season. She is the first African-American woman to be an owner or partner in three professional sports franchises: the Washington Capitals (NHL), the Washington Wizards (NBA), and the Washington Mystics (WNBA).
As CEO of Salamander Hospitality, a company she founded in 2005, Johnson oversees a growing portfolio of luxury properties. Woodlands Inn, in Summerville, SC, is one of only a handful of properties in North America to receive the prestigious Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond ratings for both lodging and dining. In 2007, Johnson acquired Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort. Set on 900 acres, this 72-hole resort in Innisbrook, FL hosts the annual PGA TOURs Transitions Championship and the LPGA Legends Tour Open Championship.
In 2006, Johnson was named global ambassador for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty by empowering women because they have the unique power to help entire communities escape poverty. Sheilas I Am Powerful Challenge was instrumental in helping raise funds for CAREs important work. Johnson is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Johnson has long been a powerful influence in the entertainment industry as a founding partner of BET (Black Entertainment Television) and as a film producer. In partnership with other investors, her first film, Kicking It, premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. She was executive produced her second film, A Powerful Noise, which premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival in New York and her third film, She Is The Matador. Her latest film, The Other City, about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Washington DC, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2010. She was an executive producer of Lee Daniels' The Butler in 2013.
A fervent supporter of the arts and education, Johnson was appointed by Barack Obama to the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and served as chair of the board of governors of Parsons The New School for Design in New York. She has sat on the boards of Americans for the Arts, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Tiger Woods Foundation, the University of Virginia Curry School of Education, Howard University and the University of Illinois Foundation.
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