Sheila Johnson is Founder and CEO of the Salamander Collection. The company operates a collection of luxury properties centered around unique destinations in the US and the Caribbean that includes the luxurious Salamander Resort & Spa, in Middleburg, VA which has achieved Forbes Five-Star ratings for both its accommodations and spa.
The extensive portfolio includes Hotel Bennett in Charleston SC; Half Moon in Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, FL, which is host to the annual PGA TOUR Valspar Championship on its famed Copperhead Course. In 2022, the company grew its portfolio by adding Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club in Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla; Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen, CO; and the newly branded Salamander Washington, DC. Johnson’s award recognitions reflect her extensive track record in hospitality, and she was recently inducted into Hospitality Design’s Platinum Circle Hall of Fame and named Washington Business Journal’s CEO of the Year 2022.
As Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, 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 Washington Mystics, for which she serves as President and Managing Partner. 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 2016, she spearheaded the formation of WE Capital, a venture capital consortium to support and invest in female-led enterprises with a goal of promoting social impact while generating financial returns. She served on the board of the Greater Washington Partnership (GWP), which seeks to strengthen the region’s global position as a center for commerce and innovation. Currently, she is Co-Chair of GWP’s Inclusive Growth Council, bringing together business leaders from across the region to work together to make the Capital Region a national model for advancing equitable economic solutions.
A fervent supporter of education and the arts, Ms. Johnson is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She also serves as chairman of the College of Performing Arts and is a Board member of The New School in New York. Additionally, the Sheila Johnson Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School supported a cohort of 50 fellows – emerging leaders dedicated to improving the lives of the underserved community. She is also a board member of the Metropolitan Opera, Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Advisory Board Member of the NeuroArts Blueprint: Advancing the Science of Arts, Health and Well-Being.
Ms. Johnson has long been a powerful influence in the entertainment industry, starting with her work as co-founder of Black Entertainment Television. She has served as executive producer of documentary and feature films and is founder and chair of the Middleburg Film Festival.
Ms. Johnson’s memoir, Walk Through Fire, will be published by Simon & Schuster in September 2023.