Sheila C. Johnson



Sheila C. Johnson is a successful entrepreneur and impassioned philanthropist. As CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, a company she founded in 2005, Johnson oversees a growing portfolio of luxury properties including the highly anticipated Salamander Resort & Spa (opened in August 2013) and Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay. Johnson is also the only African-American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams (the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals). She is a partner in ProJet Aviation, an aviation service company specializing in aviation consulting, aircraft acquisitions, management, and charter services. Johnson has long been a powerful influence in the entertainment industry, as a founding partner of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and most recently as a film producer. A fervent supporter of the arts and education, Johnson was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. An accomplished violinist, Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Illinois, as well as honorary degrees from numerous other institutions.

  • On August 19, 2014
    Casey Higgins is now following Sheila C. Johnson
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    Margo Millure is now following Sheila C. Johnson
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    Kim Atkinson is now following Sheila C. Johnson
  • On August 24, 2012
    Sheila C. Johnson answered the question: Sheila C. Johnson

    How is Sheila C. Johnson different from other hospitality industry leaders?

    I’m different because it’s about me. Everything’s about me. It’s about my thumbprint on that resort. I think that I’m bringing a unique style to my hotels that is totally different. I’m not a St. Regis, I’m not a Ritz-Carlton, but it’s going to be a unique luxury resort of the highest caliber. But I call it affordable luxury. My management team is going to go in there and make sure that we have the best service ever. Of course, every chain does that also, but I think what has really put us on the map is the Innisbrook Resort, and we also had the Woodlands Inn near Charleston, S.C.

    It’s because we pay attention to detail. We bring in some of the best chefs. Granted, some of them are unknown, but there are a lot of great, unknown chefs out there that know how to work hard and they understand what we want to present and what our vision is. The way I decorate, I design my own linens. Everything in those hotels is going to be mine: things, ideas, design. So that’s what’s going to make it very unique.
  • On August 24, 2012
    Sheila C. Johnson answered the question: Sheila C. Johnson

    What are Sheila C. Johnson's future projects in the hospitality industry?

    I’m building a company called Salamander Resorts and Hotels. I started out with the Harriman property in Virginia, and I also own Innisbrook Golf Resort just outside of Tampa. I bought it as a distressed property, completely rehabbed it; it’s now a preferred property. I put on a PGA event there. We are looking at acquiring other hotels in the Florida area. I also started a management company, which is Salamander Management. I have acquired hotels in the Dominican Republic and we’ll be acquiring two more down there shortly.