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Sheila Crump Johnson: Brilliant business owner, entrepreneur and renaissance woman

Sheila Johnson

Sheila Johnson

Sheila Crump Johnson: Brilliant business owner, entrepreneur and renaissance woman

Born in 1949, Sheila Johnson is a businesswoman, a musician, a philanthropist and reportedly the first African-American woman to become a billionaire.

By Malik A. Azeez                                                       

Sheila Crump Johnson has been blessed to have phenomenal talents as a business owner and entrepreneur. She is the owner of Salamander Hospitality, LLC, founded in 2005, in Middleburg, Va.

Under this company, she has expanded in the hotel and resort business to open up eight re-sorts: Salamander Resort and Spa (Middleburg, Va.); Innisbrook (Palm Harbor, Fla.); Woodlands Inn (Summerville, S.C.); Reunion Resort (Orlando, Fla.); Hammock Beach Resort      (Palm Coast, Fla.); The Grand Resorts at Cap Cana(two Resorts The Dominican Republic).

Next, Miss Johnson’s business genius has been multi-faceted and passionate in television and media. She co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET) with Robert Johnson in 1980-1999. While at BET, she was Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and she created the award winning show-Teen Summit in 1989. Later, BET was sold to Viacom in 2000 for $3 billion.

With regard to her works in the arenas of sports and film, Johnson has been extraordinary as a businesswoman. Today, she is Vice Chairwoman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

Similarly, Miss Johnson is Majority owner and President of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. She is Minority owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals. Moreover, as a documentary filmmaker, she has done four films. These include the following: She Is the Matador (2010); The Other City (2010); Kicking It (2008) and A Powerful Noise (2008).

Innisbrook’s Copperhead golf course is this year’s host for The Valspar Golf Champion-ship. The Valspar Golf Championship is presented by BB&T from March 10-16, 2014. Also, Sheila Johnson is the business owner of Innisbrook and the event features 156 PGA Tour golfers in an official 72-hole event in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Creatively, Sheila Johnson has put her heart, mind and soul in her entrepreneurial projects that reflect her spirit. Salamander Resort and Spa which opened in August 2013 in Middleburg, Va. is set on 340 acres.

The resort is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains and consist of 168 guest rooms. Some of the other accommodations include: A Spa; Harrimans Restaurant; Market Salamander; Gold Cup Wine Bar; an Equestrian Center; golf courses; tennis courts and a Library. Indeed, Salamander Resort and Spa is designed to cultivate a “coming home” environment while enhancing holistic development.

On another level, Johnson has been most dedicated to educational and humanitarian causes. Today, The State University of New York (SUNY) in Morrisville has established the Sheila Crump Johnson Institute. The Institute awards scholarships, fellowships and aims to build character and leadership skills in college students.

In 2006, she was named global ambassador for CARE, a humanitarian organization fighting global poverty by empowering women. Her “Sheila’s I Am Powerful Challenge”, launched in 2007, raised over $8 million dollars.  In addition, in 2008, President Obama appointed her to the President’s committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Lastly, Miss Johnson’s works as a business owner, entrepreneur and renaissance woman has been brilliant and life enriching. Her achievements clearly have influenced the arenas of television, media, hospitality, sports, education, philanthropy, humanitarian causes and the arts. Through Salamander Hospitality, LLC, and Salamander Hotels and Resorts, she is making human life better and more wholesome. Johnson’s architectural designs of her hotels and the Salamander brand embodies her spirit, supreme beauty, the love of humanity and her love for being the greatest business owner in the world. Futhermore, Salamander Hospitality LLC focuses on hospitality/management. And Salamander Hotels and Resorts offer Management and Consulting Services.


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