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Sheila C. Johnson

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

As Founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Ms. Johnson oversees a growing portfolio of luxury properties in Virginia, Florida and South Carolina. The equestrian-inspired Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, has been recognized as one of the country’s finest luxury properties and has been awarded the esteemed Forbes Five Star rating. The collection features two of the top golf resorts in Florida: Hammock Beach in Palm Coast and Innisbrook in Tampa Bay as well as the Henderson Beach Resort in Destin, Florida and the Hotel Bennett in Charleston, South Carolina 

As Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Ms. 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 (2018 Stanley Cup Champions), 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 2017, Ms. Johnson was named on Forbes Magazine’s Top 50 America’s Richest Self-Made Women. And in 2016, she co-founded WE Capital, a venture capital consortium to support and empower female-led enterprises that can advance transformational social change. She also serves on the board of the Greater Washington Partnership, which seeks to strengthen the region’s global position as a center for commerce and innovation. 

Ms. Johnson has long been a powerful influence in the entertainment industry, starting with her work as founding partner of Black Entertainment Television. She has served as executive producer for documentaries including Kicking It, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival; A Powerful Noise, which premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival; She is the Matador; and The Other City, a critically acclaimed portrayal of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Washington DC, which premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. She also helped finance the Screen Actors Guild nominated feature film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” Ms. Johnson is founder and chair of the Middleburg Film Festival, an annual celebration of independent film. 

A fervent supporter of education and the arts, Ms. Johnson serves on the Board of Governors of Parsons The New School for Design in New York, and is a member of the Leadership Council at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. She is also a board member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. 

An accomplished violinist, Ms. Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Illinois, as well as honorary degrees from numerous other institutions. She lives in Middleburg, VA, is married to the Honorable William T. Newman, Jr. and has two children. 


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