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An American Icon-Sheila Johnson-CEO Salamander Spa Resorts Sheila Johnson is an African-American entrepreneur and an American success story. Sheila co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET), and is part-owner of the three sports teams in the NHL, NBA and the WNBA. The successful station (BET) focused on African American audiences and was sold to Viacom for $3 billion. Entrepreneur Sheila Crump Johnson was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Her father, a neurosurgeon who worked for the Veterans Administration, and her mother, an accountant, were both accomplished pianists. Johnson inherited her parents' musical talents, beginning to play the violin seriously at the age of nine. Johnson also displayed flashes of her future entrepreneurial spirit as a child. She crafted purses out of oatmeal boxes and potholders, going door-to-door to sell them to her neighbors. An accomplished young musician, in high school Johnson served as the concertmaster of the Illinois All-State Choir, and upon graduating High School, she received a full scholarship to study music at the University of Illinois. Sheila Johnson moved to Washington, D.C. in 1971 where she landed a job teaching violin at the prestigious Sidwell Friends School, while her husband took a job with the Public Broadcasting Corporation. To supplement her meager teacher's salary, Sheila Johnson also began teaching private violin lessons out of her home. The lessons grew into a successful enterprise, and when Johnson had enrolled 100 students she quit her job at Sidwell Friends to devote all her attention to private teaching. She took her students on several tours around the world, including a stop in Jordan where they performed for the King and Queen. And it was by running her own music instruction business that Johnson developed into a shrewd businesswoman. In 2006, Ms. Johnson was named global ambassador for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization that combats global poverty by empowering women. Since 2011, she has served as a member of Accordia Global Health Foundation’s International Council, rallying support for the foundation’s efforts to overcome the burden of infectious diseases in Africa. 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. Today, Sheila C. Johnson is Sheila Johnson is the second wealthiest black female in the United States, and is CEO of Salamander Hospitality, LLC, overseeing a growing portfolio of luxury properties and lifestyle businesses. As president and managing partner of the WNBA's Washington Mystics and a partner in Lincoln Holdings, LLC, Johnson is the first African-American woman to have a stake in three professional sports teams. As a TV pioneer, and a dedicated activist, Johnson serves as a global ambassador for CARE, whose mission is to fight global poverty. The passionate and purposed spirit of Sheila Johnson is clearly transparent here in our story today. And we agree with Mrs. Johnson that “the story must be told”. Johnson goes on to explain to OGTV, "when we talk about “buying Black,” it isn’t meant to be at the exclusion of others, or to mean that we buy Black only. It’s to help ensure that Black-owned businesses have great opportunities, right out of the gate, and to encourage the reinvestment of our capital into communities and causes that matter to us. OGTV would like to thank Lois Kebe for her fine portrayal of a true American icon.

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