On International Women's Day Sheila Johnson Is An Inspiration

Sheila Johnson - Image Courtesy YouTube/Salamander Hotels and Resorts

With today being International Women's Day, it seemed appropriate to direct people to the inspiring story of Sheila Johnson, the owner of the Innisbrook Resort where the Valspar Championship - with Adam Hadwin from Abbotsford, BC as the defending champion - is being held this week.

In an article and inteview entitled the Accidental Owner,  PGATOUR.COM contributor Helen Ross tells the story of how an African American Woman became a self-made millionaire and came to be the owner of a resort that hosts one of the premiere events on the PGA TOUR.

The Accidental Owner

by Helen Ross / PGATOUR.COM

When Sheila Johnson bought a floundering Innisbrook Resort for a reported $35 million in 2007, she became what she calls an "accidental hospitality owner in the golf business."

Not for long, though.

Johnson is a savvy businesswoman who recognized the value of the resort and its four 18-hole courses, including the signature Copperhead, which hosts the Valspar Championship this week. She green-lighted the necessary enhancements, and the property in Palm Harbor, Florida, now forms the cornerstone of her portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts across the southeastern United States.

But Johnson, who was named to Forbes Magazine's 2015 list of America's richest self-made women, is so much more than her Salamander brand.

She was a concert violinist in her youth, graduating from the University of Illinois with a bachelor of arts in music. She was the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television. She's produced four documentaries and helped finance "The Butler," which was nominated for three Screen Actors Guild awards in 2013.

Johnson also is the only African-American woman to hold ownership stakes in three professional teams -- the Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics -- and the first to serve on the USGA's Executive Committee. She held that position for five years, the latter three as its secretary.

CLICK HERE to read complete story and interview with Sheila Johnson.