During my 40 years in business, I bought a graphic design studio; grew the company to become an integrated marketing communications firm; and then sold it based on our portfolio of government contracts and roster of corporate and nonprofit clients. This hands-on management experience and knowledge of marketing, business development and sales is the foundation for my mentoring advice.
I take the time to listen to my client’s challenges and concerns and then help them prioritize next steps to create a roadmap for success. My mantra is: “I will be your biggest cheerleader and your hardest task master.” You can view a recent one-hour interview on "Marketing Tips To Grow Your Business."
During my career I worked in a 3-person design studio for seven years before purchasing the firm from the founding owner who retired. As president and CEO of my new firm, Johnson Design Group, I grew the company and expanded its services. Then I repositioned the firm under the new name JDG Communications with the tagline: “Strategic Marketing By Design.” JDG was recognized with industry’s highest awards from the American Marketing Association and the International Association of Business Communicators. JDG provided services to corporate, nonprofit and government clients including SCORE, the National Association of Broadcasters, Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. General Services Administration.
My firm achieved a ranking in the top ten businesses on the Washington Business Journal’s Book of Lists. JDG also was among the top ten small business contractors based on annual sales on the GSA Schedule for selling advertising and marketing services to government agencies. When I sold my business in 2009, I benefited from the advice of a SCORE counselor who helped frame the financial details of the transaction. Having personally benefited from SCORE, I chose to volunteer as a mentor to experience the joy of seeing other entrepreneurs succeed!
Before launching my professional career, I served in the U.S. Army as a photographer during the Vietnam era.
B.F.A. in graphic design, University of Illinois; U.S. Army Signal Corps photography training, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey