Hello, I’m Marsha Sampson Johnson, an old bird (some would say a wise old bird) with a personal mission to make all work environments more inclusive, especially with respect to women and people of color. My approach is to openly share my own experiences and lessons learned in over 60 years of living, and some 40 years of navigating my careers in a variety of sectors. As a retired senior executive from a Fortune 200 company, I have had the rare privilege of seeing – up close – the good, the bad, and the ugly of workplace dynamics. If I can help even one person more skillfully and more confidently respond to those dynamics, then this stage of my life’s work will not be in vain.
I retired in 2010 after working almost 25 years with Southern Company. While at Southern, most notably Alabama Power Company, I held various executive level positions including senior vice president human resources and chief diversity officer, vice president talent management, vice president division operations, and vice president customer service and call center operations. Moving from a starting position of management development analyst in human resources to human resources management, then to customer operations and on to executive management required a lot of hard work and focus. Let me quickly add it also required a lot of faith and prayers by others and me. It required being mentored and sponsored. It required my presence at the intersection of preparation and opportunity.
My leadership and professional journey started with employment as a community center manager for the City of Jacksonville, Florida. Other positions I have held include personnel and benefits specialist for Westinghouse Electric Corporation’s Offshore Power Systems; assistant campaign director with United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta; and consultant with Coleman Management Consultants.
As a child growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, I learned the value of community service. It is important to me personally and professionally. I have held significant community service and economic development positions with chambers of commerce and economic development boards. I am an alumna of Leadership Jacksonville, Leadership Atlanta, Leadership Mobile, Leadership Birmingham, and Leadership Alabama. Over the years, I have served on numerous non-profit boards and was privileged to serve on the Board of Governors at Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama .
In 1999, I was selected as one of 14 women internationally for the acclaimed Leadership Foundation Fellows Program of the International Women’s Forum. Today, I am a Global Director of the International Women’s Forum and serve on the board of directors of IWF Georgia.
I am a graduate of Jacksonville University (Florida) with a degree in Political Science and Government. I am also a graduate of Harvard University Graduate School of Business Advanced Management, International Senior Managers Program (AMP 157).