The entrepreneurial spirit of Shannon Johnson has fostered and contributed to a highly successful professional career which spans nearly three decades. Shannon’s professional ability to establish strategic business alliances and resources combined with her deep commitment to volunteerism has resulted in a graceful balance of trust, success, and good will. (Photo taken by Elaine Barrett at the Patti Lattanzi, Billy Carlucci & the Gang Radio show.) From left to right standing is Lou [The Shoe] Porecca, Tommy Delcorio, Jr, Jimmie Lee, Kelsey Coan, Dru-Zak, Patti Lattanzi, Billy Carlucci and Shannon standing behind [seated Felicia – Patti’s mother] and Strong man Sonny Barry and the rest of the gang.)
People frequently ask Shannon, “How did Hooked on… get its start?” Oddly enough, it started years ago when Shannon was a child. Her mother and grandmother (father’s mother) had both been professional tennis players as young women. They had both won tennis tournaments which Billy Jean King and other great female tennis stars also won years later.
Shannon, being young and inquisitive, asked her mother, “How is it that Billy Jean King would gain so much income from playing tennis and neither you nor my grandmother was given anything more than awards?” Her mother answered, “Well, back when I was winning, there were no sponsors and tennis wasn’t televised with advertising dollars, then.” Shannon’s father was an editor for the Boston Globe newspaper and when she was an 8 year old third-grader, she was asked to write a review of two records. The reviews were published in the Boston Globe newspaper. Shannon received her first thrill of being published when her classmates brought their newspaper with Shannon’s published articles to the classroom to share.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela
In her youth, Shannon Johnson excelled in mathematics at both The Winsor School, a school notoriously one of America’s top academically-promising school for girls located in Boston, MA. and Cushing Academy, a co-ed college preparatory boarding school in Ashburnham, MA. Both schools are dedicated to educating the mind, shaping individual character, and nurturing the intellectual curiosity and creativity of students. At Winsor, Shannon learned that girls/women can do anything well if they focus and go after it.
Later at Cushing Academy, Shannon applied the same focus and at her graduation from Cushing Academy, she received two awards; one in Mathematics and one in Music. At the time it was noted that Shannon was the first student in the history of the school (founded in 1865) to win the music award with her instrument, the piano. As a varsity track and field athlete at Cushing Academy, Shannon broke the school records in the womens’ 1/2 mile, one-mile and two-mile events.
Shannon attended Bryant University in Providence, RI, where she received her Associates Degree in Business Administration/Accounting, and completed her undergraduate studies at St David’s Eastern University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Marketing.
“Come in strong, or don’t come at all.”
In 1988, Shannon Johnson embarked on a career of entrepreneurism when she started Figures & Financials, Inc., a Boston-based bookkeeping and tax service. With a goal of guiding and educating small businesses on the importance of maintaining a healthy financial status, Shannon rapidly built a strong and trusting client base. In a period of five years, Shannon opened three additional offices located in West Roxbury, North Attleboro and Charlestown, MA and had hired 5 CPAs and support staff to handle the influx of clients due to her successful advertising campaigns.
Shannon sold her bookkeeping and tax practice in late 1993. Her mother’s famous saying was, “Don’t buy it unless you need it; try not to use your own money to pay for it, but if you have to, then make sure it’s tax deductible.” Putting this into practice, Shannon was given the unique opportunity to purchase a struggling Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in Reading, PA, with two financial partners. Using her innate business acuity, Shannon was able to acquire this franchise with less than $5,000 of her own money and using her negotiation skills to motivate the owner to lower his settlement price so that she owned 49% share of the franchise. On her own, she quickly turned the franchise into a profitable business, and out of 80 district stores in the region, she won the franchisee “Fastest Growth Award.” Within the next two years, Shannon opened two other Dunkin’ Donuts satellite locations in the city before exiting the partnership in 1997.
Moving from franchisee into marketing and advertising, Shannon accepted a position in 1997 as an account executive for The Philadelphia Inquirer, then a subsidiary of the publishing magnate Knight Ridder. Shannon’s five-year tenure at the Inquirer allowed her the opportunity to gain valuable experience and knowledge in marketing concepts and strategy – a specialty which she has been cultivating and refining throughout her impressive career.
“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution…” -Tina Fey
During her employment with The Inquirer, Shannon identified a strong need for a networking alliance among CEOs and senior executives in the Philadelphia Metro and Southern New Jersey area. In 2001, she created “Breakfast with the Boss,” a monthly event which allowed dozens of businesses ranging from Fortune 500 to smaller recognized fast-growth companies to connect and build strategic alliances with others in the group. This 2-1/2 year program helped generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for several participating companies, with one in particular boosting their reported cashflow by $1.2 million dollars, with a unique strategic alliance she helped to make through the Breakfast with the Boss group.
“All lasting business is built on friendship.” -Alfred A. Montapert
In 2003, Shannon was recruited by International Profit Associates. In this position, she was able to pull from her vast knowledge of tax and accounting, and to utilize her professional acumen in assisting clients with growing and monetizing their businesses. In 2005, she accepted a position as Regional Vice President for Strategic Business Partners, where she promoted profit engineering consulting and partnerships throughout the tri-state metro area.
In 2007, Shannon was recruited by Super Media LLC, where as a media consultant, she collaborated with business owners to help them improve their margins during a period which is now recognized as the country’s Great Recession. Through attentive guidance, she assisted her clients in molding their marketing messages via strategic print and digital advertising, in addition to other direct marketing products.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” -1 Peter 4:10
With a deep spirit of volunteerism and a strong commitment to giving back, Shannon supports numerous philanthropic causes including animal welfare, childrens’ causes, health and wellness, poverty alleviation, senior citizens’ rights, and environmental preservation. As a passionate supporter of Sponsor Seniors, Inc., HOPE worldwide, ASPCA, Jerry’s Kids, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shannon Johnson doesn’t simply “talk the talk” – she “walks the talk.” Pictured on the left is Kenny Jeremiah, Shannon Johnson, Deborah Thompson, Teddy Pendergrass II, Felicia Pendergrass and DJ Pepper Paul.
For the past five years, Shannon has volunteered as treasurer for the Greater Philadelphia Church of Christ. She has organized local fundraising events for Sponsor Seniors, Inc., an organization designed to help alleviate poverty amongst an increasingly aging population, and chose HOPE for Kids Inc. for her project during her MBA program at Eastern University. With a lifelong dedication to volunteerism, she served in the 1990s as Vice President of the West Roxbury, MA. Rotary Club Her infectious enthusiasm and love for kids and sports continued through volunteering her time as a coach and sponsor for one of the little league teams of the Hellenic Soccer Club of West Roxbury. And in 2012 and 2013, she hosted two fundraising dances for Sponsor Seniors. Pictured left of Shannon is Brian Gallagher, a prominent local dance instructor with whom she competed at Disco America.
“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” -Vince Lombardi
In 2011, Shannon was forced to interrupt the MBA program she was attending at Eastern University after being involved in a serious automobile accident. She suffered multiple herniated disc fractures in her neck and back, which ultimately forced her into early retirement. Yet, she persevered. One of Shannon’s favorite slogans, “Winners never quit and quitters never win,” stems back to her high school track and field days, when she would repeat the quote in her head while racing long distance. Never one to quit, Shannon faced this turning point in her life by exploring her interests in travel writing and photography and investing in real estate.
She travelled to Santa Fe, NM to study photography, and while there, approached the management of the Eldorado Hotel where she was staying and the Hilton Hotel. She took pictures and submitted them to the website Hooked on Travelling and by doing so, validated her trip to be for a legal tax write off. Shannon later travelled to Costa Rica, where she studied the fundamentals of blogging and web writing. She then travelled to San Diego for a visit with her brother Maynard Johnson, and while there, attended several writing, photography and blogging seminars. Pictured left is a photo taken of Shannon in NYC with her two brothers, Maynard on the left and Lou Johnson, the entertainer of her family on the right.
Combining her passions for travel and volunteering, Shannon then travelled to Panama to volunteer with the Word of Life Organization’s preparations to open for summer camp. Through social media, Shannon became friends with the organization’s directors and a few of the orphans that attended the camp annually. One of the orphans had experienced a miraculous recovery from an advanced cancer due to many prayers for this young man who is now healthy. In so participating, it was inevitable Shannon would get Hooked on Kids.
She also travelled to Peru and to Highlands, NC for writing and photo inspirations to share through the blog. While in Peru visiting Machu Picchu, Shannon had an incredibly spiritual awakening to the vast depths and heights she experienced. She compared the enormous problems facing the world today, and became inspired by the power of unity and the solutions which have yet to be discovered but are available. Shannon Johnson believes that Hooked on Everything will bring solutions to people in more ways than even she could ever ask or imagine. (Eph 5:3-5)
“I’d rather be dancing.” (Rachel’s Song) -Jim Page
On a personal level, Shannon loves spending quality time with her family and friends, and for over 10 years, she has cared for her father, who became debilitated after suffering a heart attack. As a lifelong devotee of music, Shannon also enjoys competing in ballroom dance contests, in lead and follow roles of dance; she also is an accomplished pianist. As a savvy investor and financial expert, Shannon has acquired a number of real estate properties in the Philadelphia area and is often sought after to advise on real estate investing. The video link above is a successful fundraiser that she had in 2012. One of her closest friends, Linda Suralie, is a prominent periodontist, and shares Shannon’s passion for dancing and her vision for Sponsor Seniors as well as the Hooked on series. They are pictured here at a costume party dance.
Since Shannon was put on long-term disability, she learned that she could pull her 401k and transfer it to a Self Direct IRA and use the funds to purchase rental property. She also learned quickly how to buy properties in distress, rehab them and rent them out. She also learned how to leverage assets to increase her portfolio. She took one of her favorite mentor’s advice – Mr. Tony Robbins – find people succeeding at doing what you want to do, train under them and flourish. Shannon a group and started studying and working with A&E’s Flipping Boston – Pete Saroulis who proved instrumental in helping her with her website. https://www.housebeautifulkeepersllc.com/
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