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10/9 am
on KET

5:30/4:30 pm
on KET2

Charlie W. Johnson, Entrepreneur

Charlie W. Johnson is chairman and CEO of CW Johnson Xpress, a Louisville-based trucking company. A one-time professional football player with the San Francisco 49ers, Johnson is a former Ford Motor Company employee and a nationally renowned entrepreneur. His firm, Active Transportation, has been listed among the Top 100 Black-Owned Firms in the United States, as compiled by Black Enterprise magazine.

Since 1984, Johnson has built a quartet of businesses hauling everything from steel and turbines to heavy trucks. In 2000, Active Transportation had revenues in excess of $500 million, and Johnson successfully closed on the sale of his holdings. In his newest venture, C.W. Johnson Xpress, he has developed a team of transportation specialists that oversees the day-to-day operations.

In addition to his role as businessman, Johnson is a noted philanthropist and civic leader. He serves on several boards, including those of PNC Bank, the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Benedict College.

Johnson also seems to have a bit of luck on his side. He won a $200,000 Powerball lottery—then donated the money to Benedict, a small historically black college in Columbia, SC. Johnson, who is chairman of the school’s board of trustees, also gave more than $1 million to help build a new football stadium. The facility was named for him and was dedicated in his honor on September 23, 2006.

Program 123
Branding Louisville, the Young Chefs Academy, Science Hill, the McAlpine Locks and Dam, and nationally renowned entrepreneur Charlie W. Johnson. (#123)