Linda Johnson Rice is an inspiring business executive. Throughout her extraordinary life as a woman entrepreneur in the media and beauty industry, she has given voice to millions and helped tell the story of the African-American experience in America, with all its many trials and triumphs. Now, audiences can hear as she shares the invaluable lessons she’s gained by building a world-renowned business brand, as well as her view of how far we’ve come as a nation and where we go from here.
Lind was chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company (JPC), owner of the global beauty brand for women of color Fashion Fair Cosmetics and the former Chairman Emeritus of Ebony Media Operations, parent company of Ebony and Jet magazine brands. Her influence spans business and editorial, from planning the strategic direction of the global beauty brand to setting the tone of the heritage magazines.
Her resilience got her here. The daughter of JPC founders John H. and Eunice W. Johnson was a constant presence at the Ebony/Jet headquarters while growing up and tapped as the company’s future leader. She studied journalism at the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, then returned to Chicago to work at JPC during the day and earn her master’s degree at night. Lessons in the classroom were fortified by her unique co-pilot’s view of the day-to-day operations of major publishing and cosmetics businesses. She worked closely with her father to learn the editorial, advertising and circulation aspects of Ebony and Jet, and alongside her mother on the beauty brands, including the traveling Ebony Fashion Fair charitable events. On the Monday after she earned her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, she became president of Johnson Publishing Company.
After her father’s death in 2005, then her mother’s in 2010, and faced with industry freefall, Johnson Rice had to adapt to new realities and make some tough choices, including the sale of the iconic Ebony/Jet building in 2010. In 2011, she transitioned out of the CEO role to become chairman.
Along her journey, Johnson Rice has gained extensive board experience and has continued to advance her reputation in the business lexicon. She has served on the board of directors of Omnicom Group and GrubHub, and in 2018 was named one of WomenInc. magazine’s “Most Influential Corporate Directors.” She also is a Council Member of The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Northwestern Memorial Corporation; a trustee at the Art Institute of Chicago; president of the Chicago Public Library Board of Directors and member of Adweek’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. She previously served on the boards of Continental Bank; Bausch & Lomb; Dial Corporation; Viad Corp.; MoneyGram; Quaker Oats; Kimberly-Clark and Tesla.
Johnson Rice was named by the Chicago Sun-Times as among Chicago’s “100 Most Powerful Women” and one of the “Top 10 Women in Media.” Crain’s Chicago Business named her one of “The 20 Most Powerful Women in Chicago Business.” She also received the Women of Power Award from the National Urban League, the Trumpet Award from Turner Broadcasting, the Alumni Merit Award from the University of Southern California, and the Alumni of the Year Award from the Black Management Association at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Johnson Rice has a daughter, Alexa.
For more information on booking Linda Johnson-Rice as a keynote speaker, contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at email@example.com.
LINDA JOHNSON RICE: SPEAKER
Linda Johnson Rice is an uplifting voice for the next generation of creative business leaders. It is her life’s mission to highlight the positive power and uniqueness of the black experience. Linda’s rare mixture of executive presence and creative talent make her a unique asset, whethershe’s managing a media or beauty brand — as she has done in the past — or leading the Chicago Public Library Board as President.
As a sought-after speaker on women’s empowerment, Johnson Rice shares her warmth and wisdom with women of color to encourage collaboration, personal growth and fulfillment. “Women supporting women is the way we move forward, together. It’s not about the destination but the journey.”