Although she is exceptionally humble, Joy is an influential force to be reckoned with. Joy Johnson has one of the most extensive non-profit resumes around.
Joy is a prominent, active leader in the community and a strong supporter of education, and women’s and children’s causes. Talking with Joy though is easy and comfortable, and she shows no signs of pretense.
As another Colorado community leader put it: “Joy Johnson has the potential of becoming the next Joy Burns in Denver…” Sounds like this brings more Joy to our World!
You have been, and are involved with so many charitable organizations, what charitable event do you look forward to attending each year? I attend a number of events, but one I do really enjoy is the Girl Scouts “Women of Distinction.” It is an amazing experience to have so many accomplished, engaged women in one room.
How do we get more people involved in charitable giving? Lead by example – don’t be afraid to ask; take a leadership role.
What do you think is the greatest problem our country is facing today? It’s not so much an issue of security, war, or economics; my concern is DIVISIVENESS – along more than party lines – how can we be a country/world power representative, if we can’t agree on any issues and support them unanimously?
What is your basic philosophy on life? Every day is a new day. One has many options and choices at any point in life – It is up to you to act upon them. If you give, you will receive much more in return.
What’s the best book you have every read? Too many to choose from – many bios and historic pieces. To name a few: Kite Runner, My Antonia and Memoirs of a Geisha.
What magazine can’t you live without? The New Yorker.
What’s the best advice you can offer a young woman in – let’s say – high school today? Don’t succumb to peer pressure. Stay true to yourself and your values.
How could we as a community do a better job at instilling the right values and ethics in our kids today? Again, lead by example. Engage them; values and ethics begin at home.
If you were about to spend the next year on the space shuttle, what one thing would you bring with and why? Either a photo album of memories or a journal to record my personal memories and experiences.
Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself for the future? Trust your instincts more and be willing to act on them, no matter how difficult the decision may be.
If your house was up for sale, and a prospective buyer did a walk through, what would your home tell them about you? That it’s unique, eclectic and warm. That I have many supportive relationships.
Describe your dream romantic get-a-way? That’s hard for me. More likely it would be something active like trekking Nepal, biking in New Zealand, exploring countries I haven’t visited before.
Who would you like to trade places with for one day and why? Einstein for his mind and creativity. Gandhi for his vision. Elizabeth Cady Stanton for her courage to advocate for women’s rights before a time when anyone would listen to or try to understand the importance of a female’s message.
What’s something you’ve learned from a pet? Unconditional love.
Who is your hero or mentor? I have many female mentors. My Mom, Mary Cronin, Mary Sissel. I also consider them my friends. I think it is important to have a living hero/mentor in your life.
When you were a little girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up? Just about everything.
Do you have a favorite childhood memory? My time shared with my maternal grandfather.
What is one thing nobody knows about you? In Denver: That I have had an education and a career before moving here.
What makes you laugh? I have a good sense of humor and sometimes use it as a defense. Witty, bright sparring makes me laugh – not the obvious. Also, I can laugh at myself.
What makes you cry? Just about anything. When my daughter has struggles, and I have to let her fend for herself.
What are you most disciplined about? My daughter, Vivi, exercise, and work.
If your life were a movie, what actress would best play you? Kathleen Turner.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met? Madame Sadat and Colin Powell.
What is your proudest achievement? My daughter.
What is the best advice your Mom/Dad ever gave you? Go for it! Hard work and discipline will give rewards. Relationships, and the effort they require, are so important.
What’s coming up in the future for Joy Johnson? Chair of The Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the privilege of opening the new hospital.
What is something you would still like to learn to do or accomplish? So many things: An architectural degree; run a private foundation; so much more travel with my daughter; learn to speak Chinese.
What would you most like to be remembered for? I guess that what I have done or created is not about me, but about the causes, the institutions, and their ability to carry forward in a professional manner. I would like to believe that my relationship with my daughter, my friends, and my family has created positive energy and taught us about the responsibilities we all have to our future and our community.
Joy’s Community Involvement:
The Children’s Hospital of Denver - Board of Directors, The Children’s Hospital Foundation, 1999 – present; Vice Chair, 2004-2006; Treasurer, 2003; Executive Committee, 2002 – present; Chair, Investments Committee, 2003-present; Member 1999 – present Chair, 2002 25th Anniversary Gala; Finance and Accounting Committee, 2003; Leadership Gifts Committee, Comprehensive Campaign, 2002; Dinner Chair, 1999 Gala; Development Committee, 1999 – present.
The Women’s Foundation: - Chair, 2005; Trustee, 2001 – present; Executive Committee, 2001 – present; Co-Chair, Community Investments Committee, 2003; Co-Chair, Development Committee, 2001, 2002; Chair, Investment Committee 2004; Member 1999 – 2002; Co-Chair, Annual Denver Event, 2001; Board Governance 2004-2005; Search Committee 2004-2005.
Denver Art Museum Foundation: - Investment Committee, 2004.
The Denver Foundation: - Human Services Committee, 2004; Investment Committee, 2005.
Rose Community Foundation: - Child and Family Development Committee, 2005.
Tiffany & Company: - Community Advisory Board, 2001 – present.
Urban Peak/The Spot: - Board of Directors, 2003 - present; Member, Development Committee; Member, Nominating Committee.
Girl Scouts of America, Mile Hi Council: - Woman of Distinction Award, 2002.
Children’s Garden Montessori School: -Trustee; Co-Chair, Capital Campaign, 2001 – 2002; Chair, 1st Annual Auction, 1995.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: - Co-Chair, Annual Denver Event, 2001.
Denver Botanic Gardens: - Dinner Chair, Fête des Fleurs, 2001.
Denver Foundation: - Member, SVP (Social Venture Partners), 2000 – 2002.
The Gathering Place: - Trustee, Association, 1996 – 1998; Co-Chair, 1998 Brown Bag Benefit featuring Mme. Jihan Sadat; Vice President, Ways and Means, 1997 – 1998.
Hospice of Metro Denver: - MASK Project Committee, 2002.
Junior League of Denver: -Treasurer, Holiday Mart, 1991, 1992.
Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church: - Chair, 1999 Millennium Concert Program.
Newborn Hope: - Trustee, 2000 – present; Nominating Chair 2001; Corporate Chair, 1997 & 1998 Denver events; Chair, 1993 Spring Fling, first-time event.
Webb-Waring Institute and Foundation: - Trustee, 1996 – 2003; Co-Chair, 2001 celebrity event with Dave Eggers; Co-Chair, 2000 celebrity event with Mitch Albom; Chair, 1997 Webb-Waring Spring Golf Tournament.
Also a supporter of: ArtReach; Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes; Colorado Ballet; Colorado Symphony Orchestra; Denver Business Series; Denver Museum of Nature and Science; Denver Art Museum; Mile Hi Club; National Jewish Medical and Research Center; Quarterly Forum; SafeHouse Denver; University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; The Wharton School; Women’s Forum of Colorado.
Joy’s Professional Experience:
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, New York, NY, 1986 – 90, Vice President, Institutional Equity Sales. PaineWebber, Incorporated, New York, NY, 1985, Summer Associate in Public Finance. Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc. , Washington, DC, 1982 – 84, Lobbyist - Members of Congress and committee staff. Office of U. S. Senator Charles McMathias, Jr. , Washington, DC, 1980 – 81, Congressional Intern and Caseworker. United Nations Secretariat, New York, NY, 1980; Intern, U.N. Economic and Social Council.