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2020 40 Under 40 Shay Dial Johnson

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Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.



Shay Dial Johnson deserves to be honored as 40 Under 40 because of her selfless dedication to serving others through her many philanthropic commitments, her loyalty to Goodwill Fort Worth and her commitment to personal and professional development of not only herself but the individuals the organization serves, said nominator Liz Confiliano, also with Goodwill Industries.

Johnson is an active member of the Fort Worth Alumni Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.; the Fort Worth Alumni Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota Fraternity Inc.; the Texas Wesleyan Alumni Association; the Trimble Tech High School Alumni Association; and the Junior Women’s Club of Fort Worth.

She serves through the Junior League of Fort Worth and as a board member of Housing Opportunities of Fort Worth.

Johnson is a graduate of Leadership Fort Worth LeadingEdge program, class of 2014. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Texas Wesleyan University.

At Goodwill Industries, Johnson oversees marketing, public affairs and media, community engagement and special fund-raising activities. She serves as the official agency spokesperson and community liaison to media outlets promoting the mission of Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth.

Johnson also is president and chief creative officer of Soror Besties LLC,

Soror Besties is an online boutique that specializes in Black Greek letter sorority paraphernalia.

In her free time, Johnson enjoys traveling, anything Disney and spending time with her son.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

When I was in fourth grade, I started a business called DC Hang Ups with a classmate. We custom made signs and sold them for a few bucks a piece.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

The Cosby Show was a huge influence on me. It was one of the rare times to see a family so similar to mine on television with the same issues and successes.

What other profession would you like to try?

I would love to be a cruise line director!

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.

There have been many people that have greatly influenced me. Too many to name honestly. My mother very early on taught me how to handle things on my own and how to get business done. All of my aunts have influenced me in some way on motherhood and life in general. My high school theatre teacher taught me responsibility and gently encouraged me to “grow up.” My mentor instilled in me the importance of service to others. My bestie constantly tells me to “get out of my head” and never encourages my foolishness. My inner circle of sisters have all influenced me to do better, be greater, and think bigger. It’s no surprise that all of these great lessons come from women, who in my opinion, always get the job done! I am who am and who I will continue to evolve to be because of all of the strong women in my life.

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I decided when I was 10, I wanted to be a lawyer. My cousin told me not to pick that because lawyers died young of stress. I picked another profession; she became a lawyer. She’s still alive.

What is your favorite song?

Bossy by Kelis

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

My props are a photo of my 7-year-old son Trey, who is the best thing I’ve ever done, my jacket which has my sorority shield on the back because I love a good denim jacket and I love Alpha Kappa Alpha, and my T-shirt because it’s the brand that my bestie and I created and signifies our core values of friendship, sisterhood and service.

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