Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Winter 2004Kellogg School of Management
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  John Wood ’89
  Susan Rosenstein ’79
  Elise Cayelli Wetzel ’92
  David Gavoor ’90
  Michael Angelo Johnson ’98

Alumni newsmakers: Michael Angelo Johnson '98

by Deborah Leigh Wood

Role model
When Michael Angelo Johnson ’98 was asked to appear in a calendar, he says his immediate reaction was to demur, citing his credentials as a serious businessman.

But when he learned the calendar’s title — “When I grow up, I want to be. . .” — and that it was a tool to inspire young African-American males, he agreed to be photographed (an elegant shot of him in his office).

As owner of JFG Mortgage Corp., a Chicago residential and commercial real estate finance firm, Johnson says he was nominated by people who thought he’d be a good role model. The coordinator of the calendar, On Their Shoulders, concurred. Based in Chicago, the national organization focuses on career development for African-American youth.

Each African-American male role model in the calendar is identified with a positive character trait. Johnson’s is “PERSISTENT.” Read his profile, and you’ll learn that his hobbies are cycling and traveling. His favorite quote is by Martin Lloyd-Jones, a Welsh Calvinist preacher (“The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed”). Johnson’s two main pieces of advice are: Establish goals at the beginning of each year and review them at the year’s end; and make sure you’ve earned and have given respect before you demand it.

As part of the calendar project, the 12 participants — who include a dentist, associate producer, corporate recruiter, chef, artist and hotel manager — were asked to conduct two major motivational workshops for their target audience. Johnson would like to lead one workshop in Chicago, where he recently was named to the board of the Perspective Charter School in the South Loop. He wants to take his second workshop to Flint, Mich., where he grew up with limited resources but lots of encouragement, thanks to a strong mother who told him, “You can do anything.”

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University