Jerry L. Johnson is President & CEO of Axum Advisors, LLC, a business advisory and consulting firm for startups, middle market businesses, established professional service firms, and governmental agencies and authorities. A senior executive for over twenty years in a Fortune 50 company, Mr. Johnson was named one of the Top 40 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America by Black Enterprise Magazine.
Johnson has always been a champion for education with a focus on gifted children. Moving into the field immediately after college, he began as a school counselor in his hometown of Freeport, Illinois, quickly becoming Director of Pupil Personnel Services and then the youngest principal of LT Stone and Weston Elementary Schools. Later, working through the Illinois Board of Education, Johnson partnered with another principal to create a program for gifted children in local elementary schools. Johnson widened the reach of his advocacy by conducting statewide workshops and teacher trainings on gifted education, and secured a Title III Research Grant from the U. S. Department of Education to explore the question, “Can one create gifted and talented youth who are deemed to be ‘Disadvantaged’?” A member of the Illinois Association for Gifted and Talented Youth and the National Association for Gifted Children, he was nominated by the Governor of Illinois to be a candidate for State Director of Gifted Education.
Taking a position with Bell Telephone after a decade in education, Mr. Johnson continued to work on behalf of gifted children in the many states to which his job moved him. In Colorado, he was appointed by the governor to the Colorado Commission on Education, and served on the board of The Ricks Center, an exemplary program providing dynamic and challenging education to 250 gifted PreK-8th graders. Both the governors of Arizona and Colorado appointed him to their respective states’ Boards of Education. His service in education also includes significant experience at the university level, as he has served on the Boards of Trustees of Ursinus College and of the University of Washington School of Engineering.
Now a resident of the Philadelphia area, Mr. Johnson has continued his robust civic involvement by serving on the boards of AIM Academy, Episcopal Academy, and Temple College of Education, as well as the Wistar Institute, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Union League of Philadelphia. Additionally, he has had a long and rewarding association with Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education (now Legacy Youth Tennis and Education), where he served as a Board member, Board President, and Co-Chair of the organization’s annual benefit with his wife, Raye. Mr. Johnson holds a BA and an MS in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Management from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Today, he is a business advisor/consultant to entrepreneurs and a proud “gifted grandfather.”