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Stephen L. Johnson

Stephen Johnson was elected a director of Rocky Mountain Public Media in December 2017. Prior to that Johnson served as Senior Vice President and Director, Corporate Communications Division at UnionBanCal Corporation (Union Bank, N.A., the U.S. affiliate of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd). He joined the company early in 1992 and was appointed a senior vice president the following year. In 1994 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of The Union Bank Foundation. At Union Bank, Johnson managed a diverse 30-person team responsible for Japanese executive communications, public and employee communications, annual and quarterly financial reporting to stockholders, public policy, corporate client events, government affairs, and ethnic market advertising. He retired in July 2010. His 19-year career encompassed work for seven Japanese CEOs who rotated through the company, as well as listing UnionBanCal on the New York Stock Exchange. In January 2011, he founded Johnson Communications & Consulting.

Johnson joined Union Bank, headquartered in San Francisco, after ten years with First Nationwide Financial Corporation, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. At First Nationwide he was a senior vice president responsible for managing a $50 million affordable housing loan portfolio, as well as public and investor relations, consumer affairs, and charitable giving. Johnson began his corporate career with Bank of America in 1974, and later managed public affairs at the Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco. He also managed communications at First Interstate Bank, Los Angeles. In the early 1970s, Johnson was a reporter on the staff of The Denver Post.

He is a past Chair of PR Seminar, a professional organization comprised of chief communications and marketing officers of the Fortune 1000.

In community and civic affairs, he also served as a former board member of KQED public television and radio, San Francisco, where he chaired its audit committee and was active in the station’s acquisition process. At KQED, he also launched a local heroes program honoring minority citizens. Over time he expanded the concept to PBS stations in northern, southern, and central California. Celebratory events were promoted and televised during Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Asia-Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Johnson is a former trustee of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which include the de Young Museum and the San Francisco Legion of Honor. He also served on the executive committee of the Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco.

Johnson’s career includes military service. He commanded an Army combat engineering company in Vietnam, and attained the rank of Captain.

A native of Denver, Colorado, Johnson attended the University of Denver and is a graduate of the University of San Francisco. He and his wife, Gini Gardner, have been residents of Castle Rock, Colorado since 2016.

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